One year later, Provo Recreation Center exceeding expectations


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The brand-new, state-of-the-art Provo Recreation Center opened its doors in May of 2013, hoping to unite Provo’s residents and promote recreation for all.

One year later, the center has surpassed expectations and is enjoying enormous success.

“In 2010 and 2011, a feasibility study was conducted, and we hoped to get 4,500 memberships, and 60,000 day passes over the course of the first year,” said Provo Recreation Center Operations Supervisor Bryce Merrill. “We have sold over 28,000 memberships and over a quarter of a million day passes since opening.”

A patron lifts weights at the Provo Recreation Center, which was built in May 2013. Photo courtesy Provo Recreation Center
A patron lifts weights at the Provo Recreation Center, which was built in May 2013. Photo courtesy Provo Recreation Center

The Provo Recreation Center is truly one of a kind, featuring four regulation-sized basketball courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, 10 different leisure pools and a 10,000-square-foot fitness mezzanine. It was designed with Provo residents in mind. Parents with children can come, drop their children off at the on-site daycare facility and enjoy one or all of the recreation activities offered in the 162,000-square-foot facility.

Joe Bryson, a former BYU student and Provo Recreation Center patron, said he has tried a lot of the facility’s activities and classes.

“I love going there,” Bryson said. “It’s got a ton of options for staying active.”

Provo resident Kaesi Warr also expressed her approval of the new facility and its features.

“Fitness classes are the best,” Warr said. “And the outdoor waterslides are fast and fun.”

In the past year, more than 1.3 million people have visited the center. That total ranges from members who visit daily to those who only come for certain events or classes.

“That number shows you Provo was excited to have something like this,” Merrill said. “It has been long overdo. It is a new way for us to reach all of Provo, and that’s really fun to us.”

Moving forward, those working behind the scenes are excited to have policies in place following year one, and they believe that will help the center offer even more in the future. One exciting development is the unveiling of the new mobile application. It will give visitors the opportunity to reserve a court or class before they even show up.

This app will be beneficial to the center because, according to Warr, one downside of the facility is the high quantity of patrons.

“Sometimes it can be a bit crowded,” Warr said. “That can make it hard to do what you want.”

Merrill said the center is focused on improving visitor experience.

“It’s exciting that we’ve had a successful year one so that year two is more focused on even better services and really pushing customer service and events,” Merrill said. “It’s good to get to year two.”

One thing is for sure, the center and its employees are not satisfied with the success they have had thus far. Visitors’ feedback has been welcomed and appreciated. Some small things have been altered based on feedback, and many shared opinions and thoughts have helped the center realize and plan for what needs to be done in the next 10–15 years.

“If you have not been here yet, come see it,” Merrill encouraged. “This is not a typical recreation center. Come view it and experience it. We are trying to make it easier for you to live a healthier lifestyle.”

A day-pass at the center is $4 for youth 3–17 years old, $5 for adults ages 18–59 and $4 for seniors age 60+.  An adult annual membership for Provo residents is $285 and $355 for non-Provo residents. An annual family membership, that includes six people, is $493 for Provo residents and $618 for non-Provo residents.

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