“If you build it, they will come.”
— Field of Dreams (1989)
So, we have built it. Now who exactly is coming? We finally got a chance to crunch some numbers on the place and, frankly, I was pretty surprised at the result. As mentioned before, you intuitively know there are a lot of people using the enhanced community complex now, but tracking where they are going becomes a bit more complicated because of the membership system.
As you may know, with a membership pass or even a single-entry daily pass, you can use a number of different areas in the building depending on what you feel like doing — swimming, fitness, skating — or you can do them all. So, here are a few numbers from 2011 in my best James Earl Jones voice:
There are approximately 1,300 members in a variety of type and length of memberships. We also have 249 members in our leisure access program (low-income families or individuals) and free access to infants up to two years and Golden Guests 85 years and older. Last year, there were 55,000 scans by members that allowed them to come and go throughout the day and use the facility as much as they wanted. One-time users (non-member daily admission) totalled 23,608.
Included in your daily admission or membership is free access to over 30 drop-in programs per week and we saw 10,774 attend those in 2011. Registered programs (for which you pay an additional fee) totalled 441 last year — 283 aquatic programs, 90 fitness programs, 58 general interest programs, 10 camps and special events and cumulatively had an attendance of 4,446. Those are just the programs we offer; user groups such as minor hockey, the swim club, curling and figure skating offer their own programming, as well.
Burned out yet? Too many numbers? But wait — there’s more! When you account for everyone else that uses the building — the curling centre, junior hockey, minor hockey, figure skating, room rentals, swim club, minor ball and soccer, etc. — the estimated total annual visits to the Community Complex in 2011 was 153,000. That starts to explain why the door hinges are loosening up and we are going through so much toilet paper.
We can break that number down a bit using user group membership numbers, facility bookings, hourly head counts, averaged time spent in an area and other methods. From that, we start to see where people are spending their time, which allows us to better strategize resources either to or away from certain programs as required. Out of the 153,000 estimated annual visits, 65,269 ended up in aquatics, 20,000 in fitness, 54,360 used rooms and arena, 8,085 to curling and 5,500 to Physioworks and More. On top of that, Rotacrest Hall had an estimated 9,950 visits and the fields 5,400.
That gives a bit of an overview on 2011; one thing to remember is that the fitness centre didn’t open up until the end of February and just looking at the activity in the first couple months of 2012, that number will certainly increase this year. We also see longer-term memberships being taken as word gets out and people realize the benefit they are feeling from using the place.
One final bit of useless trivia to clutter up your mind — in 2011 we collected 27,662 quarters from the coin lockers, which, if stacked, would reach from one end of the curling rink to the other. For what it’s worth.
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.