Powell River Recreation Complex improves technical service

Parks, recreation and culture department increases access to facilities and programs

Expectations for today’s online, user-friendly transactions are higher than ever. With the installation of new software, Powell River Recreation Complex now provides that access and better online navigation for its own programs and courses.

City of Powell River manager of recreation Neil Pukesh said the enhanced options are perfect for a community the size of Powell River.

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“Customers can actually go into our new website and look at what’s happening in the facility relative to arenas, aquatics, health and fitness programs,” said Pukesh. “If they see a program of particular interest, they can click on it and it will take them right to the registration page.”

The new system also comes with cost savings for the city, because it does not require new servers, database and licensing, said city manager of information technology Greg Tait.

“As far as the back end goes, there is none,” said Tait. “It’s all online. There’s a cost savings right there.”

Tait said server cost savings would be approximately $8,000, in addition to the licensing, hardware upgrade and maintenance costs for the previous system.

“All you need is a connection to the internet,” said Tait.

Recreation complex clients can personalize their memberships, including managing and booking courses online at any time, see account history, renew annual memberships, which can now be purchased by monthly installments, and book any of the recreation facilities, said Pukesh.

“User groups will be able to go online and look for availability of rooms, arenas, pools and sports fields in the department’s inventory for social events or programs that they’re looking to host or a facility they’re looking to rent, like Dwight Hall,” said Pukesh.

Before the new software was added, people had to call the complex directly because the information was never shown publicly online, he added.

“We thought this would be a great customer service enhancement,” said Pukesh. “Customers can now receive information on demand, even at 10 pm on a Friday night, without waiting for a booking clerk on Monday morning; they can have that information at their fingertips.”

The parks, recreation and culture department had been looking at a new system for 18 months. According to Pukesh, the old software was becoming outdated and there will be no customer support for it after June of this year.

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