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Much Anticipated Rate Schedule for City's Indoor Rec Complex, "The Bridge," Gets Review by Council

January 25, 2021
For those wondering what the proposed rates are for the “The Bridge” Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex scheduled to open up this year, they were revealed at this evening’s Bridgeport City Council meeting. And they can be found at the end of this story.
 
Family rates, group rates, senior rates, youth rates, corporate rates were all part of the package introduced to City Council this evening. While revisions can be made, the fee structure will likely be voted on for a final time at the final meeting in February, which is Feb. 22.
 
Council unanimously approved the first reading of the rate ordinance this evening. It was approved almost exclusively as presented.
 
Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth said plenty of thought and discussion was put into the cost of using the complex. The fee structure, which has publicly been part of the city governing body’s discussion since the facility’s inception, is based off others.
 
“It is similar to clubs such as a YMCA from pricing points,” said Shuttleworth. “I think our goal from the beginning is to provide unique facilities here that have economic benefits to the community, but most importantly from a recreational standpoint for our families, our kids, our seniors and others. The pricing structure is based with that in mind.”
 
The pricing structure also includes membership levels. That was broke down to Council during the virtual meeting.
 
Droo Callahan, The Bridge General Manager, explained the membership levels with Gold and Platinum being the two primary levels. The Gold membership, he said, will have access to the facility other than aqua fitness classes, Zumba, and yoga-related classes – things that you have to sign up for. The Platinum membership allows individuals to take part in the classes that will be offered at no additional cost.
 
“There are early bird rates,” said Callahan. “They go from the time memberships begin being sold to the grand opening.”
 
Shuttleworth pointed out that similar to other fee structures, there are discounts involved with memberships. You also do not have to be a member to use the facility, but there will be user fees involved for those who opt to take that route.
 
The near $50 million facility could be open by June. It is funded by a 1 percent sales tax in the city that was put in place thanks to Bridgeport’s Home Rule designation. Multiple cities across West Virginia have opted for an additional 1 percent sales tax to pay for various items.
 
“While the facility is funded through the sales tax, the sales tax alone is not enough to operate and staff the facility,” said Shuttleworth. “There has to be some user fees involved for any of the activities and events that happen to allow for operations to continue.”
 
Operations, or access to The Bridge, would also be allowed for individuals visiting locals who are members. Also, those staying in local hotels who want to access the complex can do so for a fee. The fee, which has not yet been finalized, would be up to $10 per visit, which was an amendment. The same would hold true for individuals for anyone, including those from outside the city, who would want to utilize the complex.
 
Click HERE for the membership rates, which are the rates as presented to Council. Click HERE for the membership levels. 
 
The actual date when memberships can be purchased will be determined and announced at a later time. Issues such as COVID, potential construction delays along with Council's decision will determine that date. Once determined, that information will be published on Connect-Bridgeport. 
 
More from tonight’s City Council meeting in the days ahead on Connect-Bridgeport.
 
Editor's Note: Photo by Joey Signorelli of Ben Queen Photography showing the artist's rendering of the new facility, while The Bridge GM Droo Callahan, front, is shown addressing Council while Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth looks on.