State of the Recreation Center 2016
Background: The Bayfield Area Recreation Center, featuring a 25 meter swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, locker rooms, a fitness room, racquetball court, skate park, and classroom, is open to the public 7 days a week, year round. Built in 1986 and operated by the School District of Bayfield, the Rec Center struggled financially for 20 years. In 2006, non-profit Recreation and Fitness Resources (RFR) took over operations, and has managed to continue and expand service to the community while achieving financial stability. This dramatic shift was achieved using a variety of methods:
- Increasing membership
- Cutting energy costs
- Reducing staff costs
- Creating unique fundraisers
- Obtaining grants and donations
- Reaching out to other groups and organizations in the community to increase usage of the facility
- Offering over 30 classes for all ages, held at the Rec Center and other venues.
- Providing financial aid memberships to more than 30 families a year.
- Building a skateboard park for public use.
- Organizing the Bayfield Winter Festival and Point to LaPointe Swim to Madeline Island. These events began as fundraisers for the Rec Center, but have grown to become regional events that attract hundreds of participants that have a significant economic impact for area businesses.
- Establishing the 1% for a Recreation Fund that raises money for recreation all around Bayfield. This program provides thousands of dollars for the Recreation Center and 6 other non-profit organizations every year.