Residents in Salt Lake County, Utah, will have an easier time getting their exercise on days when the air quality outdoors is too poor. The council has approved a measure that cuts daily admission fees in half on "red air" days, or days when the Utah Department of Environmental Quality deems the air unhealthy due to increased levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide. On such days, residents are encouraged to limit outdoor exertion, especially those with lung-related health issues.says council member Sam Granato.
The county sells an estimated 1,000 daily passes to its 17 recreation centers. Though the council projects the ordinance will result in an estimated $80,000 of lost revenue if 30 red-air days are declared, Granato expects the special price will boost the centers' overall attendance. "We will find new customers once they visit the rec center," says Granato. "I'm looking for increased business and more revenue."
The lone vote against the measure was from a council member who felt that the ordinance would encourage residents to drive to get to a recreation center rather than limit their carbon emissions on red air days. The council plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the ordinance in June 2014.