PASO ROBLES -The YMCA is eyeing Paso Robles as a location for a full service fitness facility.

“Currently the only YMCA fitness facility is in the city of San Luis Obispo and we have been talking about how can we serve more families in this area,” said Monica Grant, CEO of SLO County YMCA.

The YMCA is a $3.3 million organization that is serving approximately 5000 members county wide with over $35,000 in financial assistance provided every year to members of the community in order for them to be able to participate in all of the programs. The organization is currently leasing space from the city at Centennial Park for $22,000 a year and utilizing the city pool as well for approximately $4000 in fees annually.

“In 2014 the Y did an extensive strategic plan and as a part of that did a gap analysis to get a sense of what pressing needs there are in the county. What really emerged, what we found was an unmet need for healthy physical activities that are affordable and accessible for families. Which if you are familiar with the Y at all, you know is a big part of our core mission,” said Grant.

Thy Y partnered with Foursquare Research and did a county wide study. The city of Paso Robles contributed $2500 to the study in order to ask specific questions that were pertinent to the city.  Over 1000 households were interviewed and several locations were tested.

According to Grant, the demographic of the current fitness facility membership in SLO skews older, over 50, and either have no children or are “empty nesters.”

“What we are excited about and what validates our analysis is that there is a much younger population of families here in Paso Robles that are interested in membership. The number of potential members is pretty significant, almost double the SLO facility and that was without testing a gymnasion,” said Grant.

Grant continued,”I will say that the Y is very interested in continuing to partner both with the city and other entities in the city to help us identify where we could start serving families in the manner. It’s not conducive in Centennial Park, we are not trying to compete with the city or step on any toes, we are simply looking to meet unmet needs. So we are interested in figuring out how to do that here.”

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