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Denver Parks and Rec fees to increase in 2010, so take the plunge right away

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If you're thinking of renewing your city rec center pass, now is the time. Now, I say!

Come January 1, the cost of belonging to one of the city's (soon-to-be) 25 rec centers will be among the many Denver Parks and Recreation-related fees that are scheduled to increase.

Instead of paying a cool $150 a year for a rec center pass, adults will have to fork over $190. The cost of a yearly youth membership will remain at $35, but the price of three- and six-month youth memberships will rise, to $10.50 and $20 respectively. Adults will also shell out a bit more: $52 for a three-month pass, up from the $37.50 it costs now; and $100 for a six-month pass, up from $75.

The price of rec center day passes and family swimming pool passes will also rise.

The increases are the first in three years, says spokewoman Jill McGranahan. Currently, the city only recoups about 12 cents for every dollar it spends on the rec centers -- not a very good, or sustainable, return, McGranahan says. The new fee structure will push that return to 18 percent, she says.

And, officials hope, not break residents' banks in the process -- at least when compared to the $370 a year a Denverite could pay to belong to a gym like 24 Hour Fitness. "Even at $190 (for an adult rec center pass), it's still a heck of a deal," McGranahan says.

Other recreation-related fees will increase too, such as fees to use Denver athletic fields, reserve parks for special occasions and rent Sloan's Lake.

That's right. For $910, the man-made Sloan's Lake can be all yours for four glorious hours. Tempting. Very tempting.

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