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Thread: Masters fees

  1. #1
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    Masters fees

    I swim with a combined age group and masters team and am the master representative on the team's board. Our team is roughly 100 swimmers from 5 to 50+ and we live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Last week, our board adopted a new budget that added about 20,000 on to the monthly expenses. Sadly, I'm also a scout leader and had to go to a scout event and missed the budget. Our current fee structure doesn't support the new budget so the board is looking to raise the fee the swimmers pay. So I'm looking in to what other masters pay for their team. I'd also like to know how many hours a week you are offered coached workouts, if your fee includes the pool entry and if it's a combined masters and age group team.

    A board member claims he read on the ASCA web site that the average monthly fee to masters is $50 and that was in 2004. I'm looking around the area and out of state and I don't see anything to support higher than that today. My fear is that if they raise the fees too much for the masters, the members will leave (we currently only have 6 - with additional 5 recently leaving over coaching issues and lack of lane space as they moved to to 1 lane to give the kids a morning practice).

    So here's where we are now:
    $45 a month/ 3 hours a week offered/ pool fee not included/ age group and masters combined.

  2. #2
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    Re: Masters fees

    I haven't swam with our 2x weekly Masters group in a while, but would say that you tend to get what you pay for.

    Actually, what we have at our facility is better than than that (Masters is free, included in the cost of the monthly membership ~$60-$80 a month for the gym/pool in a wealthy, HCOL area), but it's not great for various reasons. There's only two active members left that I know of.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member gdanner's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimshark 2 View Post
    So here's where we are now:
    $45 a month/ 3 hours a week offered/ pool fee not included/ age group and masters combined.
    If you're able to attend all of the workouts and the coaching is good, that rate seems reasonable. However, six masters swimmers in a lane (in yards) could be tough because the ability levels usually vary. The other tricky part about 2-3 workouts per week is that any canceled workouts will drastically change the average practice cost per month. I think it boils down to the attentiveness of the coach and quality of the workouts.
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  4. #4
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    My YMCA team practices MWF, but has 3 different morning options to choose from. It's $45/mo if you only do masters and not the Y membership.

    My last club in the Dallas area went through pricing changes for masters and there definitely is a point where you lose folks. It was $80/mo with a crappy coach, then we went down to, I think $60/mo and gained some members back after the coach left. There were discussions of bringing it back up, but some of the costs were being absorbed by the kids team until the masters could get back to a point where they'd be viable again. They had 2 different pools with M-F swimming in the morning, 1 pool with Saturday and MTTh evening practices. It was a lot to offer. For that many options, I'd be fine paying $60-70 knowing I could swim any day of the week, basically, if I missed.

    With only 3 hours/week, $45 seems reasonable, but like GDanner said, one missed workout increases the costs and opportunities. ONe lane for masters isn't going to drive any new business, though. You'll be limited to only 6 people max and even that isn't going to be fun for your swimmers. Time to think of alternatives.
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  5. #5
    Active Member airborne18th's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    Here is really the issue with it. If your facility has plenty of lane space available to lap swimmers throughout the day and week, and then you have a masters program and members have to circle swim,. then you are not going to keep members. Aside from the value added of having coaching. There are people who want to compete and will do the masters workouts no matter what.. but I know of facilities where they have bigger masters programs just because for a fee they can dedicated lap time in lanes less crowded than other times.

    But to answer your question.. 25 per month.. free for annual members..
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  6. #6
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    Re: Masters fees

    Quote Originally Posted by airborne18th View Post
    Here is really the issue with it. If your facility has plenty of lane space available to lap swimmers throughout the day and week, and then you have a masters program and members have to circle swim,. then you are not going to keep members. Aside from the value added of having coaching. There are people who want to compete and will do the masters workouts no matter what.. but I know of facilities where they have bigger masters programs just because for a fee they can dedicated lap time in lanes less crowded than other times.

