Amenities are expensive headaches
“People like to be able to say, ‘I
live in a building with a pool and a gym.’”
One of the biggest selling features of condominium living is the idea
of buying into a "country resort" that has a huge list of exciting
The bigger the condo, the more lavish the amenities. If two or more
condo corporations pool their resources and have shared facilities,
then the size and number of amenities just gets bigger.
Bragging rights get exepnsive for few amenities actually get much use and many are little more than fancy sales pitches.
on the number of residents in a condo, some amenities are popular
during peak times. An outdoor roof-top pool will be
crowded on a hot August Saturday afternoon. Fitness Rooms may be
busy in the early morning before people go to work and again in
A combined badminton and basketball court may be used by only two
people playing badminton or a half-dozen men throwing hoops. The use of
the court, usually limited to an hour at a time, may be booked a week or more
golf facilities often are out-of-order.
Other amenities may be little used. An indoor pool and a hot tub get
some use while saunas,
the billiards room, the table tennis room and theatre room may go
unused for days.
In all condos, only a minority of owners regularly use most of the
amenities. Think of it; how often would you use the party room? Once a year? How about a Guest Suite?
At most condos renting the party room and guest room is far too much
hassle. You are treated as if you are hosting a
The amount of paperwork would make a communist bureaucrat
proud. You must sign a multi-page legal contract, pay a fee and give
the manager a damage
deposit by personal cheque before you can book the room.
Before your event, the security guard takes a detailed inventory and
checks off every item. You must sign the checklist.
During your event, a uniformed guard may sit outside the party room
it feel like the birthday party is being held in the West Metro
Then like Cinderella all your guests and you must leave by the
Finally there is the post- inspection, a very annoying
where the guard and you walk around the room to insure that no one
stained the chesterfield, broke the dishwasher or stole the garbage
Worse, some condos refuse to allow the Party Room to be booked on Halloween, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Years Eve.
Renting a guest suite for a friend is even worse as during the
post-visit inspection, the guard checks that your guest did not steal
the mattress, the TV set, a wash cloth, a pillow or one of the four
It reminds me of the scene in the Marx Brothers movie "The
Cocoanuts" where Groucho the hotel owner picks up Chico's and Harpo's
luggage and says: "Hey, hey! You know that suitcase is empty?" Chico:
"That's all right. We fill it up before we leave."
If your condo operates like this then I suggest that you hold your
party at a local restaurant, or sports bar, and have your guests stay
at a nearby hotel. You may pay a bit more but you won't feel like your
living in a jail.
The reality is that amenities are not “freebies” but burdens that
constantly deteriorate and are the responsibility of the homeowners to
An old party room feels dreary and needs to be renovated every ten
years or so. Outdoor barbecues need daily cleaning and regular
replacements. The costs of maintaining an underground parking garage
In response to the high costs, little use and potential liabilities,
some older condos are closing their swimming pools and hot tubs.