Recreation exercises financial fitness with year-end results

Year-end financials show the City of Penticton's Recreation Department has not only exceeded revenue targets for 2013, but also reduced its subsidy by almost $1 million.

The annual subsidy to the Recreation Department reached $1.154 million after expenses were taken from revenues in 2009, the last year the old pool was open for an entire year. The 2013 year-end financials show the subsidy shrank to $270,291 – a 76-per-cent reduction from five years ago and 50-per-cent improvement on the budgeted amount as well.

“The success of the Penticton Community Centre shows that the Recreation Department has turned the corner as they care for the physical needs of local residents and families, as well as financial sustainability of our City,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “The pool expansion has been a phenomenal addition to our community, and the additional space and amenities are yielding incredible revenues under creative and innovative programs developed by staff. We're looking forward to what's ahead.”

Following a strategic plan in 2012, the City of Penticton's Recreation Department developed a “stretch” target to increase its cost recovery to 40 per cent by the year 2015. This was considered a long-term milestone to work toward, as only 20 per cent had been historically achieved in cost recovery. They undertook several initiatives following the Penticton Community Centre pool expansion:

  • new pricing, programs, promotions, products and services were added
  • leased out available spaces to commercial and non-profit organizations
  • expanded vending as well as food and beverage opportunities
  • developed new advertising revenues
  • launched a loyalty membership program
  • optimized space and time usage of facilities.
“The entire Recreation team – from aquatic staff, to reception, program co-ordinators, supervisors, managers and daily support of Facilities team members – are aligned to the vision and have contributed significantly to the success of these operations,” said Chuck Loewen, General Manager - Recreation & Facilities. “This has resulted in excellent fiscal management, accountability and results, while concurrently providing access to recreation for everyone.”