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    Judge’s Comment: “They have a lot of amenities and it seems they are very busy and fill every available time slot. The facility is obviously a draw for big events, and yet they cater to their community primarily.”

Owned by the town of Huntersville, the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics facility has an obligation to provide aquatic and fitness opportunities to as many segments of the community as possible.

Today, operators are on a mission to do so more efficiently and more profitably.

In addition to a full range of dry fitness amenities, the facility includes a 50-meter indoor Olympic-size pool (with a state-of-the-art dive tower) open to members, swim teams, competitive divers, and those training for triathlons.

There’s also a 25-yard warm pool, which accommodates water exercise programs and aquatic physical therapy; and an outdoor, zero-depth entry family leisure pool.

Open during the summer season, it features several aquatic play elements, which is important in a community with a large number of young families.

Attention to community needs makes this facility stand out. For example, when it became clear that a large number of seniors visited the center every day at the same time, staff members set aside a multipurpose room for the group to socialize, and furnished it with board games, coffee and refreshments. Staff members also make a special effort to reach out to groups that may often be overlooked, including college students and pre-teens.

Recently operators embarked on a plan to increase profitability. To cover the cost of wear and tear on the building during large events, management established event parking fees for non-members. Other efforts to improve efficiency include green initiatives. A new computer-controlled HVAC master handler helps program for occupied/unoccupied areas, and staff has committed to continue monitoring and improving loss of energy efficiency.