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Fees proposed for new Great Falls recreation center

The new aquatic center is on track for a June 15th opening
Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center
Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center 4.png
Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center 3.png
Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center 5.png
Posted at 4:58 PM, Mar 11, 2024

In September of 2021, the city of Great Falls, in partnership with Malmstrom Air Force Base, broke ground on the construction of a new public recreation facility at Lions Park along 10th Avenue South (link).

Construction continues, and the Scheels Aim High Big Sky Aquatic & Recreation Center is set to open in June 2024. The city has recently proposed a fee structure that will be voted on next week.

For more on what this means for the community we talked with Great Falls Park & Recreation Director Steve Herrig.

Herrig explained how they came up with the fees and that they are not set in stone: “We have done a lot of work to get the fees where they are. We’ve used comparisons with other communities our size, we’ve used a business plan that was part of a professional consultant. At the end of the day they’re numbers, we don’t know how they’re going to pan out so moving forward we’ll adjust from there.”

Among the proposed fees for Great Falls residents:

  • Monthly membership (18-60 years old): $56
  • Monthly membership (youth/senior/disabled/military): $40
  • Family membership (up to 6 people): $96
  • Day Pass: $10
  • Day Pass (youth/senior/disabled/military): $7
  • Family (up to 6 people): $30
  • 12-visit pass (adults): $105
  • 12-visit pass (youth/senior/disabled/military): $74

Some members of the community were specifically concerned if the proposed 'non-resident fee' would mean an extra cost for military members stationed here from out of state, but Herrig assures this is not the case.

“The military would have a military rate or resident fee. We would not charge the military a nonresident fee. We as the city now are going to be tasked to operate the facility, so we do have to have funds to operate it and so that’s why the fee schedule is in place," he said.

To see the full list of all proposed fees, click here.

A public hearing for the proposed fees is set for March 19th at 7 pm in the Great Falls Civic Center. For more information and for updates on the new recreation center, click here.

Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center
Big Sky Indoor Aquatics & Recreation Center