City Commission discusses Garden Rapids fee structure options

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram

Fee models for the Garden Rapids at The Big Pool were discussed at Tuesday’s Garden City Commission meeting.

Assistant city manager Jennifer Cunningham delivered three possible models, none of which are set in stone, to commissioners to give them an idea of the fee structures that could be implemented at the facility when it opens in 2021.

The first model was a $5, $4, $3 model, where adult admission would cost $5, seniors cost $4 and youths cost $4.

Punch passes in this model cost $40 for adults, $36 for seniors and $25 for youths.

Annual passes cost $125 for adults, $90 for seniors, $75 for youths and $225 for a family pass.

The second model was $5 across the board, where entry for all age groups would cost $5.

Punch passes in this model cost $80 and annual passes cost $125 for adults, seniors and youths and $289 for family annual passes.

The third model was $4 across the board, where entry for all age groups would cost $4.

In this model, punch passes cost $64 and annual passes cost $90 for adults, seniors and youth and $207 for family annual passes.

The fourth model was $3 across the board, where entry for all age groups would cost $3.

Punch passes cost $48 in this model and annual passes cost $75 for adults, seniors and youths and $174 for family annual passes.

Cunningham said all models were based off of the same data — an estimated 535 daily attendees, 490 punch passes and 190 season passes — so any number can be plugged into the model to see different options when the commission meets in January.

The $3 fee model is $1 above what was previously charged at The Big Pool, Cunningham said. Admittance to The Big Pool was $2 for everyone; however, there were occasionally specials for $1 admission days.

Special admission days can still happen in any of the fee structures, Cunningham said.

“There's a lot of other programs that we can offer in addition to just a punch pass and an annual pass,” she said. “I've already talked to Aaron (Stewart) about some of the programs they run for the Rec. and how they handle families who aren't able to pay.”

In creating fee models they have looked at other locations, specifically over in Dodge City, Cunningham said, where they have a $5, $7 model but then have much cheaper season passes.

Cunningham said the mindset behind that model is to make revenue off daily admission from someone out of town, but they figured the people who are going to pay for a season pass would be locals.

“I don't know how that fits our local community, we never sold very many season passes to the Big Pool, I don't know if that will change with this facility,” she said. “I would be a little bit hesitant without more information from the community to put that out there as our option, because I'm not sure that that's how our community uses our facility.”

Commissioner Deb Oyler said the biggest comment she has received from community members is on affordability. People want to use the pool, but it needs to be affordable.

“As long as there's that feature built in where there is a way for parents to be able to make it affordable for their kids, anything that we can do to help them I think would be, I would be for that,” she said.

Garden city manager Matt Allen addresses those gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Grand Rapids at The Big Pool project on July 23 beside a rendering of what the project could look like.