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2020 Facility Pass Changes

We Heard YOU! Simpler. Faster. More Access. More Sustainable.

New recreation facility pass structure begins Jan. 1

It’s been more than a decade since we overhauled our recreation facility access options. So this past year, we undertook a strategy to provide Boulder with the level of programming and hours of service you’ve come to expect at our three recreation centers, two outdoor pools and reservoir – while also balancing increases in expenses to provide a fair living wage and sustainably operate an incredible system of facilities and services into the future.  

The goals of the 2020 Recreation Facility Access Strategy were outlined to be: 

  • Financially Sustainable - Funding the costs of fiscally constrained operations (existing service levels) and maintaining the Recreation Activity Fund (which is almost entirely funded through user-fees);  
  • Simple - Easy to understand and buy, appropriate to broad mixes of community members and customers; and  
  • Provide wide Service Reach - Fees are consistent with Parks and Recreation master plan goals related to ensuring services are accessible to community members.  

During this process, we asked for your guidance (over 900 users took our Recreation Facility Access survey in March 2019) and we sought input from our Parks and Rec Advisory Board (PRAB). 

Areas of strong community and PRAB alignment that were included in the 2020 options are: 

  • Age-based Subsidy  - Youth and Senior entry fees continue to be subsidized through the General Fund at an approximate 40% subsidy for Youth (under 19 yrs) and 25% subsidy for Seniors (60+ yrs). 
  • Financial Aid  – Use subsidy to continue to support under-resourced residents in gaining entry to department facilities and participating in department programs. 
  • Worker Fees - Those that work in the City of Boulder should continue to pay the same fees as those that live in the City of Boulder, to support Boulder’s economic vitality goals. 
  • Non-resident Fees  - Non-residents should pay higher fees than those who live or work in the City of Boulder 

In addition, staff brought forward several areas for additional consideration, summarized below: 

  • Entry Fee Increases – After reviewing market analysis, value of service, and financial sustainability goals, the PRAB supported an option to increase base entry fees by an average of 9%. 
  • Non-Resident Fee Premium & Daily Entry Fee – In addition to the increase to base entry fees, the PRAB supported an option to standardize a 22% premium for entry fees for those that do not live or work in the City of Boulder. The PRAB also supported the addition of a Non-Resident daily entry fee. 
  • Seasonal Facility Entry Fees  – The PRAB supported an option to align seasonal facility entry fees for Scott Carpenter Pool, Spruce Pool, and Boulder Reservoir with the fees charged for the Recreation Centers. The PRAB also supported allowing for these seasonal facilities to continue to be included in Annual, Monthly, and Punch Card entry options. 
  • Multi-Visit Pass Options  – The PRAB supported an option to reduce the number of Punch Card pass options, while adding a more flexible monthly access option. 

For even more detailed information about the 2020 Recreation Facility Access Strategy, check out the May 2019 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board memo pdf.

Pass Options