"When you say West Deptford, people think of the RiverWinds," said Jeff Hansen, chairman of the advisory board of the facility, "and that’s a good thing because it’s beautiful down there."
The RiverWinds just celebrated its 10th anniversary in April 2012, and the celebrated municipal recreational complex remains a "one-of-a-kind" entity in South Jersey, Hansen said.
But the RiverWinds is still not turning a profit or even running at a sustainable rate, Hansen said. So the advisory board is working with RiverWinds management on a number of proposals to help generate additional revenues and cut costs.
Among the most successful has been opening up membership at the facility to non-West Deptford residents, an initiative Hansen said brought in about $120,000 and 395 new members in a 10-month period of time.
"We took on this initiative and we’ve seen our membership increase from 9,274 to 9,669 in that 10-month period," Hansen said. Although those numbers are a positive sign, he said, the facility must continue to drive enrollment to reach its stated goal of 11,500 members.
"In the meantime, we’re increasing our revenue, which is very important," he said. "We need to watch our expenditures and cover our operating costs."
Another recommendation the advisory board is expected to make to the Township Committee at its March 21 meeting is to increase the age of its senior-discounted membership rates from 55 to 62, a difference of about $150 a year for West Deptford residents.
"That’s to stay in line with our competitors that do have senior-age groups," Hansen said.
"It came up as a resolution at the last meeting and they tabled it because they had some questions. We’re going to be presenting that on Thursday night."
The Board is also "just in the beginning stages of talking about a price increase," Hansen said. Although he shied away from discussing any numbers, he did point out that the club has not increased its dues in five years.
"It’s still the best deal in town, still one of the best deals in South Jersey in terms of joining a club," he said.
Some other possibilities include the installation of amenities like a juice and snack bar, and the advent of summer and fall league sports tournaments that could help raise the profile of the facility.
"We had a mission statement when we were commissioned by the mayor...to be a self-supporting entity of the township and not be a burden to the township," Hansen said.
"We’re trying to make that happen [but] it’s not going to happen with just one initiative."
2012 Resident Pass Rates
Paid in Full
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)
Individual (18 and Older)
Senior (55 and Older)
Senior Couple (Same Address)
Youth (Under 18)