Public Meeting Set on Potential ARC Expansion
The City of Aspen will be hosting an informational public meeting regarding the potential for a fitness expansion at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC).

The meeting will be Tuesday, August 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the ARC.

“We have looked at adding 5,500 square feet to the ARC to expand the fitness center,” said Tim Anderson, ARC director, adding that the new fitness center with weights and machines could be located above the recreational pool. “We wanted to see if structurally the expansion could work and to look for any ‘fatal flaws’ in completing an expansion. What we found is that there are none, other than the absence of funding.”

The ARC Citizen Advisory Committee asked City Council during their 2009 budget meetings to consider an expansion. Council then directed staff to take a look at the concept. There are no intentions to move forward with the project in the near future, as existing covenants don’t allow changes to the original ARC building footprint until 2013; however, City Council is interested in gathering public feedback on the preliminary concept. 

There would be no major changes to the profile of the building by adding the fitness center, and all research indicates an expansion to the fitness center would increase pass sales.

“When a previous City Council oversaw the creation of the Aspen Recreation Center, there was a bit of concern over adding a fitness center with weights and machines,” said Tim Anderson, ARC director. “There was worry that the ARC would put private athletic clubs out of business, but when the ARC opened its doors for the first time, users kept saying ‘Where is the workout equipment?’”

Pass sales grew by 107 percent once the fitness center was added, but Anderson added, the existing center was an afterthought, rather than the result of careful planning. 

“Users still are asking for a better fitness center, and we are listening to that desire and doing some preliminary research and gathering public input on the possibility of creating something truly fitting for the space that meets our customers' expectations,” Anderson said. 

Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010