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Castle Pines city officials Sam Bishop and Michael Penny are pleased with an international athletic resort’s recent proposal to build a new facility in their growing community. They see it as a key step in the city’s progression. 

“We feel like we’re somewhat on the map now by getting their attention,” said Bishop, the city’s community development director.

Life Time Inc. submitted a site improvement plan in October for a 109,000-square-foot fitness center with an outdoor pool deck located on a 13.8-acre area at the southeast corner of Castle Pines Parkway and Canyonside Boulevard. 

“It’s a huge coup, I think, for the community,” said City Manager Penny. 

A recreation center is the number one requested amenity, Penny said. While he recognizes that the for-profit facility won’t meet all needs of all residents, Penny said Life Time, as a “premier recreation service provider,” generally matches the expectations of the people of Castle Pines. 

A spa, a cafe, a children’s area, fitness studios and basketball courts will be housed in a two-story building, according to Natalie Bushaw, vice president of public relations at Life Time. The pool area will include a lap pool, a whirlpool, a leisure pool with a waterslide, and a bistro. 

The center is scheduled to open in 2024. The company has five other locations in the Denver area, including one in Parker and one in Centennial where Penny, a Life Time member, works out. 

The Castle Pines location would be well situated to capture I-25 corridor traffic as well east-west traffic along Castle Pines Parkway, Penny said. 

Currently, Life Time is in the process of assuring the City of Castle Pines that they can meet codes and requirements for infrastructure issues such as parking, lighting and landscaping, Bishop said. Once done, the city’s planning commission will vote to accept, reject or or request amendments to the proposal. Bishop anticipates that occurring in February or March of 2022.

Construction, which could take about 12 months, is planned to start in the third quarter of 2022.

Honoring the character of the nearly 40-year-old community while pursuing new commercial development is something Penny and Bishop said they strive to balance. 

“You know how municipalities are funded in Colorado — we make our money primarily, almost exclusively, from sales tax,” Penny said.

Penny believes Life Time’s facility is the “first domino” in what he hopes will be a series of developments that will encourage residents to spend more time and money in the city instead of surrounding towns. It’s a goal the city has been working toward since the city council annexed enough land in 2009 and 2010 to double the size of Castle Pines, he said. 

Life Time should attract additional businesses, creating a commercial core that will enhance residents’ quality of life as well as generate sales tax dollars for use “in service of community values” such as roads, parks and public events, Penny said. 

“We’re really trying to keep those folks in the community, to the extent we can, by really creating a sense of place.”