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Community center's new wager: Council approves marketing plan

On Feb. 3, the Federal Way City Council voted 6-to-1 in favor of implementing a nearly $81,000 marketing plan for the community center, 876 S. 333rd St.

Since opening in March 2007, the center has struggled to create revenue. The plan will provide a consistent look for marketing materials and is hoped to help grow the center's attendance.

Mayor Jack Dovey was the dissenting vote. Dovey said he felt the city could spend approximately $36,000 dedicated to creative services more wisely by hiring a recent college graduate to perform the work detailed in the plan.

Background info

The marketing plan is not the first of Federal Way's efforts to increase revenue of the community center. After the first year of operation, the city began taking a look at the facility's projected revenue compared to its actual revenue. It was expected to generate much more than it did that first year.

By the end of July 2007, the community center was producing 28 percent less year-to-date revenue than expected.

Ideally, a marketing plan will increase pass sales 10 to 15 percent. Daily admission or drop-ins will increase 20 percent and event rentals will jump by 15 percent. Building and expanding relationships with current pass holders and known drop-in visitors is expected to increase customer loyalty and encourage membership renewals. Improving the center's Web site — making it easier to navigate — and opening and maintaining communications with the public about the center's value, accessibility, programming and events are just some areas of focus that could help the community center begin its turn-around.

Forming relationships with local businesses, such as hotels, to offer promotions for use of the center is also part of the plan. Marketing the center was planned to begin with a recognizable logo and tag line: "It all happens here."

Community center daily pass rates for non-member children are $4. Teens and seniors pay $5 to use the center on a drop-in day pass. Adults pay $8. Adults members pay $38 per month to join the center and households pay $61 per month.

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