MORE than 35,000 poured through the turnstiles of the Orange Aquatic Centre over autumn and winter while the outdoor pools were closed, vindicating Orange City Council’s decision to invest millions of dollars in the indoor facility, according to councillor Jason Hamling.
Council released attendance figures yesterday ahead of the opening of the 27 degree outdoor pools on Saturday.
The Sports and Recreation Committee chair was thrilled with the uptake of swim school lessons with 1000 students enrolling since the start of the year and more than half learning during the colder months when the pool was previously closed.
“It’s the first full winter we’ve had,” Cr Hamling said.
“Council backed this facility so people could swim all year round ... now there’s 1000 kids ready to swim. “It’s the most important thing you can do for a child.”
The sales of ten-visit passes, six and 12 month season tickets between April and September were more than $12,000 above what the council expected, despite the outdoor pools being closed - with more than $48,000 worth purchased while council only projected sales of $36,000.
Concession ticket sales were also up on what was predicted with most being elderly residents using the 25 metre indoor pool, followed by university students.
Cr Hamling said having the indoor pools open all year round gave families another option for entertainment even on the coldest winter day.
Fourth term swimming lessons until the end of December are already booked out with 460 enrolments and bookings for the January intensive lessons will be taken from late November.
Council will host a free community day at the aquatic centre on December 1 and in the meantime has started work on an outdoor seating area for the cafe.