OPINION: Closure of the Fitness Gym in Timaru, while still making available the facility and some of the equipment for those who want to hire it, is a sensible outcome.
Sensible for the Timaru District Council. Sensible for ratepayers. And sensible even for the mainly older users who remain, although not all will initially agree.
In building the CBay aquatic centre the council saw the inclusion of a gym as a key to making it work financially. Gyms in other centres make money, which is used to offset the running costs of the pool.
To run two gyms defeats the purpose, especially as the council has copped plenty of flak for being in competition with private business anyway.
Those who thought the council would keep both going long-term might ask themselves if a private business would do that.
Where they have an argument though is that they were given false hope their SBS-based centre would remain, even if the council was clear things would be reviewed on January 31.
That said, there's a touch of council guilt in what is effectively a compromise to remaining users.
Those users will be able to hire the facility for $60 an hour which includes an instructor, or if they've got someone qualified themselves, just $25 an hour. That's cheap, especially if 20 people turn up.
It's attractive enough to be popular. Long-term. Especially in that part of town.
This could create another issue for the council in maintenance. And heating in winter.
Which actually won't be the end of the world, given it's providing exercise for our growing elderly population, and the council would favour that.
So, everyone just might be happy with the outcome here.
We'll check with the council and users down the track.
In, say, 20 years.
Unless there's another review period.
Another thing: Criticism of the 100% Pure New Zealand marketing campaign is nit-picking. Sure, it might not be 100% accurate, but what marketing campaign is?
Beautiful pictures of the Taj Mahal don't show lurking child beggars, and nor do Aussie beach scenes with pretty girls bother to show sharks and jellyfish.
Yes we could improve our environment, and we should, but it's still not so bad that we're lying outright.
Besides, when we say 100% Pure, we don't say pure what.
- The Timaru Herald