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Central Park Recreation Center​

The Central Park Recreation Center in Denver, Colorado is a new recreation facility featuring a natatorium with lap and leisure pools, group exercise facilities, cardio equipment areas, gymnasium, locker rooms, child care, meeting rooms, administrative areas, and community spaces. It is adjacent to the 80-acre Central Park, the largest park in Denver, and will provide a much-needed amenity to the adjacent redeveloping community.


On the site of the former Stapleton International Airport, lies the Central Park Recreation Center (CPR). Stapleton was constructed in 1929 by the City of Denver and replaced in 1995 by the new Denver International Airport. Starting in 1990, civic and business leaders created the Stapleton Development Foundation to establish a framework for redeveloping Stapleton. In 1998 Forest City was selected as the master developer to implement the redevelopment, which included a blend of housing and other community amenities. The 54,000-square-foot Central Park Recreation Center is open to Denver residents. This $19 million facility is the icing on the cake of one of the best master-planned developments in the nation. 


Walking through the front door, one cannot help but notice the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains framed through the large windows. There is a cardio fitness area lining up in front of these windows so you can enjoy the view while exercising.  Even if you are not a view person, there are plenty of TVs on display if you need some additional stimulation. There is even an NCAA regulation-sized basketball court that runs north and south and can be converted into two junior courts that have basketball hoops that can be lowered to 8 feet. There are also two volleyball courts. Both sports will have leagues for adults and children.


Do you want to throw your kid a pool party? No need to search any further. Swimming pools are all indoors and are designed for people of all ages. There is also a lazy river that flows through part of the kid’s pool, and a four-lane lap pool with a slide and three water basketball hoops. Additionally, there is a brand new weight room on the lower floor, a circuit training room, and a community room that can be rented. There is a party room just adjacent to the pool area in the Central Park Recreation Center that can be rented out for parties. Yoga or group cardio exercises can be enjoyed in the lower level aerobic room with wooden sprung floors and the spinning room with 17 new Lemond bikes. Finally, there is a child care facility on-site for your kids while you work out. This will require an additional fee. 


The Central Park Recreation Center was jointly funded by the Park Creek Metropolitan District and the 2008 ‘Better Denver Bond Program.’ The initial funding for the project was part of a tax incremental financing plan in the original Stapleton development plan. When it became clear that this budget may not be adequate to serve the needs of this fast-growing community, the City of Denver contributed tax dollars to fund the balance. Together, both entities participated in the funding, management, and ultimately operation of this building and have demonstrated how a public-private partnership can collaborate to offer better amenities to the community.


The Recreation Center received LEED Gold certification in 2011. The facility has thrived from the moment it opened and has become an active hub of the community ever since.

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