What Now? – YMCA Initiative Update

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 | 0 comments

Some of you are probably wondering where the Y for Watauga County Initiative stands after months of relative silence about the endeavor. Over the last several months, many conversations and meetings have taken place to discern whether or not our community can support the membership model business plan utilized by the Y. Below, you will find a detailed account of what actions have been taken to determine the viability of a Y and the results.
Question: Can Watauga County fiscally support a membership model that is dependent upon customers or members paying a monthly fee to join the Y?
 -In February, the Board of Directors for the Y of Catawba Valley generously paid between $2,000-$3,000 for a Site Analysis to see if the area would support the Y membership model. This analysis, unfortunately, did not positively conclude the viability of a Y membership model for Watauga County.
-In April, at the request of Scott St. Clair, Bob Conklin (CEO, Catawba Valley Y), and Brian Lowe, a second site analysis was conducted expanding the penetration to communities not included in the first analysis. Yet, again, the site analysis did not positively conclude the viability of a Y membership model for Watauga County.
At this point, the Board of Directors of the Catawba Valley Y is unable to go forward in the planning for a Y in Watauga County because the threshold of 1,400 memberships has not been definitively proven to be viable. Therefore, we have two options remaining:
1) We commission a third, more substantial site analysis performed by PB&A Marketplace Intelligence. The cost for the expanded research is $16,000. This would, in the end, be the definitive statement about the viability for Watauga County to support a Y membership model.
2) We conclude a Y model is not viable based on the initial two site evaluations, thus, reducing our options for a first-rate recreation facility down to one: a county recreation center.
We want to work together to fulfill the identified desires of the residents for a new pool/recreation center, as outlined in the following documents/reports/surveys:

  • Watauga County Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Systemwide Plan 2010-2019
  • The 2006 Comprehensive Plan Update for the Town of Boone
  • The Watauga County Recreation Plan from 1999.

In order to move forward, we would appreciate you taking a few minutes to fill out a survey on how to proceed by clicking What Now? Survey


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