Parks and Rec membership fee increases delayed until October 1 due to computer system

Denver Parks and Recreation is delaying the implementation of its new, more expensive fee structure by a month. Instead of going to effect on September 1, the new fees will kick in on October 1. Why the reprieve? According to spokeswoman Kathy Maloney, it has to do with the new computer system.

In conjunction with the new fees, Parks and Rec is rolling out a new computer software system that will better track usage of all 27 rec centers, Maloney says. Instead of simply counting users who swipe their cards, she says the new system will be able to track individual users' habits, thereby giving Parks and Rec a fuller picture of who uses the rec centers, when and for what purpose.

The system should be ready by October 1, which is when the new fees will debut as well. Instead of paying a flat fee to use all centers, users will now buy a pass for one of three tiers: neighborhood (small centers), local (medium-sized) and regional (fully loaded).

Adults ages 25 to 64 will pay $190 per year for neighborhood centers. Adults who want to use local centers will have to pay $249, and the cost to use the regional centers will be $369 per year. Young adults ages 18 to 24, children and seniors will pay less.

In most cases, adults will pay much more than they do now. Currently, adult rec center memberships are sold in three-month ($52), six-month ($100) and annual ($190) increments, and all members can use all centers.

Will the increased fees drive members straight into the arms of 24-Hour Fitness and Bally's Total Fitness? Or will members overlook the higher cost in favor of supporting their neighborhood rec centers? Stay tuned.

More from our Follow That Story archives: "Kenyon Martin's house for sale: Sign that he expects to leave the Nuggets soon? (PHOTOS)"

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar