On any given morning, boot camps draw crowds to city parks. Now, the city wants to share in some of their profits.
At a Monday evening meeting, the Parks Department laid out a permit fees plan for fitness professionals who use the parks.
The plan designates fitness zones and defines where groups can work out. It also issues certain requirements, such as a million dollars in liability insurance. According to the plan, fees could range from $50 for daily use to $3,000 per year.
Those ideas aren’t going over well with business owners.
“I currently use four city parks for our Camp Gladiator locations. If you do the math on that, because they are big parks, I’d have to be paying $12,000 a year to use city parks. That will definitely go back on our campers,” owner of Camp Gladiator Ally Davidson said.
Small businesses also would be impacted.
Liana Mauro owns Mauro Pilates Body. Monday, she was working with a client in her studio, but she also uses parks when she’s teaching groups.
She said the proposed fees would be hard to swallow for a growing business like hers.
“For a small business, that’s going to be really challenging. For the larger ones, who have 50 or 100 people at their boot camps, it could be more feasible, but smaller businesses [will be] definitely challenging,” Mauro said.
The city said the plan is a matter of safety and knowing who is doing business on park land.
“These activities tend to have an impact on the facilities. While some may argue that it’s not significant, we have noticed that there are certain trainers who are bringing equipment, attaching exercise items to rails, trees and posts and other items that may not be the best use,” contract administrator for the parks department Gilbert Hernandez said.
Fitness professionals at Monday’s meeting suggested the city consider other fee structures such as fining “bad apple” businesses that cause damage to the parks.
If the board adopts the fees, the measure would not have to go through city council for approval.
If passed, permitting could begin as early as December. Full implementation could start by March 2011, following a 90-day grace period.