Glenwood Springs: Fun for the whole family |

Glenwood Springs: Fun for the whole family

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Weekly
Post Independent file photo/Kelley Cox

The folks at the Glenwood Springs Community Center believe they have found a winning formula that encourages moms and dads to get healthy and spend time with their kids: child care is included in the price of admission.

A membership allows parents to place their kids in child care while they go to a fitness class, hit the weight room or swim some laps. They then reunite with their children to play in the facility’s aquatic center together, according to Barb Park, marketing coordinator and director of preschool programs at the center.

“It’s the perfect mix,” she said.

It’s certainly been the perfect mix for Lory Afonso, a Glenwood Springs resident and fitness fanatic. She visits the community center nearly every day, often with 4-year-old daughter Maria in tow.

“The kid care is No. 1,” said Afonso. “I take advantage of it.”

Afonso usually participates in a class such as spinning, core strengthening or weight training. She said it is a tremendous relief to be able to put Maria in child care when she cannot make other arrangements; the care is vital to Afonso visiting the gym more often.

Park said there are about 900 visits per month to the child care facility. It is offered first-come, first-served to parents onsite.

Afonso, her husband and their two children have a family membership, which is $625 per year for Glenwood Springs residents. They have had the membership for about four years, and Afonso said she definitely gets her money’s worth.

In the summer in particular, Afonso’s kids use the indoor aquatic center, which features a multipurpose pool as well as a shallower pool with amenities that splash and spray water. The aquatic center is probably the biggest draw at the facility, according to Park.

The community center’s grand opening was in November 2001, after voters approved a sales tax hike for the $10 million facility. The pool and cardio balcony were added in 2005, following a citizen-initiated fundraising effort. The facility covered about 70 percent of its operating expenses in 2006, according to a story in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent

. The remaining costs were covered by the city’s general fund budget.

According to Park, the bulk of visitors are Glenwood Springs’ residents or people from nearby towns such as New Castle and even Carbondale; nonresidents pay a slightly more. And while tourists do drop in, they don’t account for a large share of business, Park said.