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Splash Zone fees designed to boost attendance

Weather blamed for Springfield pool losing $100K in 2013.

The National Trail Parks and Recreation District set its fee structure for the Splash Zone Aquatic Center this year with no rate increases and a new membership for children in hopes of attracting more visitors, according to park officials.

“We looked at ways to make it more appealing to a broader audience,” said Brad Boyer, NTPRD’s deputy director.

Daily rates and season pass fees did not increase from the 2013 fee structure for the pool, located at 300 Eagle City Road. The district is adding season passes for children ages 4 to 13 ($50) and seniors 60 and older ($60). Children 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Last year, passes were $70 each, regardless of age.

“We tried to look at some of the other standards around the state to find better practices to increase sales at our facility,” Boyer said.

Last year, children 2 and younger entered the park free; this year, it will be increased to 3 and younger. Family passes were unchanged from last year, Boyer said.

The district is hoping for increased attendance at the pool this year. The pool saw its attendance decline from approximately 29,000 in 2012 to 21,377 last year — mostly due to bad weather, the worst year in its seven-year history.

Splash Zone, one of three public pools and the only located inside the city limits, is typically open from Memorial Day weekend to mid-August.

Last year, the district recorded 35 days with precipitation and 11 days without going over 75 degrees. It was forced to close early or open late 25 days last season due to weather or low attendance.

“It was a very difficult year with the weather,” Boyer said. “It wasn’t good pool weather.”

Family events and morning and evening fitness classes brought large attendance numbers last summer. The district is hoping to expand those offerings further if the budget allows, Boyer said.

The pool lost $161,761 over the last three years, including $101,663 last year. The district projects a $76,785 loss at Splash Zone this year.

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