A number of members have been asking us why the Aquatic Centre opening hours have been reduced, so we’ve decided to explain in more detail the circumstances behind the change.
Since the new facility opened five years ago, the Aquatic Centre has always run at a loss. Our roof is filled to capacity with solar panels generating electricity and solar tubing for hot water, but nonetheless we pay triple-figure gas bills to heat the facility over winter. That’s not including electricity, pool chemicals or equipment repairs. And we don’t receive any Council money to provide the community with year-round swimming facilities, we choose to offset the Aquatic Centre’s costs using revenue from our gym memberships.
In recent years our gas and electricity bills have risen steeply. On the back of those increases, this past spring the gas company told us they’ve been incorrectly charging us a lower pressure value since we opened. They handed us an additional bill for $60,000. Soon afterwards, our electricity retailer informed us that we were on the wrong business plan. Our new electricity rate is equivalent to a price rise of 30%.
For us to keep the Aquatic Centre open under these new conditions, we have to bring in more revenue as well as find a way to offset some of the huge rise in our energy costs.
But we also don’t want to raise prices for you, our loyal members.
Transforming the club to allow 24/7 gym access was very expensive. But it has also brought back many former members who want to be able to workout whenever it suits them.
Trimming the Aquatic Centre opening and closing times by one hour on weekdays and closing the pool three hours earlier on weekends has reduced our wages bill. Covering the pools for an extra 16 hours a week will help offset some of our energy price rises. We will also be reducing the temperature of the Program Pool from 32 degrees to 31 degrees.
These measures will only go so far towards offsetting our massive energy costs, but they will allow us to continue providing year-round swimming as part of our extensive health and fitness services. It has been a challenging time that has required us to adapt quickly to changed circumstances, and we do appreciate the understanding and support shown by so many of our members. Without you, we wouldn’t have a business.
We are asking members who are using the facility outside Front Desk Hours to please switch off treadmills and fans after you use them. This will help us manage our electricity bill.
To re-cap, these are the Aquatic Centre opening hours:
Monday – Friday 5:30am – 7:30pm
Saturday 7:00am – 1:30pm
Sunday 9:00am – 1:30pm