OPINION — I have read many opinions on the cons of the proposed $25 million bond for a recreation center in Hurricane. I want to weigh in on the positive aspects of this bond and the benefits of a recreation center.
I am an older adult but very active because the health aspects of staying physically active are obvious but necessary to enjoy life to the fullest and remain mobile. I am one of many individuals living in the Hurricane community that drive to the Washington Rec Center several times a week to participate in classes such as yoga and swimming laps. I know this because I talk to many people that live here.
I wonder how many people would like to drive to Washington to join in but cannot drive there and are not as mobile?
I also want to mention here that what I observe on a regular basis is the sense of community and a place for everyone to feel welcomed at the Washington rec center. There are activities for all ages, and the youths have a wonderful time in such options offered to them. I see families swimming together and playing court games. It is a wonderful gathering place for conversation and making friends.
With that being said, I think that Hurricane could offer the same amenities to the residents living here and bring the business to our community rather than another town several miles away. The amount that many of us spend in gas driving to Washington to use the rec center is far more than what we would be spending in costs of the bond per year per household.
I see a place for elderly people to walk a track and use the pool for walking and water exercises, thus gaining the benefits of greater health and social perks, as well as youth having a place to play, socialize around recreation and people such as myself, a place to swim laps in a large enough pool to accommodate lap swimming as well as a leisure pool that families can all participate in.
I also want to add the ridiculous notion that some people think that this rec center will take business away from local gyms and businesses. Really? If these businesses are worried, then I would say that they are not offering enough of what people want. I belong to a new gym in Hurricane which I will continue to go to because I enjoy the machines and exercise equipment that are state of the art and not every gym can afford. The prices are incredibly affordable; however, they lack the swimming and ball court amenities as well as community participation for all ages. There is a need for both, and both can thrive and coexist because of what each offers.
What also fascinates me about the Washington rec center is the fact that many people on vacation use the facility as a vacation destination for the swimming pool. Point being, these are paying customers that increase business thus decreasing expenses. A rec center in Hurricane would surely be even more popular and lucrative with tourists passing through and using this facility as an added bonus to their visit to Zion and other destinations.
Southwest Utah is a destination for recreation and greater health benefits through the participation of what is offered to both residents and visitors. I think those that oppose this bond are asleep at the wheel and stuck in the past. They are people that are likely not physically invested in their health or perhaps not looking outside of the box, at options that are offered to those that would greatly like to be involved in improving their health and the benefit of fewer trips to the doctor’s office and reducing the cost of health costs, but do not have an avenue to accommodate such activities. The average cost per month is what many people spend on designer drinks or junk food.
I will close by saying that a recreation center in Hurricane is a progressive idea that will greatly add to the benefit of a community that continues to grow and thrive and is health-conscious and family-oriented. It would be a great option to present our youth an outlet for activities instead of idle time with nothing to do.
Submitted by SUSAN W. WHITE, Hurricane.
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