Residents will soon know how much it will cost to use The Cove at the Lakefront.
Chad Hyde, director of community services, presented to the Little Elm Town Council last week proposed fees for the 42,000-square-foot aquatics center, which is nearing completion and should be open in early 2021.
The council will vote to adopt the fees at a future meeting.
Hyde said there were several considerations made in coming up with the fee schedule, including what’s needed for 100 percent cost recovery.
The proposed fees are based on various age categories – youth (ages 2-12), adult (13-49) and senior (50 and older). There would be no charge for children under the age of 2.
Among the fees would be a daily admission cost of $11 for youth and seniors, and $14 for adults.
“We didn’t look at it as ‘what can we get in fees?’” Hyde said. “We looked at it as ‘what would get us cost recovery?’”
There are also monthly and annual fees separated by family, adult and youth/senior rates. Hyde said individuals up to 22 years old would qualify under the family plan, up to six people.
Hyde said overall the rates are comparable to the other city aquatic facilities in the area.
“We feel like in our area we’re in that sweet spot,” Hyde said.
The town is also proposing combo fees for use of The Cove and the recreation center.
Hyde said there would be a $5 increase across the board for monthly fees and a $10 annual increase at the recreation center.
“We never increased the fees when we expanded the recreation center,” Hyde said, “and we feel now is a good time since we’re opening it up and looking at all the fees and how it all works together.”
Mayor David Hillock said the proposed fees were lower than he thought they would be.
“This is very competitive considering what people will have access to year-round,” Hillock said.
Hyde said the capacity of The Grove will be 2,800, with a capacity of a little over 600 in the pool area.
Hyde said with all three types of memberships included the town is projecting $1.3 million in membership revenue the first year. Other projected revenue sources from The Cove in the first year include rentals and party packages ($570,250), programming ($140,000), earned income through partnerships and sponsorships ($50,000) and food and beverage ($40,000).
In all, The Cove is expected to generate a little over $2.1 million in revenue the first year and incur just shy of $2.1 million in expenses for a gain of $50,000, or a 102-percent cost recovery. The cost recovery is projected to increase to 105 percent in year 2 and 113 percent by year five.
Hyde said throughout the year The Cove will run specials such as group discounts, seasonal passes, special event promotions and targeted group promotions.
The hours for The Cove during the summer and on school holidays will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays with full facility rental opportunities after 6 p.m. on weekends and after 8 p.m. on weekdays.
During the school year it would be open at 8 a.m. with limited features available in the early hours.
Some council members said they would like the facility to remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays, but for now the town plans to keep these hours but have occasional extended Saturday areas for promotions.
The Cove will feature a double FlowRider indoor wave surfing machine, slides, an activity pool, two lap lanes, a large play structure and a splash pad.