Press (5 news)

Jones Center Introduces Membership Fee

By: Christine Whitten | Posted on: 6:48 pm, September 4, 2012 | 5 News

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The Jones Center in Springdale is offering annual memberships for the first time in its 17-year existence.

Most activities at the Jones Center were free until daily fees were implemented in 2008 for the ice rink and pool.

Now, there is an annual fee for gym use: $25 for adults, $15 for kids, or $60 for families.

Annual access to the pool and gym run $200 for adults, $125 for kids and $300 for families.

Clifford hopes the money will fund at least one-third of the Center’s annual $3 million operating costs.

“The pools and the gym, we want people to have memberships for,” said Ed Clifford, Jones Trust President and CEO. “For the hockey rink, we still don’t have to, and we still have day fees for the pool as well. So, it isn’t totally required, but it will sure be a better deal for a family for the year.”

Daily user fees for the pool are still $3 and the ice rink is $7, which includes skate rental. 

Many people who use the Jones Center said they will purchase the annual membership.

Neil Hanson has been going to the Jones Center for six years.

“It’s worth it. It’s an air conditioned place, and people here can come anytime they want,” Hanson said. “I don’t find any downside to it. You pay everywhere else; you’ve got to pay here, too.”

Dylan Edens, a NorthWest Arkansas Community College student, takes classes at the Jones Center a couple of times a week. He said he is looking forward to using the basketball court.

“I think the price is really reasonable considering it’s only $25 a year and most places are $20 to $50 a month,” Edens said. “The facility is really nice here, so it’s well worth it and it’s affordable on any budget.”

Some say the new membership fee comes with an upside.

“I’m glad they’re going to do it if it means they’ll keep the place open and keep it up to par,” Hanson said.

The membership fees go into place October 1.

The Jones Center also extended its hours and will now be open seven days a week.

The Center is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.