Aurora opens first rec center in 40 years, funded by marijuana tax revenue

AURORA, Colo. -- The first new recreation center in Aurora in nearly four decades is now open. The Central Recreation Center features state-of-the-art swimming pools, fitness equipment and other amenities.

Several people visiting the rec center Saturday expressed their excitement for the new building.

“It's the best I’ve seen so far," said Samuel Ward.

“It seems like a luxury place that you would pay a lot of money for," Anthony and Melissa Giannotti said.

The more than $30 million facility isn't just years in the making, but decades.

“We bought this land in 1998 specifically for a recreation center and so it's been a long time in the making," said Erin O'Neill with the city of Aurora.

For decades, the city of Aurora didn't have the money to fund a new rec center. But it does now due to revenue from taxes on marijuana.

“Whenever marijuana became legal, we had the tax revenue. City council said that we could use that tax revenue for a one-time use fund and one-time use projects," O'Neill said.

"It’s the law now and if it raises money for something like this, great," Ward said.

“If that’s what’s going to pay for it, that’s what’s going to pay for it," the Giannottis said.

“We are so excited that it’s open," O'Neill said.

You don't have to live in Aurora to join the center.

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