Penticton providing discounts to frequent recreation users

Council passes revisions to recreational rates that will offer discounts of up to 25 per cent for bulk purchases

  • Jan. 26, 2012 7:00 p.m.

The frequent fliers of the recreation world can expect more trips to the gym for less money, after Penticton council passed revisions to rates allowing users who buy more to save more.

Recreation services general manager Chuck Loewen told council Monday that the department’s fees and charges policy last saw amendments in September 2009, and it was in need of updating after organizational changes.

In addition to housekeeping updates, he said, five additional areas were proposed with an eye to generate revenue.

The first involves boosting participation rates at recreation facilities with discounts for frequent users. In addition to the existing 10 per cent discounted rate on the sale of bulk single admission tickets of 10 or more, a 20 per cent discounted rate will be given for sales of 20 single-admission tickets or more.

Savings for group and corporate passes will also increase depending on how many more people sign up: discounts will increase from 10, 15 and 20 per cent for groups between six and 20 or more, to 15, 20 and 25 per cent for groups between six and 25 or more people.

“We’re looking for more participation with these new rates,” Loewen said.

Cost recovery of facilities is another target under the policy, he added. Program fees have been set at levels to cover instructor, materials and other costs, and added to that is a 15 per cent administration fee to cover a portion of overhead. Rental cost calculations will also factor in overhead insurance and debt service. Loewen explained that both cost-recovery areas will be compared to market rates and adjusted where required, and that overhead calculations are on a percentage.

“To fully burden this cost would be onerous to the client,” he said. “It recoups a little bit of expense, and not all of the expense.”

The third policy addition is to increase revenue share from large-scale events, up to $25,000 per day from the current $8,000.

Revenue could also be generated from potential cancellations, he said. Changes in time periods and penalty amounts have been included in the policy and range from full refunds to no refunds, depending on the notice given for booking cancellations.

Clinic rates have also been established for businesses leasing space in the community centre that provide physical therapy services to their clients. Special weekly and monthly rates will be charged to the business or its clients when using the pool and fitness room.

The policy revisions on rates got a warm reception from council.

“It’s not only increasing revenue generation, but it’s an assertive marketing strategy,” Coun. Litke said.

The revised schedule of fees was unanimously approved.