Snowmass: Building a community through recreation | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass: Building a community through recreation

Jon MaletzAspen Times Weekly
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

Tucked unassumingly off of Brush Creek Road, the Snowmass Recreation Center blends seamlessly with its surroundings.So much so, in fact, that many people tell Parks and Recreation Director Andy Worline they never knew the facility was there.One of Snowmass Villages best-kept secrets will have no trouble standing out now. With a new addition slated to open this summer, one that will more than double the centers size, and countless other outdoor projects in the works, the Snowmass Recreation Center is distinguishing itself as a unique family-oriented facility where possibilities abound.I dont have to tell anyone how cool this place is, Worline said. It speaks for itself.When the center opened in September 2006, it was primarily geared toward adults. Children who wouldnt brave the elements and use the outdoor pool found limited recreation options for much of the year.That will no longer be a problem. The facility is currently expanding to include a 7,500-square-foot gymnasium with a hardwood basketball/volleyball court the centerpiece of the $3.5 million project and 25-foot climbing wall and bouldering cave. The unique cave feature will allow climbers to roam untethered through a variety of different finger holds. A 1,200-square-foot fitness area, which can be divided into two rooms to hold various exercise classes, is also included in the plans. And daily admission includes access to all of these features (see box).Construction is not confined to the indoors, however. Four tennis courts, basketball courts, walking trails, playground areas and a 10,000-square-foot skate park are currently in the works.Plus, the new facilities will allow the center to expand its childrens programs, many of which have been carefully planned to coincide with adult classes to make scheduling easier for families. Word is already beginning to spread; recreation programs specialist Chris Woods expected five to 10 kids to sign up for this months Start Smart soccer camps, but received 34 commitments.

The new construction which should be completed by Aug. 22, when the center hosts its annual community picnic and programs seem to be the perfect complement to the 1,200-square-foot workout facility and what Worline calls the centers undisputed crown jewel: the states only saltwater aquatics center.During the height of summer, as many as 100 people from all over the valley use the pool, according to aquatics specialist Katie Workman. Children of all ages come to take advantage of the hot tub, wading and lap pools and to enjoy the leisure pools water spouts, tumble buckets and 120-foot slide. Others sunbathe while sipping a beverage from the concession stand, and, because of centers association with local restaurants, eat a slice of Tasters pizza.Its the perfect setting, Workman added.Many of Woods former Basalt High School girls soccer players will work as lifeguards this summer and help out with various camps.When you have good people working for you and with you, it really adds to the community part of things, he said.That sense of community is something Worline has witnessed since the centers inception. Its something he expects to continue as the facility evolves to satisfy every member of the family.Its amazing to see how this has come together, Worline said. Its been fun to be a part of.jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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