As Albertans read the new budget set-out by the UCP Government, we are taking a good hard look at our personal budgets. If there was a line item on my receivables sheet that was RED and bleeding, why on earth would I say “well that’s not working, let’s just build it again over here and see if it works better” without researching what is working, what isn’t and how to get that bleeding cow back to making milk.
I am referencing the proposed new rec-facility. I have lived in many cities in Western Canada. The most amazing rec centre I visited was MacDonald Island Park in Fort McMurray. They were successful because all the things you needed were in one stop, so it got you in the door.
They had the library, sports courts, golf club, dance clubs, swim clubs, concerts and events but above all ... it was made to be a place where you visited and stayed for hours.
With a few small tweaks Servus Place could attract a lot more membership.
Some things include:
• A quiet space for parents/students to work while their child is at practice.
• A couple of microwaves that the public can use.
• Designated time slots for lane swimmers to use the whole deep half of the pool.
• Teen pool night where music is played and Booster Juice offers reduced rates.
It is too bad that the one restaurant is located on the far side of the centre, as many parents with kids in hockey are there late into the night. They would like to sit and eat dinner and watch their kid, but it closes too early and has limited visibility of the rinks and courts. If they had a kiosk closer to the main area, then people would be more likely to buy slices of pizza and quick meals.
Servus needs to win back membership over the seemingly hundreds of gyms opening in our city. St. Albert councillors need to see a proper working model of a community centre before they spend $100 million dollars on a new facility. To do this, they need to listen to current members and grow their loyalty to rec-centres over other membership-driven fitness centres.
Alex Skilton-Douglas, St. Albert