|The pool at Audrey Moore.|
That’s one of the key findings in a report that analyzes usage statistics, costs and revenue, facility needs, and operational issues for the county’s nine recreational centers. The report, by Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc., was commissioned by the Park Authority after a 2015 needs assessment found residents place a high priority on indoor recreational facilities and believe upgrades are necessary.
The Park Authority will hold a public meeting to present the results of the sustainability study on June 5, 7 p.m., in Room 106/107 of the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.
The report recommends that four RECenters be expanded, including Providence, because they are undersized compared to the population they serve. “Expansion will facilitate generation of tax revenues, economic impact, and promote equitable access,” it states.
The Providence RECenter in Falls Church was built in 1982 and renovated several times, most recently in 1998. It is just 48,700 square feet, while Audrey Moore, the third largest RECenter, is more than 72,600 square feet.
Among other recommendations, the report calls for building a new RECenter in Reston and a new “competition sports center” somewhere in the county to rely on a “tournament-based business model” to generate revenue from people outside Fairfax County.’
|The fitness center at Audrey Moore.|
The RECenter system’s revenue was $28.4 million in 2016, while expenses were $26 million. However, the cost recovery, at 109 percent in 2016, is down from 113 percent in 2007, meaning the system is slightly less profitable, states FCPA Systemwide Sustainability Plan for RECenters.
Operating revenue will continue to decline, and by 2035, the system’s expenses will exceed revenue, the report predicts.
Capital improvements to RECenters can be justified not only by the need to provide wellness and recreation for Fairfax County residents, the report states. The RECenter system “also drives recruitment and retention of businesses and families and heightens the success and reputation of Fairfax County.”
For each facility, the report analyzes demographic characteristics in its service area, usage statistics, revenue from passes and programs, and alternative options.
Aquatics and camps represent nearly 65 percent of all RECenter enrollments, followed closely by children/tots programs (12 percent), and exercise (9 percent). Camp revenue grew from $3.5 million in 2011 to $5.6 million in 2015.
In 2011, enrollment in all RECenter programs was slightly over 104,000. By 2015, enrollment had increased to 116,000. Nearly all the growth, however, was due to camps and aquatics programs.
The report notes that both Providence and Audrey Moore have some overlap, as both rely on residents of zip code 22003 (Annandale) for pass and program enrollment.
Audrey Moore obsolete
Audrey Moore has a slightly greater reliance on sports and fine arts programming than other centers. Its revenue from aquatics and tot programs are lower than the system average. It has one of three 50-meter pools in the system and is the only center with a pottery room.
Average household income in the Audrey Moore service area is $110,000. There are 35 consumer options in Audrey Moore’s primary service area, including the Fairfax Sportsplex.
The center has seen limited revenue growth over the previous three years with revenues stagnating at $3.6 million from 2014 to 2016.
According to the report, Audrey Moore needs extensive upgrades to maintain functionality. Specific critical needs identified in the report include rebuilding the check-in area, multipurpose rooms, and fitness rooms and adding a childcare room.
Because there are structural integrity issues in the existing facility and the cost of renovations would be comparable to new construction, the report recommends “the existing facility be demolished and rebuilt with a new state-of-the-art RECenter that includes multipurpose rooms, an inviting lobby and check-in area and that caters to market demand and enhances community responsiveness.”
The fitness center at Audrey Moore is “significantly undersized at just under 4,500 square feet,” the report notes. Adding a childcare room to the fitness center would help attract new members, and an expanded multipurpose gym would help meet demand for sports camps, thus enhancing revenue generation.
The pool at Audrey Moore has outdated filtration and HVAC system and needs scoreboard and seating upgrades for hosting competitive swim meets.
Providence RECenter’s cost recovery of 110 percent ranks seventh in the system of nine centers.
“Providence is an older market with modest household income measurements,” the report notes. Average household income in the area served by Providence is $106,000. There are several fitness facilities within 2.3 miles of Providence, including two Gold’s Gyms, Xsport Fitness, and a 24 Hour Fitness center.
The revenue mix generated from programs at Providence is largely consistent with the average for all RECenters. Twelve percent of Providence’s program revenue is derived from exercise programs compared to just 8 percent for the system.
Providence should be expanded, the report says, because its small size restricts its ability to generate camp revenue, while “its antiquated fitness space suppresses membership sales.”
Among other improvements, the Providence center’s check-in area needs to be reconfigured to improve circulation, a larger fitness room with childcare and a small gym should be added, and the existing fitness room should be converted to a multipurpose room.