The Recreation Centers of Sun City Board of Directors rejected a proposal to collect club usage data, but one member vowed to keep up the fight for it.
The information collected would help show how much each facility and individual club space was used, according to Dale Lehrer, RCSC board vice president. She believes the information is vital in deciding allocation of space for chartered clubs and new activities created as the board and management try to keep up with the desires of a changing population.
“We need to make decisions based on facts,” Ms. Lehrer said. “We did it before and with today’s technology we should be able to do it electronically.”
During the June 25 RCSC board meeting she did propose a motion that management collect club usage data on a monthly basis and make those figures available to the Long Range Planning Committee (LRP). The vote ended in a 4-4 split, with board member Darla Akins absent and not included in the vote, so the motion failed.
“I’m going to keep on this,” she said. “It’s not a dead issue.”
While Ms. Lehrer said the issue is not dead as far as she is concerned, she will not have an opportunity to address it to the board again until the fall, as RCSC meetings are in recess for the summer. The next meeting is scheduled 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14 in the auditorium at Sundial Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave.
RCSC officials use to gather club use data but that changed last year when the board put the responsibility for deciding club space allocation on the management team. Previously, clubs had to have members and visitors check in at their spaces and those numbers were passed on to the Clubs and Activities staff for tabulation.
However, board member Rich Hoffer believes collecting usage data will not help define where RCSC officials should go in terms of activities younger property buyers are looking for when they go shopping for a retirement community.
“We’re not going to find the next new thing in the current data,” he said. “We have to research that through outside sources.”
He stressed the Long Range Planning Committee, prior to is disbandment and rebirth, did find and helped implement the last “new thing” — pickleball.
“The goal in 2017 for the LRP was to look down the road at the generation Xers and millennials to find the next best amenity,” Mr. Hoffer said. “I have not seen that from this committee.”
During the board’s June 25 meeting, LRP member Gary Osier presented a PowerPoint with some statistics of club use garnered through RCSC reports ranging from 1990 to 2018. His statistics showed overall downward trends in bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, tennis, golf and horseshoes. Activities that saw an upward trend were darts, handball and racquetball, mini golf, table tennis, pickleball, walking tracks, water volleyball, walking pools and fitness centers.
He admitted some figures are suspect because monitoring is inconsistent. He also said while overall golf play is down, the regulation courses are down bu the executive courses saw an increase in play.
“There is still some work to be done to get more information,” Ms. Lherer said.
She added that to help make the report more complete, a study of facility capacity would need to be included.
Jan Ek, RCSC general manager, said collecting club usage data would only impact those clubs that had designated spaces. RCSC policy would also provide for incomplete stats, she added.
“It is our policy that if someone goes there to participate in club activity time, they don’t have to check in,” she said.
Resident Tom Marone said he was confused about why there was opposition to collecting club usage data. Dan Schroeder, RCSC board president, explained that to collect all club usage data, RCSC officials would need to hire more staff to serve as monitors for those clubs outside the rec centers.
Ms. Lehrer continued to be mystified at the resistance to her proposal.
“We have a responsibility as an organization to gather data we need to make decisions based on facts,” she said.
Board member Barbara Brehm said her concern, and support for gathering the data, comes from a safety and security standpoint.
“If something happens to be in a club space and someone hasn’t signed in, we won’t know exactly what happened,” she said.
Board member Sue Wilson said the usage data is also important for when that “next big thing” is determined.
“It will be hard to know what that ‘next big thing’ is if we don’t know where to put it,” she said. “What people want are things we don’t have.”