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July 27, 2013

Vigo County’s pool plan costs $18 Million

Business plan shows support from user fees, taxes, events, tourism

TERRE HAUTE — A business plan for a Vigo County-owned aquatics center is being based on user fees and income taxes as well as events and tourism to construct an $18 million indoor/outdoor facility.

The county is projecting gross sales revenues of $2.7 million in the first year; $2.75 million in the second year and $2.8 million in the third year from user and event fees for the indoor facility, according to the plan provided Friday to the Tribune-Star.

A two-story, 16,007-square-foot indoor facility includes a 65-meter aquatic arena, to host 900 athletes and 2,000 spectators. It will have parking for 3,500, according to the plan. The arena can be configured into a 50-meter competition pool with a constant depth of 7 feet (10 feet is another option) with warm-up lanes and a diving area featuring four 1-meter and two 3-meter diving boards and a platform diving tower with heights of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 meters, plus drip showers for participants.

It includes an eight-lane, 25-yard instructional pool that would have depth of 3.5 to 9 feet for swim instruction and classes. The aquatic arena would also have a training-fitness center, concession and pro shop.

The county is considering a site that will have at least 20 acres, large enough to host big events.

The business plan projects $2.4 million as revenue from the outdoor facility from admission fees. The plan also calls for leased space for a retail store. That plan includes a 50-meter outdoor competition/recreational lap pool as well as a lazy river, family splash area and multiple water slides. It would be constructed to allow for growth and future additions, in or after the third year of operation. It is modeled after Splash Island and Holiday World, according to the county plan.

Revenue includes $500,000 annually from the Vigo County School Corp. for six years, for a total of $3 million. Vigo County would use contribute $300,000 annually from the county’s Economic Development Income Tax to pay for a bond issue up to a cap of $20 million.

The county is projecting a potential collegiate economic impact of $3 million from hosting NCAA events. The business plan projects Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology could host multi-day events and “would allow Indiana State University to reinstate a swimming program, as well as host Special Olympics aquatics,” the plan states.

The economic impact is based on per day average spending, length of stay, and number of non-athletes attending events, according to the plan. The county’s revenue is estimated on three events, one of which is a conference championship or national championship, while the remaining two events are invitational events.

Fees for the indoor pool would be $3 per student; $4 for adult residents; $6 for non resident; $40 for 30 days for adult resident; $50 for monthly non-resident; $50 punch card for 10 visits. If an agreement between the county and ISU can be done, that cost is $30 for a month.

The outdoor facility would be $7.25 for county adult and $9.75 for non resident adult; youth pass $6.35 for resident and $8.50 non-resident. The plan has eight other pricing levels for seniors, “cool off late afternoons,” special days and weekends, and family passes.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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