    But to answer your question.. 25 per month.. free for annual members..
    Yeah my pool is pretty much open for lap swimming all the time minus some lanes for kids lessons, swim team, and water aerobics at peak hours, which is awesome, so itís an easy choice to make. Also at the times I swim, thereís no issue with having to circle swim as itís relatively uncrowded. 2 per lane is the max.
    Last edited by arrieros; April 27th, 2018 at 10:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Gary P's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    $33/mo for two 90 minute coached practices a week (Friday evening, Sunday afternoon). Coach also writes a third workout weekly to do on your own, should you choose. You do have to be a member of the YMCA where we practice. That's not a deterrent to me, since I'd be a member either way. I do think there are a few people we may be missing, however, who prefer to do their solo swimming at one of the two other facilities in the area (neither of which has a Masters team).

    For that, we get 4-5 lanes per workout, even though we only have 15 members and a typical turnout of 8-10. It's pretty rare when we have to swim more than two to a lane.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    Our team fee is $50/month. That covers Mon-Fri 6:00-7:30am with a USMS certified coach on deck. Occasional coached Saturday morning sessions (depending on the junior team schedule & lane availability) at no additional fee.
    If you swim outside the scheduled practice times there is a $2.00 use fee.
    We think it is a pretty good deal.
    Last edited by Mark Usher; April 30th, 2018 at 02:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Masters fees

    Thank you all for the information. I'm gathering it all for our meeting next week. To answer some questions, we are down to 1 lane on Monday and Wednesday mornings and it's LCM. Fridays we get 4 lanes for SCY and generally only have 2 per lane. Mondays and Wednesdays we have a level 5 coach who is also coaching three groups of age groupers (8-13 kids per morning). So we lost a lane and now we are dividing our time with the coach. It used to be just us in the water and we had great attention. We still get good attention but, to me, not enough to warrant a $20 a month increase.

    In the mornings it is LCM, the team (age group and masters) have 3 lanes and there are 5 lanes of open lap swimming. The lap lanes have a group of about 5 that I swim with on my own on Thursdays. The rest of the lanes have 2-3 people. On SCY days, there are about 20 lanes and plenty of space to swim on our own. I buy the yearly pass to the pool for $320/year.

    Sadly, we know with only 1 lane, there is no room for expansion and with an increase in our dues from $420 annually to $660, I fear we will never grow. Thank you all for the info. Please keep it coming as I get prepared to present my case.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member Karlene's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    The masters team I train with inside the 610 Loop in Houston is $60/month and offers twelve 90 minute workouts per week with a USMS certified coach on deck. There is also a punch card option of $120 for 20 swims ($6/workout). The punch card does not expire. In cooler weather, we are in a 7-lane 25 meter outdoor heated pool and have use of all 7 lanes during workout. In warmer weather, we are in an unheated 7-lane 50 meter pool. Lane space varies between 5-7 lanes depending on the time of day as the general membership of the facility also uses the pool. Our expenses for pool rental have increased so there may be an increase in masters fees in 2019. I would suspect the increase will be only $5-10 per month if there is an increase.

    The team I just began coaching in League City, TX (suburb SE of Houston) is part of a very nice fitness center. There are five 75 minute workouts offered per week with a USMS certified coach on deck.
    Fitness Center Members: $50/month or $80 for a 10-swim punch card (expires after 4 months)
    Non-Fitness Center Members: $60/month or $100 for a 10-swim punch card (expires after 4 months)
    It is a 6-lane 25 meter outdoor heated pool and the master's team is alloted up to 5 lanes. Right now the program is very small and we normally only use 4 lanes.

    Both teams above have USAS and USMS programs. In both cases, the workout times are different and the masters group never has to share lanes with USAS groups.

  11. #11
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    Re: Masters fees

    This is great. Thank you.

  12. #12
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    Re: Masters fees

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimshark 2 View Post
    This is great. Thank you.
    I swim at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex....The ďHall of FameĒ pool. We have several options. I pay $90 for unlimited practices. We have 4 coached practices per day available M-F, 2 on Saturday. Our practices have a coach on deck, with 3-4 options as to intervals. I think 3 days are $80, and one day per week is $30.

