Letter: Recreation center builds a stronger Rifle
Rifle rec center provides opportunities for everyone
I am writing to show support for the Rifle Recreation and Community Center, in response to Jake Mall’s recent letter.
Mr. and Mrs. Mall, I agree that our area abounds with amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. I do not claim otherwise, and it appears a statement was taken out of context.
What Jake and Becky’s letter fails to mention is that Rifle does not have a year-round, indoor recreation facility — a place where we can swim, hang out with friends or pick up a basketball on a cold, February day. A place where Rifle residents can go whether they are 1 or 110 years old, to get out of the house and into our community. (Somehow I doubt that all Rifle citizens, especially youngsters and seniors, feel they have all the recreation opportunities they need. Not everyone is able to participate in activities like dirt-biking or hunting.)
The city has demonstrated excellent financial management through implementation of the penny tax: updates to Deerfield Park, construction of Centennial Park, amenities like a new TV, shuffleboard, and generator at the senior center, a senior bus, and more.
Now let’s focus on indoor recreation opportunities, like an Olympic-size lap pool, basketball/volleyball courts that will draw hundreds, even thousands, for tournaments. Also a leisure pool, a dance facility for private entities like ArtillumA Dance Company, a gymnasium, providing gymnastics for our already existing private company, Synergy, a climbing wall, racquetball courts, an indoor walking track, community rooms and more … for our entire community.
Mr. and Mrs. Mall argue that we already have a pool, but their letter did not mention the current facility operates for just two and a half months per year at a whopping $184,000 yearly deficit. It is not large enough for a swim meet and is always too full to accommodate the number of people wanting to swim in the summer.
It’s time that Rifle Residents stopped driving to far-flung places like Glenwood, Parachute, Fruita, Craig, Meeker and Gypsum to enjoy indoor recreation facilities.
Let’s keep our families, our money, and our community pride right here in Rifle.
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