Community members speak out on rumored sale of Bettendorf’s Life Fitness Center – KWQC

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) – Plagued by budget shortfalls since before 2020, Bettendorf’s Life Fitness Center may finally be sold. The city and the YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley are in preliminary discussions on a deal involving the rec center.
Some citizens are afraid of what a rumored sale means for the future of Bettendorf’s only city-owned gym.
Rom Rosario grew up playing tennis at “The Fit”. For him, it’s more than just a way to get his reps in.
“I remember playing tennis here learning in the winters in the early to mid-70s. staying until midnight,” Rosario said. “It’s a social life that you have in the wintertime that extends in the summers. So, it would be huge to lose.”
Bettendorf Director of Culture and Recreation, Kim Kidwell, did confirm the city and the YMCA are discussing a deal, however, she could not provide any more details.
At the July 19 city council meeting, About a dozen people filled the room to show support for keeping the gym under city ownership.
“Why do we the older residents have to find somewhere else to go?” Dan Khoury said. “You have a group of folks here who have — not for years, but for decades — paid our dues. “We’re just looking for our slice of the pie.”
Khoury spoke on behalf of about two dozen older members of the fitness center. He said it’s the right culture for their social and physical needs.
“I know firsthand the BettPlex and the Y have a very different feel to them than Life Fitness Center,” Khoury said. “From talking to fit members I know neither place would be suitable for their needs.”
Meanwhile, Rosario said losing the facility could set back the tennis community in the Quad Cities.
“A lot of kids [are] taking lessons. [It’s an] opportunity to hone their skills in the winter. you need that access,” Rosario said. “I know parents that have kids … that are involved with kids programs. It’s far more affordable at a city-run facility.”
Kidwell said her department is preparing a presentation to discuss the options for the Life Fitness Center with the city council within the month of August.
TV6 News reached out to a spokesperson for the YMCA who declined to comment on the discussions at the time of publication.
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