Niles officials: Wellness Center can work despite tight budget

This weekend, the state gymnastics meet is in town - it's the largest event the wellness center hosts each year

The Niles Wellness Center was recently put up for lease by the city, but it didn't get any bids. Keeping the center in the city's control has been a topic of debate since December -- and those running it believe it will be a success.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The Niles Wellness Center was recently put up for lease by the city, but it didn’t get any bids.

Keeping the center in the city’s control has been a topic of debate since December — and those running it believe it will be a success.

This weekend, the state gymnastics meet is in town. It’s the largest event the wellness center hosts each year.

Carmen Vivolo, Niles parks and recreation director, estimates anywhere from 8,000-10,000 people will visit the building from Friday-Sunday.

“People are staying as far away as New Castle in hotels,” Vivolo said. “You can’t get a room anywhere in the Niles vicinity. These parents travel. They’re here to stay.”

“People from other gyms ask me to bid on this meet because they love having it here,” said Dawn Toussaint, the meet host and owner of Olympic Dreams Gymnastics.

Since the Niles Wellness Center is staying in the city’s control, the city has to fill a $160,000 hole in its already tight budget.

Vivolo thinks they will make it work.

“My board and myself are working very hard to bring in more — more events like this [weekend’s],” he said.

Vivolo said his board has met with the state — which is overseeing their finances — to discuss their plans for the wellness center’s future.

“They were happy with it,” he said. “They understand that we can’t make up the deficit in ten minutes — that it’s been going on for 10 years. But they were happy with what we’re proposing.”

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