Federal Way Community Center kick-starts marketing plan
By JACINDA HOWARD
Federal Way Mirror Reporter
June 23, 2009 · 10:36 AM
Summer brings incentives for folks to check out the Federal Way Community Center.
Work on the facility's new marketing plan is coming to fruition. The plan includes discounts to the community center, located at 876 S. 333rd St. near Celebration Park. A long-awaited cafe will also emerge this summer. City staff hope both will pique the interest of potential customers and persuade them to pay a visit to the gathering place.
Vibrant mailings that advertise the community center, which is now in its second year of operation, were sent to 47,519 households. All single-family, multi-family and mobile home residents living in Federal Way will receive the postcard shortly. Parts of Auburn and Kent, all of Northeast Tacoma and residents in the East Federal Way annexation area will also see the mailings. Businesses and those with P.O. boxes will not get the mailer.
The brightly-colored postcards cannot be easily overlooked, city council member Jim Ferrell said at a June 16 Parks, Recreation, Human Services and Public Safety sub-committee meeting. It will be hard for residents to resist snatching the purple, blue and yellow flier from a pile of mail and learning more about the community asset, he said.
The postcard includes the center's new logo and color scheme. It is the first of several advertisements and coupons that will be offered to the public. A two-for-one daily pass coupon — an $8 savings for adults — is next on the list of marketing materials. The city is unsure when or how the coupon will be distributed, city spokeswoman Linda Farmer said.
More coupons for admissions, classes and amenities will be issued each quarter, she said.
"We're hoping to pick something different for each quarter to promote," Farmer said.
The $80,000 plan is designed to increase foot traffic, daily pass sales, rentals and yearly memberships at the facility.
"Our focus this summer is to really to promote that drop-in rate," Farmer said.
The community center began its operations with a flawed business plan, which was re-evaluated about a year after its March 2007 opening. The marketing plan was later adopted to educate residents on the facility's existence and offerings.
Another change to the community center will come later this summer when a long-awaited cafe will go in near the senior lounge area. Bagels, fruit, soups, sandwiches, cookies, muffins, smoothies, soda drinks and more will be offered to visitors, interim parks director Steve Ikerd said. The prices will be competitive, he said. For example, the most expensive item on the list, a panini, will go for $6.25. A large fruit smoothie will sell for $3.75 and a large salad will be offered for $5.95, Ikerd said.
"It will be more than just your little snack cart," he said.
Billy McHale's will operate the cafe.
Since its opening in 2007, the city has struggled to make the community center a profitable operation. The city subsidized the center in 2007 and 2008. Pass sales and guests are increasing though and city staff plan to bring a quarterly report of the financial figures to the city council soon, city spokeswoman Linda Farmer said. The community center can be reached at (253) 835-6900.Contact Federal Way Mirror Reporter Jacinda Howard at email@example.com or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5052.