Recreation break for businesses?

Council considering rec center incentives

The city is looking at possibly lowering the Cortez Recreation Center fees for corporations and/or businesses with 10 or more employees.

Recreation center Director Dean Palmquist approached the City Council in a workshop last Tuesday to discuss offering discounts to businesses.

While no exact discount figure was set, a 15 percent cut was bantered about.

Palmquist said the council appeared to be in favor of the idea, and it plans to vote on the proposal at its March 26 meeting.

"The council was very receptive, and they thought this was a good plan to move forward with," he said.

He said while there may be a few businesses that offered rec center memberships to their employees they are not getting a discount from the city.

"This is the first time that I know of where we (are talking about) offering discounts," he said. "We are just trying to add incentives to get more people to come."

The rec center director also said that in 2011 there was an increase of memberships, but added there was a slight decrease last year.

"We are trying to outreach more to get more memberships," he said, adding this is one of the few ways to draw in more people that were not coming beforehand.

He said one goal would be to provide a healthier community by offering discounts to employers, and added insurance costs may be lowered because people who exercise tend to be healthier.

He said healthier employees could even result in lowered premium insurances costs for employers.

"It's a win-win situation," he said.

If the council approves the discount the city would start meeting with human resource directors, chief executive officers or others in charge across the city to inform them of the new plan.

Currently, the rec center charges $231 for a 12-month membership for individuals paying in full, which is an $11 increase from 2012 and $252 for those who make payments.

Palmquist said those paying rec center fees in full would essentially be getting one free month.

The rec center also offers a 20-ticket punch pass for $70.

Palmquist said the corporate discount is something the city has discussed since the center opened in 2004.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com