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ARC fitness equipment is no sweat

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The addition of fitness equipment at the Aspen Recreation Center could help the facility bring in another 100 users per day and $100,000 a year in daily fees and pass sales, helping the facility meet its budget projections.

The lack of the equipment has been the No. 1 complaint among area residents who have opted not to buy a pass to the ARC, according to Recreation Director Tim Anderson. He believes the added fitness equipment will result in the additional revenues.

“We have people now asking, ‘We read in the paper you’re going to have fitness equipment. When are you going to do it?'” Anderson said.



He hopes to have the new equipment installed shortly after Jan. 1.

The City Council voted Monday to buy $68,539 worth of gym equipment, contracting with Fitness Systems Inc. of Colorado Springs to install it. The funds will come from the ACR’s capital reserves.




ARC members are allowed to use the weight room at Aspen High School, just across the street, but the hours it’s available don’t work for everyone, according to Anderson.

No free weights (dumbbells and barbells) will be provided, but weight machines that allow users to work various muscle groups will be installed in a downstairs room. In addition, an upstairs meeting room will accommodate the 14 pieces of cardio machinery that the city intends to purchase. Treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes and spinning bikes, climbers and “stepmills” are included in the contract.

The city had originally contemplated contracting with a local gym to put fitness equipment at the ARC, but decided a partnership with one gym operator would be unfair to other competitors, according to Anderson.

Anderson said he contacted seven fitness clubs in Aspen and the valley and was told by five of them that the ARC wouldn’t compete for the same customers they draw. Only the Aspen Athletic Club expressed concern about competition and a potential loss of customers, he said in a memo to the council. The Aspen Club was primarily concerned with the now-scrapped plan to contract with a local competitor to run the fitness rooms at the ARC, he indicated.

The ARC opened last spring with two swimming pools, an ice rink, climbing wall and new Aspen Youth Center. The facility is located across Maroon Creek Road from the Aspen schools campus.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]


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