The Willamalane Park District near Eugene, Ore., opened the Splash! At Lively Park waterpark in 1989.
While this recreation facility does pretty well, in many ways
it’s the fitness programming that keeps the community
interested in aquatics, says Christine Crutcher, aquatic program
manager. Crutcher and her team offer a number of aquatic fitness
classes, most at the Willamalane Park Swim center, which has an
eight-lane, 25-yard lap pool and a warm-water play/exercise
Those classes generate a profit margin of about 50 percent, and
while the overall aquatic program is still subsidized, the deficit
would be much larger were it not for the fitness classes, Crutcher
To generate maximum attendance, she’s modeled the program
after health clubs, with a drop-in class admission policy and
convenient hours. To encourage them to stick with it, patrons
receive a “punch card” good for one free class after
participating in 10 class sessions.
“You have to have that group of people that helps you sustain
in the times that are quieter,” Crutcher notes.