While Red Deer recreation facilities are getting busier, there still isn’t nearly as much traffic as past summers, says the city’s recreation superintendent.
“We’ve gradually been reopening since early July, and we’ve seen an increase in traffic. When we look back to last year, we’re nowhere close to our regular demand,” Barb McKee said Thursday afternoon.
“But we are seeing some activities and people are really excited to get back. The ones that are currently most popular are our activity reservations for lane swimming, our activity reservations for aquatic fitness classes, as well as some of the indoor fitness spaces we have available.”
It’s been “tricky” figuring out how to operate these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything we’re doing right now is pre-registered and pre-booked – that’s not our norm. Usually, you get to stop in and play in the pool … and now it’s a bit of a different day,” she said.
Adapting to evolving provincial regulations has also been a challenge, McKee added.
“We continue to try to be nimble. We started in a place where we wanted to make sure we were lined up with the guidelines and … where we knew we could relax a little bit as we move forward,” she said.
“We’re hoping to be able to modify our services as we move forward, but certainly the province’s changes with what is needed can be a bit hard to keep up with.”
A survey was sent out in July to determine how safe people felt at the city’s facilities. McKee said more than 200 people responded and around 98 per cent said they felt safe at the amenities.
The city is currently planning for fall recreation and culture programs.
“Our recreation and culture staff have been hard at work preparing for the return of fall programming in a way that keeps both staff and customers safe,” said McKee.
“We are happy to welcome Red Deerians back to our facilities for programming this fall and look forward to bringing our community together for fitness, fun and creative expression.”
Fall program offerings will be available for viewing next Thursday. An online tutorial is available on the city’s website to get residents started.
Registration for fall programming begins at 8 a.m. on Aug. 26. Red Deerians are encouraged to register online using Look ’n Book.
For more information about registration requirements, visit www.reddeer.ca/looknbook or call 403-309-8411 during business hours.