State of the Recreation Center
Background: The Bayfield Area Recreation Center, featuring a 25 meter swimming pool, whirlpool, locker rooms, a fitness room, racquetball court 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
Activities: The Bayfield Area Recreation Center serves as a hub in the Bayfield peninsula for health and wellness, attracting over 29,000 visits per year. RFR organizes and promotes many recreational activities throughout the community
- Offering over 30 classes for all ages, held at the Rec Center and other venues.
- Providing financial aid memberships to 30 families a year
- Building a skateboard park for public use.
- Organizing the Bayfield Winter Festival and Point to LaPoint Swim to Madeline Island. These events began as fundraisers for the Rec Center, but have grown to become regional events the 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.
The future: RFR will continue to offer many year-round recreational and health-related activities, guiding the Bayfield area towards becoming a destination for activity-based events. This vision will require reaching out to the regional population and cooperation with other local organizations. However, RFR’s first priority will always be to provide our community with a quality recreation center.