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Lifting of COVID restrictions boosts Didsbury participation 'significantly'

Swim lessons are seeing substantially increased bookings at the Didsbury Aquatic Centre
MVT Ethan Gorner Town of Didsbury CAO
Ethan Gorner, the town's chief administrative officer, says return to normal operations has increased demand for facilities. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Recreation facilities, as well as parks and other amenities in town, have seen a steep increase in use since most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in February, according to the Town of Didsbury's chief administrative officer.

In his monthly report presented to council on Apri 26, Ethan Gorner said staff have noted increased activity town-wide.

“The return to normal operations on Feb. 16 resulted in increased demand for use of our facilities at the Didsbury Memorial Complex, most especially the Didsbury Aquatic Centre,” Gorner said.

“We are seeing significant increases in numbers at many of our public programs, such as public swims, family swims and fitness programs, and our swim lessons are seeing substantially increased bookings. Our private lessons are booked solid until June.”

During the first quarter of 2022, the Didsbury Aquatic Centre achieved 31 per cent of annual projections, hosting more than 7,600 visitors in the three-month period.

During the same period, the Didsbury Arena achieved 33 per cent of annual projects and hosted more than 15,200 visitors.

Other programming has also seen increased traffic since the restrictions were eased, he said. 

“Both Didsbury FCSS and the Mountain View Family Resource Network have seen substantial increases to program attendance since the COVID restrictions were lifted,” he said. “Families and individuals are seeking supports within our community, and our region, and we have witnessed a large increase in demand for in-person programming and meetings.

“Staff continue to work with residents to connect them with other agencies, our own programs and additional resources to help serve their needs.”

Asset management progressing

Meanwhile, the Didsbury parks, pathways and playgrounds asset management project is going well this spring, he said.

“This project will inventory, assess and estimate value on all parks components, pathways, playground equipment, fencing and trees located within our community, and will be another accomplishment in our asset management priority for the Town of Didsbury.”

The new Project 52 by the communications department is highlighting a Didsbury resident/family and a Didsbury business/organization/place each week in 2022.

“The project launched the first week of January and has been extremely well received by our community,” he said. “Residents look forward to seeing who will be included each week and the feedback has been positive all around.”

Council accepted Gorner’s report as information.

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