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Admission Costs Reduced at Outdoor Aquatics Centre

Leo Lafleur WaterparkKingstonist has been tracking the redevelopment of the Leo Lafleur Waterpark from the initial public consultation until it’s completion and grand re-opening earlier this summer.  After admission and membership prices were posted by the city last Spring, we asked our readers to weigh in on whether the costs were prohibitive or just right.  While a majority (44 percent) of poll respondents advised that the price was acceptable, 32 percent of our readers voted that the cost was too high and that it would deter their regular enjoyment of this new facility.  Further, an additional 7 percent of respondents regrettably stated that the cost of admission was so high, they could not afford it.

When asked for their thoughts regarding the increased admission costs at the revamped Leo Lafleur Waterpark, our readers responded:

I’m not a big fan of the price increase for the new pool. I know the city wants to reclaim its investment, but when I lived in the area the pool seemed to be used by lower-income families and youth. For only a couple dollars you could escape the heat and relax in the pool. I’m worried that the new prices will be too high for many of the residents in the area and that they will be forced to find new recreation options outside of the neighbourhood. (Andy)

Now that the cost of a family pass has gotten a lot closer to a mortgage payment for a house in this area, I’m afraid my family will not be swimming daily. We will likely go weekly now, or less. If increased physical activity was one of the goals, it’s not going to happen. (Andrea)

Just over a month after our new aquatic centre opened it’s doors, the number of Kingstonians opposing the cost admission grew to such a degree that Officials at City Hall were compelled to take action.  Last night, councillors passed a motion to discount costs in an effort to put the facility within reach of more members of the local community.  Budget friendly admission costs can be found here.

While the updated pricing scheme is certainly welcomed relief during the level 2 heat advisory issued by KFL&A Public Health, obviously there are still members of the community who are unable to afford revised admissions.  While free admission cannot be offered all the time, Tim Horton’s has sponsored Friday Splash (6pm-8pm), which offers free use of the facility on a first come, first in the pool basis.  That said, the last time I was in the area during a Friday Splash session, the lineup was out the door.

Do you agree with Council’s decision to reduce admission costs at the outdoor aquatic centre?  If you were on the fence because of high prices before, do the new rates make the facility more attractive to you?  Should the City and various community groups be doing more to make the Leo Lafleur Waterpark more accessible to those who still can’t afford to cool off?  Jump into deep end of this conversation with a comment or two.

Thanks to B.K. Dewey for today’s refreshing photo.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

8 thoughts on “Admission Costs Reduced at Outdoor Aquatics Centre

  • July 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm
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    the $5.00/day pass for children reduced to $3.00 is reasonable for families on fixed incomes and pretty much par with other municipalities however during KFLA Health Unit Heat Warning Days, should the city open the gates for free admission?

  • July 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm
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    The new prices are definitely more "refreshing", but the line ups are a major turn off. I've got too young children, and standing in the line up would be torture for them. I won't be using the park anytime soon.

  • July 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm
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    Good for City Council lowering rates to swim at the new pool. For a child, it will now cost $3.00 per day (11am to 8.30pm). Sounds great, but…..it costs that child $2.25 to take the bus over to the pool. So now, it's $7.50 per day, and that's without any treat or drink. Probably would be $10.00 for a child for a day at the pool. And that's a lot of money for a lot of people.
    The pool has been operating almost at capacity since it opened so the lower fees won't get more people into the pool. The one question that nobody addressed at last night's council meeting is "why doesn't the pool open before 11am?" Of course there are added labour costs, but with this weather, and the max number being 250 at any time, there would be increased revenue. And why aren't there swimming lessons in the mornings before the general swim? Missed revenue, to say nothing of the missed educational opportunities.
    Finally, many municipal pools have a DAILY free swim period, often 12 to 1pm. Why not here?
    Sure, there are growing pains, but Kingston isn't the first community to open an outdoor pool. There is plenty of experience out there to call upon.

  • July 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm
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    Imagine standing in a lineup for a pool in this heat. Torture!

  • July 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm
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    Standing in line IS torture, particularly with a group of 8, 7-11 year olds, luckily they can be distracted by the splash pad while the adult waits in line (not an effective soloution if you are the only adult present, but if you've got a partner in crime it can make the wait a little less painful)? I think the price reduction is great, while the original pricing is still cheaper than waterparks where I grew up, I also grew up in cottage country where free, swimmable beaches were a stone-throw away. Since Kingston does not have any free public beaches it only seems fair that a new swimming establishment be designed so that all levels of income can enjoy.
    They also have a fabulous picnic area so there is no need to budget for food, and even if you had to take transit, there are very few things in this city that you can do for an entire day in the $10 range. Ive been there more times than I care to admit, and the line up problem was definitely worse when they first opened, and they definitely have some kinks to work out.
    But if you plan properly (if you are there at 11:15, you will get in when they open at 11:30… if you wait until 1pm you're going to wait in line, that's just common sense) it can be a very inexpensive and very full day. And once you're in you appreciate the 250 person cap, because you never have that sense of being packed in like sardines.
    Like any new establishment it's sure to have growing pains.. but all in all I think it's great!!

  • August 3, 2011 at 10:22 am
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    I've been to the Aquatic center twice now with three kids aged 8 to 12. We went on the first day it opened and then a few weeks later, we didn't spend much time waiting at all, maybe five to ten minutes, which goes by pretty fast.
    What they do is.. when people leave they let in the amount of people who left, and people are always coming and going rather quickly. It's really not a big deal to wait to get in, I mean seriously…the lazy river is FUN and worth waiting for. The huge mega awesome water slide is pretty cool too. ^-^

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