Town says Leisure Centre stats higher than anticipated

by Colin Smith

Morinville officials are thrilled with a large number of people who have visited the Morinville Leisure Centre since it opened.

Usage statistics for the MLC were included in the Town Third Quarter Report presented to Council at its Nov. 12 regular meeting.

Chief Administrative Officer Stephane Labonne told Council that since the opening of the centre in May the number of people coming into the building has exceeded expectations.

“The usage stats help to illustrate that,” Labonne said. “Plus we’re also hearing from some of our staff and some of the pinch points they are experiencing, going from a flood in the arena, setting up for pickleball or some other user groups in the field house.

“The movement within the facility or from one facility to another has been significant and we are hearing about it from our staff,” said Labonne.

During the last three months, the MLC has seen a total of 50,929 visits: 6,425 in August; 21,290 in September; and 23,214 in October.

Friday was the busiest day in August, while Tuesday at 6 p.m. was the busiest hour. In September and October, Saturday was the busiest day, with Saturday at noon the busiest hour in September and Friday at 5 p.m. the busiest hour in October.

So far this year have been 35 court bookings, 147 for the arena and 78 for the meeting rooms.
Sixty-five annual memberships have been sold, along with 829 monthly memberships, 4,316 day passes and 43 punch passes.

“I’m quite pleasantly surprised to see those numbers come in as high as they are,” said Mayor Barry Turner.

“I know we took a very conservative staffing approach to the MLC. These are large numbers of people using that facility. I very much appreciate the efforts of staff in keeping the centre operating.”

In response to a question from Deputy Mayor Scott Richardson, Labonne said there is presently no way of telling how many people entering the MLC are from Morinville as opposed to other places.
However postal code information is collected during program registrations and facility bookings, and that information may be used in the future for planning purposes.

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    • David Lloyd The costs to run a pool are astronomical, I doubt they would turn much of a profit. Even with so many people using it. And your taxes would go up even more, with people complaining they’re already too high. I’d love to see a pool there too but I don’t know that’s it’s feasible.

    • To me the sad thing about the lack of pool is that now there is a proposal for a rec center with a pool just north of Costco. Which is going to draw more of our residents into St Albert. And after swimming we will pop into THEIR DQ or A&W or McDonalds. Oh and they will have a great big new Independent built right there too so since we are here why not grab our groceries there?
      Parents want to work out but kids want to swim- will they choose our leisure center or the St A one? Kids will be in swimming lessons – parents will spend their money at St Albert businesses while they wait.
      Sure, we wont pay the taxes for that pool – seems like a win – but it will only hurt our businesses. If we want to grow as a town/city we have to draw people to our community somehow. It isnt like we have some fantastically low taxes drawing the young families, and now we have a rec center with no pool.

      That’s just my take on it anyway. 🤷‍♀️

    • Thanks MorinvilleNews. I have screenshots of what the proposal outlines too and a picture of the proposed location but I forgot I cant post pictures here 🙂

    • On September 23rd, City Council will receive a presentation on a proposed Recreation facility in Erin Ridge North, adjacent to Neil Ross Road (running just north and east of Costco). Please see the attached map for the proposed location (in grey).

      The proposed facility will include:

      – 2 to 4 ice rinks

      – Indoor soccer field with 4-6 outdoor fields

      – A 25 metre recreation and lane pool

      – Multiple gymnasiums for basketball, racquet sports, spin, yoga, weight training

      – Space for community, seniors and children’s programming (computer/literacy/art classes)

      – High school/sports academy where students who look to pursue sports at a higher level, without having to leave St. Albert

      There are a number of local organizations that are supporting this initiative:

      – YMCA

      – St. Albert Soccer Association

      – Active Communities Alberta

      – St. Albert Public Schools.

      This project will likely expedite the completion of Neil Ross Road, which would open up access to St. Albert for residents of Sturgeon County (who currently need to use Erin Ridge/Erin Ridge North since Coal Mine Road has closed). This will also remove some of the traffic on Erin Ridge Drive and Everitt Drive North.

      The presentation (by Landrex) will take place in Council chambers at 3 pm on September 23rd. All members of the community are encouraged to attend and show your support to Council, if you wish.

    • Chelsey McDonald except, as you said, pulls business out of Morinville. And who’s to say they don’t restrict swimming lessons to St Albert residents (or at least give priority to).

    • Yup – I’m sad for our community – but that’s the bed we made 🤷‍♀️.
      I’m sure priority will be given to St A residents first – rightfully so!

  1. My annual membership at Servus Place coincided with the opening of the Morinville Leisure Centre, so it was a no-brainer to sign up here.

    While I shall miss the people and programs at Servus Place, the facility here provides an amenity for this community and surrounding communities to walk, train and socialize with like-minded people who are only minutes away from this first rate facility. The price is right for monthly and annual passes.

  2. Extremely disappointed in the planing of the gym. 😕 in morning way can it support the volume of sturgeon county as it’s way smaller than the Morinvile gym. Hope this can be upgraded soon.

  3. Propose an idea to put a permanent type of monument indoors at the Cultural Center for the purpose of Rememberance Day ceremonies. If the legion and the veterans would feel that would be a respectful thing to do and not to discount the legion and it’s purpose. November is cold and I was happy to see Morinville making efforts to keep those in the service and veterans warm this year.

  4. It’s good to see an update on visits. Hopefully with hockey season we will see more
    I would like updates from the city to include income and cost comparisons ongoing
    Also, an update on outstanding balance of the debt.
    With Federal election over, I anticipate the government will discontinue artificially funding federal reserves with debt dollars to keep interest rates down
    The proposed increase in rates and fees will be interesting to watch with ice and facility rental as well
    Alan Otway

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