The 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will be a comprehensive, multigenerational destination for residents and visitors to Estes Park. District staff kept the local Estes Valley population of approximately 11,000 people in mind when designing the building, but knew that the four and a half million visitors that pass-through Estes Park every year would benefit from its services as well. It will be especially beneficial for staying active on cold, windy or rainy days and for families looking for something to do with kids in Estes Park.
“The community center gives visitors another thing to do in Estes Park and hopefully ease up some of the congestion of going into Rocky Mountain National Park. They can hang out in the lazy river or take a class during peak hours for the park and then visit the park in the off hours,” said Sean Jurgens, Visit Estes Park Board Chair. “A big goal of Visit Estes Park is to improve the quality of life for residents, and the community center will certainly provide this.”
When the community center begins operations in late February, it will offer for free to all guests an indoor running/walking track complete with views of the Rocky Mountains, wi-fi throughout the building, dedicated senior services space, hot coffee, library kiosk and a game room.
Additional offerings available with a daily pass, punch pass or annual membership include:
- a leisure pool with a lazy river, slide, zero-depth entry pool, waterfall and water play features
- a golf simulator with 15 nationally recognized courses including Torrey Pines and Pinehurst Country Club
- a robust schedule of classes and programs, including fitness, recreation, arts, enrichment, seniors and swimming
- group fitness rooms, strength zone and cardio zone
- Cubz Den, a child-watch area with Rocky Mountain themed indoor play features and wall mural depicting Estes Park
- outdoor hot tub with view of Longs Peak
- large gymnasium with open gym hours for basketball, ping-pong, volleyball and more
- remodeled competition pool with lap and open swim hours and an AquaClimb wall
The center also offers a community room with commercial kitchen that can seat up to 190 people for meetings, weddings, dinners or events, a classroom available for teaching and learning and a party room for hosting pool parties.
In 1955, the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Recreation District was formed in Estes Park, one of the first recreation districts in Colorado.
Two years later, an election determined that a community center capable of accommodating up to 1,500 people, a pool and improvements to the nine-hole golf course would be built with $230,000 in bond proceeds. Plans were developed, but funding ran out and the facility never materialized.
Three more elections were held to approve funding for a community center but the desire was never strong enough within the community. It failed to pass each time.
And then on November 3, 2015, the project finally started to see the light of day when the citizens of Estes Park approved the funding by a slim margin to move forward with making the Estes Valley Community Center a reality. The recreation district, which changed its name to Estes Valley Recreation and Park District in 1985, was eager to get the project started; they broke ground on October 14, 2016.
Partnering entities in Estes Park also helped in other ways to get the project off the ground.
The center is built on 6.5 acres donated to EVRPD by the Estes Park School District R-3, a piece of property valued at more than $3 million. And in 2014, voters approved the Town of Estes Park a 1A ballot measure to provide funding through one-quarter of a one-penny sales tax increase. This measure, which will be in effect until 2024, is currently expected to generate $6.5 to $7.5 million over its 10-year duration.
“The Town is proud to support the community center and help fulfill the community’s desire for a multigenerational facility. We are thrilled that the doors will soon open to this exciting, new gathering space with activities for all ages,” commented Estes Park Mayor Todd Jirsa.
The grand opening will be held on Saturday, March 3 at the community center. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. with an open house to follow.
For more information about the new community center, to purchase a membership or inquire about room reservations and rates, visit evrpd.com or call 970-586-8189.