The city of New Braunfels is looking toward expanding Das Rec to operate a branch out of the former New Braunfels YMCA, which ceased operations at 545 Creekside Crossing on July 14 due to being unable to attract enough members.

New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno said the city is currently in discussion with Resolute Baptist Hospital and the property manager to consider expanding Das Rec services to the location. The city is also putting together a business plan to estimate how much it would cost to operate the facility.

“There have been three different operators and for whatever reason, have not been able to operate or maintain operations so we are taking a look at it, looking at what equipment we might need to buy the cost of those things, what revenue might we be able to generate and then will ultimately come to the council with that information,” Camareno said.

Mark Bernard, CEO of Resolute Baptist Hospital, said that they are considering who would fit best in the space.

“Several entities, including the city of New Braunfels, have expressed interest in the space,” Bernard said. “This space is the former location of the YMCA that ceased operations in the middle of July. We remain hopeful that the right tenant can be found that will offer a rec/fitness center to complement the existing services Resolute Baptist Hospital offers our community.”

According to a news release, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio board of directors appointed a group of board members and senior executive staff to create the New Braunfels Feasibility Task Force.

“Based on that study, it has been determined that despite our partnership with Resolute Hospital, we lack the facilities and programs to attract the number of families, children and youth necessary to sustain the operation,” YMCA officials said in a news release.

Teresa Nichols, New Braunfels resident and vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 7110 Auxiliary post spoke to advocate for the old YMCA location to be turned into an expansion of Das Rec. While getting her membership at Das Rec, she was told that around 17,000 residents are members of the facility.

“I can tell you from my experience at Das Rec, in the past week that the overcrowding at classes and on the machines is a daily phenomenon,” Nichols said. “People have been turned away from classes. That was never the case at the Y, and it's not a situation that we as newcomers, want to create there.”

Marcia Rogers, former member of YMCA spoke at the City Council meeting to encourage the city to partner with Resolute Hospital and utilize the space.

“[Das Rec Center] is just incredibly overcrowded. ... We are all getting older; if we don’t move it, we are going to lose it,” Rogers said.