It was a year of peaks and valleys for the Dow Centennial Centre (DCC).
 
While totals had been trending upwards for several years, the DCC experienced a 19 per cent decline in its fitness centre usage rate in 2018.
 
Memberships and daily scans were also down around 17 per cent, with about 350 scans per day on average.
 
"Our membership sales and admissions are down, which we expected with new competition in town and the economy  people being a bit more cautious with their dollars," said Kelly Almer, manager of the DCC.
 
Along with those decreases, fewer corporations and groups booked the facility's banquet hall and meeting rooms to host events last year.
 
However, Almer noted the DCC has become a popular destination for dance festivals, with some of those areas being used as rehearsal spaces.
 
"That's unique here  the fact that you can get a 14,000 square foot rehearsal hall for your big dance festival is not common," he said.
 
Likewise, spontaneous use, which refers to people who drop in on a random day or evening without a membership, is up about 110 per cent over the last five years.
 
"That's the reason you have a community rec centre," Almer said. "It's for people to say, 'Hey, I don't want to do commit to anything, but I want to get out of the house and do something,' whether it's going for a public skate, shooting hoops or playing floor hockey."
 
The facility's games den, which has evolved since its inception four years ago, also had more than 4,000 youth visits in 2018. The space features various arcade games, videos games, a ping pong table and a foosball table.
 
"It's clearly a space the community needs  the kids just want somewhere to come and be with their friends," Almer added.
 
The busiest time of the day also shifted from weekdays after work to weekday mid-mornings, due to a change in the type of user at the facility.
 
"It's the demographic for sure  we're seeing the retired folks and people who have the time to come during the day that don't want to come after work when it has been traditionally busy," Almer explained.
 
Some of the user fees and admission prices have increased by two per cent for 2019.

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