Registering for classes or booking courts online? City of Edmonton has new rec platform

The City of Edmonton has a brand new web platform for booking fitness classes, swimming lessons, indoor courts and other recreational attractions.

The previous system was 20 years old and the provider stopped offering the old platform. It provided the city with an opportunity to upgrade.

“We’ve replaced our recreation and attractions management system, which includes the website but also all of our payment solutions across our attractions, recreation centres and a number of our partner locations as well,” said Nathan Walters, the city’s director of customer relationship management.

“It’s approximately 40 different locations in addition to online.”

All the old data had to be migrated over to the new software, which meant an online service outage between Dec. 31, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019. During that time, clients had to register for classes, book courts and pay fees either in person at facility front desks or by phone through 311.

The new system started launching online the second week of January.

“The rollout started Jan. 10 and continued on until Jan. 15, that’s the base system, in terms of the core functionality,” Walters said.

“The beauty of the new system is that it allows us to configure it in a way that will provide the most value for citizens. We are continuously taking citizen feedback and their input.”

City staff take those suggestions and make changes to the new site to better suit users’ needs and preferences.

“For [searching and booking] squash courts, for example, we were able to add that additional functionality for citizens to see the different locations, at different times, all in one place and be able to select exactly when they want to book a court,” Walters explained.

This is just the first phase of the new platform launch. More features and tools will be added throughout 2019, he said.

“There are a number different benefits that the new system offers. For example, someone that might be visiting will be able to access it from their phone.

“It’s responsive design.

“It’s very intuitive in terms of being able to register for the program, look at drop-in schedules, book spaces and, in the future, also purchase their memberships online,” Walters said.

The new platform will be put to the test this week, as registration for spring programming begins Tuesday for members and Wednesday for non-members.

To provide feedback on the new site, click the “Give Feedback” button at the bottom of the page.

“We anticipated hearing from citizens that the system is a bit different than what they’re used to, and that’s perfectly fine,” Walters said. “It’s a new tool with new features, new functionality, so we’re taking our time in terms of releasing the features and functions of the platform just to make sure … we provide value at the right time when they’re ready.”

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