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.