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Cedar City Recreation Center Information Page

Quality of Life and Recreation Benefits to Economic Development

The importance of quality of life considerations and recreational amenities for Economic Development.

Quality of life and recreational amenities serve a vital role in the development of our local economy. Below are some of the benefits quality of life and recreation provide to economic development.

  • Local parks and recreation facilities shape perceptions of a community and its overall quality of life that help build a sense of place.
  • Investments in improving a community’s quality of life can create a virtuous cycle; high quality- of-life locations attract workers, which attract employers, which in turn attract even more investment and jobs.
  • Quality-of-life considerations (including those made possible by high-quality parks and recreation) play a supporting role in site-location decisions. For some companies, high-quality park amenities can be pivotal in their final location decisions.
  • Quality-of-life factors are most important to firms that prioritize talent attraction and retention.
    • Firms looking to locate office operations (e.g., headquarters, regional shared-service centers or professional and business services) and which recruit employees regionally, nationally or even internationally, are more likely to prioritize quality-of-life factors in site-location decisions.
    • Small- and medium-sized, entrepreneurial, or family owned companies often want to locate in places that reflect their corporate culture or values.
      • This includes companies that emphasize outdoor recreation—either because they specifically produce/sell products for that market or their brand is well aligned with an active outdoor lifestyle.
    • The relatively new phenomenon of remote workers being able to live and work wherever they choose, is enhanced by a community quality of life assets.
  • Park and recreation agencies contribute to the economic development process through:
    • Business attraction: Park and recreation agencies strengthen product development (e.g., building trail infrastructure) and enhance community “curb appeal.”
    • Business retention and expansion: Active engagement with companies and workers can influence business expansion decisions and attract new residents to a community.
    • Talent attraction: Many business owners are first introduced to places as visitors or tourists; positive recreational experiences can influence both business and talent recruitment.

~From a report prepared for National Recreation and Park Association, May 2018, by The George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis

Commonly Asked Questions

The proposed addition has been designed to include the following: an indoor child care facility with a fenced in outdoor play area; remodeling of the front counter area to accommodate soft play equipment for very young guests; three full court basketball courts that can be separated and used for multiple activities; an upstairs indoor walking track; cardio equipment, weight machines, and storage areas.

The recreation center will be located along the northeast side of the aquatic center. When the aquatic center was originally constructed this area was leveled and prepped for the recreation center. Underground footings and foundations along the existing exterior walls of the aquatic center in this area were constructed so that they could support the additional recreation center structure. Also, an elevator, stairs, and locker rooms were built to support both the pool and the recreation center. Sewer and water were stubbed out to locations conducive to adding the recreation center and the child care area.

The current architect estimated cost for the recreation center is $6,200,000. This is only an estimate. Cedar City will put the project out for a competitive bid process. Once Cedar City and a licensed, bonded, and insured general contractor enter an agreement we will have a firm cost.

Cedar City has secured a bond (loan) from the State of Utah Community Impact Board. The bond is for $6,200,000, the interest rate is 2% and the bond has a 30-year term. The yearly payment on the bond is approximately $277,000 per year. Cedar City may also consider paying a portion of the construction costs from existing capital improvement funds. Financing for the bond will not close until after bids are received and a general contractor has been selected.

The recreation center will be connected to the aquatic center. This will maximize the use of the existing staff and equipment. City staff estimates the addition of the recreation center will cost $150,852 per year to operate and maintain.

No. Cedar City has no plans to raise taxes to pay for the recreation center, capital expenses, or the ongoing operation and maintenance expenses. Cedar City recently paid off debt service related to the Theater, Police Station, Parking Garage, and City Hall. This has freed up a substantial amount of money. Additionally, Cedar City has been experiencing sustained growth that has brought in additional capital funds.

The recreation center is being constructed to accommodate multiple activities such as basketball, volleyball, pickleball, indoor soccer, dodgeball, batting cages and many more. Also, the gyms will have the ability to be separated for individual play or opened to accommodate additional social, educational, artistic, and sporting events. Please see the "Possible Programming" link at the top of the page for more details.

There are multiple reasons why Cedar City is building the recreation center. In 2016 Cedar City conducted a parks and recreation needs assessment in conjunction with its parks and recreation master plan. The construction of an indoor walking track and gymnasiums ranked the top 2 projects requested by the citizens. The proposed indoor walking track in the recreation center will be constructed so that it can accommodate runners, walkers, strollers, and wheelchairs making it accessible to all. Another reason to build the facility is currently our youth recreation programs have limited space to where a child in the program is getting approximately 1⁄2 of an hour of play time per week. The recreation center facilities may also be available to host various tournaments throughout the year. Tournament traffic is important as it brings in visitors that contribute to our local economy.

Churches do not allow Cedar City to use their facilities due to liability concerns. The Iron County School District has allowed the City to rent space in their gymnasiums, however there are increasing scheduling conflicts with the school programs that are the priority for the school gymnasiums. In addition, the School District has liability concerns as well and they require the presence of Iron County School District staff members during all Cedar City scheduled programs. This increases the workload for School District employees and creates additional scheduling conflicts for our programming.