Washington, DC, to Waive Fees at City Rec Centers in 2016

In 2015 Washington DC residents paid 125 annually for access to city rec centers or 5 for a daily pass Photo by Thinkstock
<p>In 2015, Washington, DC, residents paid $125 annually for access to city rec centers or $5 for a daily pass. (Photo by Thinkstock.)</p>

Washington, DC, citizens will be able to join 22 city rec centers for free in 2016, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday.

As part of the mayor's FitDC initiative, she has directed the Department of Parks and Recreation to waive fees starting Jan. 1. In 2015, DC residents paid $125 annually for access to city rec centers or $5 for a daily pass. Non-residents will still be required to pay $150 per year for access.

The fees generated $10,000 in revenue each year for the city, Jordan Bennett, a spokesperson for the mayor told the Washington Post

The mayor determined the fees might dissuade more people from participating in exercise than the revenue generated was worth, Bennett said. No change in service is anticipated, he added.

Bowser has been a proponent of fitness in DC. Her FitDC campaign is a health and wellness initiative that encourages residents of DC to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle.

The American College of Sports Medicine ranked DC as the fittest city in America in 2014 and 2015

In October 2014, DC implemented a 5.75 percent sales tax on health club and yoga studio membership dues and daily entrance fees. The tax was opposed by many fitness center operators in the city.

A 2014 proposal to license personal trainers in the city was put on hold in 2015.

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