Youth center keeps $1 admission fee |

Youth center keeps $1 admission fee

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen Youth Center will continue to charge a $1 admission fee in an attempt to fund services amid growing popularity.

Entrance fees to the youth center – which recently moved to spacious new digs at the Aspen Recreation Center – were once included in the ARC Fun Pass, a voucher for the rec center’s pool, spa, climbing wall and ice skating facilities. However, Aspen Youth Center staff realized earlier this year the money collected from Fun Pass purchases wouldn’t cover the cost of running the often crowded hangout.

The youth center established the new admission fee June 1, collecting $1 from each visitor for a full day of use. The Aspen City Council supported the decision during its meeting Monday, when youth center staff presented a memo on fee changes.

Council also agreed with the youth center’s suggestion to compensate Fun Pass holders who protest the new fee. Tim Anderson, city recreation director, said this week that he’s fielded a few complaints from Fun Pass holders who see the voucher as worthless without youth center access.

“A couple of people touched base with me who said they bought the pass strictly for the youth center,” he said. “If they really bought their pass strictly for the youth center, I’m perfectly happy with refunding the pass on a prorated rate at this point.”

Anderson estimates nearly 600 people visit the ARC per day – and most of them are kids planning on a visit to the youth center. That’s nearly triple the business the center saw at its old location at Rio Grande Place.

The numbers have swelled considerably, now that school’s out for the summer, Anderson said. Unfortunately, the center wasn’t seeing enough revenue to counter the increased use of its facilities.

“Only a minimal amount [of Fun Pass money] actually went to center. That was part of what led to the problem, the youth center wasn’t covering their costs,” he said.

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