It will cost a family $20 to swim at the Bear Creek Pool once it opens. Grande Prairie city council has approved charges for the outdoor pool in Muskoseepi Park, in anticipation of it reopening later this summer.
Admission for children under two years old will be free, while children aged 3 to 12 years old will be $4. Youth aged 13 to 17 years old and seniors will be $6, while adults will be $8. The vote Tuesday night wasn’t unanimous, with Councillor Jackie Clayton voting against what was proposed.
City staff had originally proposed drop-in fees that were 25 cents to $2.50 less. They were based on the fees from when the pool was last open in 2012 with a 2.5 per cent rate of inflation, but councillor Chris Thiessen says the Community Living Committee felt they should be rounded up.
“It’s still pretty affordable for families to come on out. It’s definitely in line with other comparables across the region and across the province.”
Youth and seniors pay $1 less and adults $2 less at the outdoor pool in Spirit River, but Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given notes that doesn’t account for the gas needed to drive the hour to get there. Thiessen adds that the new Bear Creek Pool shouldn’t be compared to the old one in terms of value.
“The old fees and charges were based off of the old pool. This new pool is going to have so many new features: a lazy river feature, a waterslide, and all sorts of other things.”
Punch pass cards for 10 visits will be sold for children at $33, youth and seniors for $47, adults for $63, and families for $153. A shared pool rental for up to 40 swimmers will cost $60 per hour, with whole pool rentals ranging from $120 to $280 per hour depending on the number of swimmers.
The rates will be reviewed during next year’s budget discussions, but Thiessen says he doesn’t expect them to increase. The idea of using the outdoor pool as an incentive for Eastlink Centre memberships has also come up.
“There was a discussion at committee about future promotions and how we’ll encourage more aquatics and wellness usage in our facilities and other complexes,” explains Thiessen. “Administration took that and they’ll be reviewing that, amongst other things, when we move into our next four-year budget.”
The pool is now reportedly on track to open by late July to mid-August, and Thiessen says he’s hoping to see it operational by the August long weekend. It closed in 2013 when a large crack was noticed in the structure.