It is a special time of year -- the annual convergence of recreation professionals at Colorado Park’s Recreation Association’s annual conference. As we packed up the Essenza-branded exercise bands, mugs, and fanny packs, our excitement grew. With the tradeshow booth secure in its case, we made our way to Snowmass to spend 48 hours connecting with clients, colleagues, and friends. It is an energizing event filled with learning opportunities, new connections, karaoke crooners, and, this year, a very special sunrise hike. Thank you, fabulous CPRA staff, for thoughtfully planning your event at the height of fall color season!
The CPRA conference allows us to connect with others passionate about improving quality of life through recreation. As a self-proclaimed gym rat, you will often find me at my favorite local municipal recreation center. Early in my career, I was fortunate to hold the the head lifeguard at Arizona State University’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Kristen, my conference partner and business development lead, has been in a dance class of some kind for 44 years and holds a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Administration. We love talking about all things recreation and helping municipalities realize their goals. It is this personal relationship to municipal recreation that fuels our commitment to supporting the CPRA community.
With its largest attendance ever, the conversation during CPRA’s “Schmoozapalooza” was robust. We heard a lot of good news about projects underway, and others are being looked at for the future. The most common challenge is funding. Now that the long-felt shell shock of construction inflation has settled in a bit for municipalities, many are adjusting their game plans to fulfill the communities’ expressed desires for additional recreation facilities or improve the existing ones. All options are on the table--private-public partnerships, IGAs, grants, inventive fundraising campaigns, and tax initiatives. It will be an exciting time to watch the ballot results both this year and in 2024. We wish all the communities asking for voter support best wishes for “Yes” outcomes!
You have our gratitude CPRA community! See you in Keystone 2024!
By Victoria Webster, Former Project Assistant, Essenza Architecture
Scott Carpenter Park and Pool is a community park located in Boulder, Colorado, that provides a wide variety of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, a skate park, an open turf field, diamond fields, and a space-themed playground in honor of the park’s namesake, astronaut, and aquanaut Scott Carpenter, a former Boulder resident. Over the past several years, the pool facilities
have undergone a major renovation and transformation that represents what was desired most by the community, user groups, and stakeholders. The design team was tasked with creating an iconic, state-of-the-art facility that promotes inclusiveness, accessibility, sustainability, and durability while honoring and nurturing the existing mature trees and established an astronaut theme. We transformed and repurposed the existing building into a low-maintenance, durable facility with a warm mountain feel that reflects the Flatiron formations in the foothills of Boulder.
The renovated facility opened in the summer of 2020 and included a new 50-meter outdoor pool, a double waterslide tower, an 8,000 square foot recreation pool that includes a diving board, jumping platform, drop slide, climbing wall, lazy river, zero depth entry, and an outer-space themed water play feature. In addition to the pools, there is a 2,000-square-foot splash pad featuring a 20-foot-tall rocket ship that ties back to the existing historic rocket ship playground feature. Colorado has only a handful of outdoor 50-meter pools, and this feature certainly makes Scott Carpenter Park a destination for competitive swimmers. The additional fun water amenities provide engaging activities for people of all ages. The heavily renovated bathhouse features durable materials alongside the existing preserved historic brick, an accessible design for all ages, and an undulating curved blue roof mimicking water waves to welcome visitors.
Outdoor design features include shade structures that are scattered throughout the deck in wave-like forms to provide much-needed cover from the Colorado sun. Shower towers are outside each locker room to encourage rinsing off before jumping into the pools. Low retaining walls and grass landscaping are provided in the patron lounging area. The facility offers ample bicycle parking and enlarges paths on all sides of the property, encouraging multi-modal transportation and accommodating increased traffic, an important goal for Boulder.
During COVID, the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation team has been adapting the use of the facility in innovative ways. The 50-meter pool is being used in the 25-meter direction so that more individual lanes are open, and swimmers can be socially distanced, allowing the facility to stay open. At other times of the day, the 50-meter pool is sectioned off into pods where families can swim together.
After several years of design collaboration and community outreach aimed to meet the community’s aquatic and park needs, the renovated facility is a top recreation destination for the City of Boulder and surrounding communities.
Originally published at www.clubindustry.com
If you have been at one of the newest sports arenas or at one of Las Vegas" trendy casinos, you likely remember that those venues stimulated each of your senses, creating an almost fantasy-like experience. Now, think about your typical fitness club where a sea of gray equipment appears in monotonous straight lines, surrounded by bland wall colors and fluorescent lights dangling from exposed beams. Which environment are you likely to spend the most time in, and more importantly, which physical environment are you likely to spend the most money in? Chances are that most of you would say the casino or sports stadium, but it should not be that way. Members should rave about the atmosphere of health clubs, too. Why not create an exciting space with beautiful rolling curves where the equipment helps define the experience, the colors build excitement and the lighting creates energy?
The goal of creating engaging fitness and workout spaces is to provide a physical environment that invigorates and seduces your members so they will return. By creating dynamic spaces, your members will enjoy working out, and your trainers will be able to perform at their best. A well-designed facility should induce passion while providing good circulation, interesting equipment layouts, proper materials, visually pleasing colors and great lighting design.
The foundation of any good design is the circulation path, especially in a fitness area where many members move from the entry to the locker rooms, locker rooms to the fitness floor, and finally among the various activity spaces. Circulation is integral to a successful club layout. The design must create movement and flow, as well as present a sense of space where members are not falling over each other. Doing so creates more interest in the workout space, which in turn enhances the member enjoyment factor.
In addition to good circulation, innovative equipment layouts can create exciting visual interest in a large fitness space. A layout with a soft curve can enhance the appearance and feel that accompanies the typical layout that stacks treadmills, elliptical machines and other pieces of equipment in neat but monotonous queues. Large lines of equipment are best replaced with “mini" workout spaces (zones) that separate the equipment and create workout communities. (As in the example shown in the drawing above). One concept for arranging selectorized equipment is to lay it out in a “pod-like" formation using circles or ellipses. This provides a more socially interactive environment for trainers to work in and for members to work out.
By Christa Plaza & Kristen Hodel - April 14, 2023
Celebrate Park and Recreation month by visiting your local pool! July is dedicated to recognizing the importance of recreation in our lives. We applaud the vital role parks and recreation professionals play in providing essential services and fostering the growth of our communities! National Recreation and Park Association #wherecommunitygrows
Pool and Swimming Facts
• Safety, recreation, a reprieve from the heat, and athletics!
• Approx. 309,000 public swimming pools in the U.S.
• Only 56% of Americans have the 5 basic swimming skills
• Summer municipal swimming lessons are consistently filled
• Swimming = most popular recreational activity for children and teens ages 7-17
• Aquatics rank high on community “wish” surveys
• Bonus fact! Essenza founder and Principal Christa Plaza, was once the head lifeguard at Arizona State University's Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex
Source: Swimming Pools in the US - Industry Data, Trends, Stats | IBISWorld