The first proposed hours of operation and admission fees for the Center of Recreational Excellence were discussed Monday night during a Hobbs Community Affairs Board meeting.
CORE officials presented their proposals to the board to receive input and feedback before moving forward in presenting the fees to be considered by the Hobbs City Commission.
“We want to start down that path of starting to consider the fees for the CORE,” Doug McDaniel, parks and recreations director, said. “In 2014 the city had a feasibility study completed by Ballard King & Associates that included a facility that had an ice rink in it. We also did an updated feasibility study with Ballard King on a facility that the CORE is going to be. We received that updated feasibility study on Dec. 7 and since that time staff has been working diligently to bring information forward to the public and the Community Affairs Board.”
The hours of operations proposed are 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. There are four different rate categories proposed, which include day passes, week passes, facility memberships and program memberships. The proposed fees are broken down by different ages and group offerings.
“They will be resident and non-resident rates across the board for all the four categories,” Catherine Vorrasi, CORE facility director, said. “Classes (that will be held at the CORE) are not included in the total. We wanted to think about that and have the monthly rate a little bit lower because these classes aren’t included right now. We are exploring options to provide fees that would include the class but we’re still in the exploration stages of that.”
A day pass for a Lea County adult resident (18-61) is $7 and $10 for a non-resident, a week pass for a resident adult is $20 and $30 for a non-resident. Youth (1-12) resident day pass cost is $4 and non-resident $7, a resident week pass for youth is $12 and $21 for a non-resident. Children under one year old can enter the CORE free of charge. Resident teen (13-17) day pass cost is $5 and non-resident $8, a week pass for teen residents cost $15 and $24 for non-resident teens. Student and public safety residents (18 and older) day passes cost $5 and $8 for non-residents, a week pass for students and public safety residents cost $15 and $24 for non-residents. Senior resident (62 and up) day pass cost is $4 and $7 for non-resident seniors, a week pass for a resident senior costs $12 and $21 for a non-resident senior.
Facility memberships start from $14 to $55 per month and $160 to $627 per year for residents depending on age or group offering. Non-resident facility memberships start from $20 to $80 per month and $228 to $912 per year. Program membership, which is a fee paid by those who plan on attending a particular class at the CORE and none of the facilities amenities, is proposed at $25 per year for residents and $36 per year for non-residents.
“We definitely want those that live outside of Lea County to feel welcomed,” Vorrasi said. “We didn’t want to double the rates and we didn’t want anyone to feel like they were being excluded so the rates are reflective of that.”
Lindsay Chism McCarter, CORE marketing director, presented the proposed facility rental fees during Monday’s meeting. McCarter said the rates proposed are only for social gatherings and not for sports team practices or sports tournaments.
“What this is referring to is this is literally talking about birthday parties, retirement events, fundraisers — those types of social gatherings,” McCarter said. “A case-by-case consideration is going to be required for a lot of these rentals, especially as we talk about the big boxes as we call them — the gym, the turf and the aquatics sections.”
Facility rental requests must be received at least 30 days in advance and are based on availability. Those who have facility memberships will receive a 5 percent discount on private rentals.
“We are definitely going to request people take the time to do this as far in advance as possible because we believe there is going to be a lot of demand,” McCarter said. “If we do have programming the programming is going to be considered first (before a rental).”
The proposed CORE rental fees include the full turf field and gymnasium for $250 each for two hours and for half of the turf field and gymnasium $175 each for two hours; the competition pool $300 for two hours; the leisure pool (CORE Splash) $350 for two hours; the therapy pool $150 for two hours; the aquatics classroom $25 for two hours; the aerobic studios 1 and 2 $25 each for two hours; banquet room 133 $100 for half a day and $200 for a full day; banquet room 134 $125 for half a day and $250 for a full day; combined banquet rooms $175 for half a day and $350 for a full day; catering kitchen $100 for a half day and $200 for a full day; party rooms $75 for two hours, $250 with admission to CORE Play for two hours and $300 with admission to CORE Splash for two hours and with decorations $25 extra; observation deck $75 for one hour; executive conference room $25 for one hour and to rent the full CORE facility costs $2,500 for two hours.
Several of the Community Affairs Board members and residents made some suggestions of the hours of operation and admission fees after CORE officials made their presentation. Suggestions include offering discounted rates for veterans and for spouses with no children.
The Community Affairs Board voted to see a revised version of the proposed fees that include the suggestion before they vote on a recommendation for the City Commission. A special Community Affairs Board meeting is planned for Jan. 22 to discuss the revised admission fees.
Commissioners who were present at the meeting agreed with the Community Affairs Board vote to hold a special meeting.
“I would like to see this come to this board with revisions before it comes to us so that you have better knowledge of things that are going on and for other public comment,” Commissioner Marshall Newman said.
McDaniel encouraged more public input on the proposed CORE fees and said there is plenty of opportunities for them to do so.
“There are many opportunities for the public to have input on these fees,” McDaniel said. “I’d like all members of the public to reach out to the Community Affairs Board members and their city commissioners to give their input. We have more meetings where input will be taken on CORE fees.”