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Parks & Rec Gym Goes to Lottery System

At the last meeting of the Burlington Recreation Commission in December, Burlington Parks & Recreation Program Coordinator Kelly Lehman informed the board that rental use of the Recreation Department Gymnasium would be going to a lottery system.

The gym at the Parks & Rec facility is often rented by Burlington residents nights and weekends for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton and the like. Lehman explained the prior state of the rental situation. 

“There’s not a lot of large spaces in Burlington to be able to rent, especially at the affordable price we rent it for. As such we have a lot of people asking if they can rent our gym,” stated Lehman. “The same several renters have been renting the gym space since I started here 14 year ago”

In order to make use of the gym more equitable Parks & Rec went to a lottery system at the beginning of 2022. Applicants can fill out a form with their requested choice of times in order of preference.

“We will be calling a lottery and the first person gets their first choice. The second person gets their first choice if it’s available, if not gets their second choice and we’ll go on until all of our available space is full,” explained Lehman. 

The lottery will take place at the beginning of each season as that is already how Parks & Rec rents the gym. Obtainable lottery times are based around Parks & Rec program capacity and availability.  

“It’s a growing need and a need that hasn’t been addressed in many years and we feel this is the fairest solution,” Lehman said.

Parks and Recreation Director Brendan Egan mentioned the policy prior to this approach.

 “The renters from the season before would get first choice,” said Egan. “We get new requests all the time and this really is the most equitable way to do it.” 

The emphasis is for Parks & Rec to be able to use the facility for their programs first and then be impartial about the gym’s rental use. 

Rental fees charged for the gym’s use goes to equipment upgrades and payment of the supervising personnel during rental times.