Attendance down at Kroc Center this summer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Enrollment started out strong when the Kroc Center opened up in January.

Meg Sauer, The Kroc Center's Marketing Manager, told ABC 57 News that 7,000 members signed up during the first month.

Sauer said special events like birthdays and weddings have been popular. But the day-to-day activities haven't been as high as the center would like to see.

"Our art classes, our music classes, our personal trainer packages haven't taken off like we expected," Sauer said.

From the very beginning, families in South Bend questioned the price structure for the state-of-the-art facility on the city's west side.

Many sounded off on our ABC 57 Facebook page saying that the $57 rate for a family of up to five each month is just too high. Also under fire is the $45 rate for an individual. Those rates do compare to other workout facilities in our area like, ICE, Pinnacle, YMCA and Anytime Fitness, but many are taking issue with the fact that this is a community center.

"I think it's kinda ridiculous. The price is too high," Andrea Paczkowski, a mother of two kids from South Bend said back in January, "In this area, in this economy, right now people are having a hard enough time trying to make it, let alone, pay for an over-priced fun zone."

It's unclear if the price structure has contributed to a 15 percent drop in attendance at the Kroc Center since it opened.

"They can join from month-to-month and that makes a difference. Sometimes, they can only afford a couple of months at a time," Sauer admitted.

The Kroc Center announced this week some restructuring. Gold Memberships will now include Kids Watch and all group exercises. Also, coming in September, new lower rates for senior singles and couples. Charter Membership rates will also stay in effect for another year.

There is also a scholarship program set up based on income. It can in qualified cases reduce the fee by 25 percent, 50 percent or even up to 75 percent.

To check out the Kroc Center for yourself, just click here.

To see how you may qualify for a scholarship to reduce the cost, click here.

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