  13. #13
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    I pay almost nothing. My health insurance gives me free YMCA membership. Otherwise it would be $50/mo for seniors. The additional fee for master's practice is just $18/mo. There are team practices, Tue & Thu, 12:00-1:00 and 8:00-9:00 PM. It is not offered Jun/Jul/Aug because most of us, including the coach transition to open water.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    We're $80 per month for 3x per week 5:30 to 7:00 AM or $60 per month for 2x per week. We share the pool with the senior AG team and set aside 2+ lanes for lap swimmers and we have our own very good masters coach.

    When the pool is setup scy there are quite a few lanes (24+ I think) with the bulk head splitting the pool between the AG and masters teams. We generally have 10-12 swimmers and do share lanes on occasion. When the pool flips to LCM, lanes are a premium but they are really wide. The masters get 3 lanes (3 or 4 per lane) and the AG team gets 5 lanes (I think), which leaves one or two lanes for the lap swimmers.

    In past recent years I swam for a Y-masters team and solo at LA Fitness - this is far and away the best masters swimming experience i've had and worth it.
    Last edited by Sojerz; April 30th, 2018 at 03:08 PM.
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    Active Member mrubacky's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    Here are the fees that I know of in the Raleigh Area:

    Raleigh Area Masters - $50/month, Practices - M,W,F 5:30- 6:45am, M, W, F 12-1:15, T, Th 6:45 - 8pm, Sat & Sun 8-9:30

    Triangle Aquatic Masters - $70/month, Practices M-F 6:00 - 7:!5am, 11:45-1:00pm

    Lifetime Masters - $50/month + membership dues for club - Practices T, Th 6 - 7:30 am.

  16. #16
    Active Member smiley92407's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    I pay $50/month along with an annual fee of $60. Our workouts are 5:00 am to 6:00 am MWF, 4:30 to 6:30 pm M to Th, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fr, and Sat 7-8 am. The Saturday workout is long course meters and depending on the time of year, Monday and Friday mornings are also long course meters. The number of lanes available varies on the workout times and the number of age groupers present from our parent club. Generally we have 4 to 5 lanes in the weekday mornings with one or 2 swimmers per lane. The afternoons we have 2 to 3 lanes available but those are 2 workout sessions so it generally isn't crowded. The long course meters setup we have 2 lanes with up to 4 per lane but it can be adjusted to 3 lanes if not enough age groupers are present to bring it back down to 2 swimmers per lane. All workouts are supervised by our one and only Masters coach. One of the other age group coaches supervise our workouts on those rare occasions he isn't there.

  17. #17
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    Re: Masters fees

    Thank you all for the help. I am jealous of those of you who have so many options. At this time, I told the board to come up with a fee structure that didn't include masters. As this discussion has gone on, and more kids were added to the masters practice time, fewer masters have attended practices. It's often down to just me. I don't see our masters program continuing in Sept.

  18. #18
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    Re: Masters fees

    Itís too bad, but I think running a Masters program requires a lot of almost unlikely elements to be successful.

    I also think our Masters program is going to be canceled soon too. Currently one of the practices is just a workout on a whiteboard with no coach. They canít find anyone who wants to do it.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: Masters fees

    I forgot to include my OWS costs previously. Again, it's fairly minimal compared to others here. I swim with a local Tri club every Tuesday at a lake in upstate NY and while I have done a couple Mini Triathlons, I am not much of a biker and cannot run at all due to arthritis (I walk the 5K), so I joined primarily for the swims. To join the club is $60/year and the fee for the whole 14 week season of OWS is $100 if prepaid, or $10 a night if paying weekly. There is another local Tri club in Saratoga with Thursday night swims with a similar fee structure.

    The Triathlon clubs, as with local running clubs do not depend only of member fees to balance their budget. They make most of their money through race entry fees and sponsors.

  20. #20
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    Re: Masters fees

    My master's group is a class at our local YMCA. You can attend as many practices as fit your schedule, but for most people that works out to 2-3 / week. Options are Tusday-Thursday at 6 AM, Tue-Thurs at 7:15 PM, Mon-Wed at lunch time, and Sunday at 7:30 AM. It costs $40/month for YMCA members plus YMCA membership

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