|Julia Thompson, Director of Parks and Recreation
Cape Girardeau City Council
An ordinance authorizing an increase of fees to the Cape Splash Aquatic Center.
The City of Cape Girardeau has maintained the same admission and pass rates to the Cape Splash Aquatic Center since its opening in 2010. Staff recommends that with the approved improvements and ongoing operations, maintenance and upkeep requirements that fees be increased for the 2015 season.
This past year the City Council approved an expansion to the facility with the addition of a combination five lane drop speed slide and mat racer for an estimated cost of $730,000. Many other improvements to Cape Splash have been made over the past five years with no increase in prices. While Cape Splash continues to be a popular, seasonal attraction; the ongoing maintenance costs along with the added new amenities warrant an increase in pricing to assist in offsetting expenses.
Staff recommends the new pricing structure which equates to approximately a $1 per person increase in admission and group pricing packages. Staff performed an evaluation of fees from similar types of facilities around the region (Attached) and feel that the proposed increase is appropriate. It places Cape Splash approximately in the middle tier of costing for like facilities. It is estimated that the increase in fees will generate an additional $60,000 - $90,000+ in revenue annually; weather permitting, especially with the new slide element in place for the 2015 season.
SUSTAINABILITY: ECONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS
The Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center was designed to accommodate a variety of users and programs including individuals, families, organized groups and their corresponding special events. The speed slide addition will provide a new thrill attraction for an age group; primarily the older youth, that had been missing from the park amenities, but with only a nominal price increase. Staff feels in comparison that the quality service, safety and programmatic aspects of the facility make this a continued affordable attraction for all users. The original cost of Cape Splash was 6.1 million and was part of the Parks and Stormwater Tax projects. To date annual facility operational costs have averaged $397,600 and annual revenues have averaged $558,700 resulting in annual average positive revenue of $161,100. Typical water park attractions begin to experience increased maintenance and repair expenses after five years. Cape Splash has been no exception as last year pool re-painting cost almost $28,000 for the lap and zero depth portions with the Lazy River re-painting scheduled this year for approximately the same amount as an example.
Staff recommends that the Council, by motion, authorize the revision to our fees ordinance.