Y’s Words

The Westport Y kicked off its fundraising campaign for the new Mahackeno building this afternoon, on the steps of the soon-to-be-former site.

Cherry blossoms framed the scene for speakers like Bill Mitchell, Robin Tauck and Sam Gault — whose families have been Y members since before “y” was a member of the alphabet — but the most interesting moment was a factoid casually tossed out :

The Y is Westport’s 4th largest private employer.

Who knew?

And who knew the 3 that are bigger?

(Bridgewater Associates, Terex and MetLife.)

One more intriguing factoid:

Construction of the new Y will create 175 jobs — for 2 years.

And renovation of the current Y into a retail/commercial/residential complex will create dozens more.

The Westport Y’s tagline is “We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities.”

They should add “strong economies, too.”

27 responses to “Y’s Words

  1. Bobbie Herman

    I wonder how much the fees will increase for the new Y.

  2. I’m convinced that no one who supports the Y at Mahackeno has ever driven near Exit 41 around the morning or evening rush hours.

    Well, at least after they tear the Three Bears down and put up a Quicky Mart, all the Merritt 7 commuters and the thousands of “regional” Y customers will a have place to stop and wait out the traffic jams.

    • Buzz Life!

      The people who haven’t driven at exit 41 during rush hour are stuck in traffic at EVERY EXIT IN CT. Moving the Y to Mahackeno could not possibly make traffic any worse than it already is. In fact, the adjustments being made for the exit will probably make traffic move more smoothly.

      To fight an organization that has provided so much to the westport/weston community for almost a CENTURY is just wrong.

      This “Buzz Kill” person should be ashamed of himself.

      • Princeton '82

        Chill. Many were opposed to the Y moving and I was one of them. Buzz has some valid points. Litigation decided the Y’s move if and when they can raise the money. “Ashamed” for stating his opinion is alittle overly dramatic and rather caustic.

        • The point that he made was that traffic is going to be a problem, which it already is, so how is that a valid point?

          He shouldn’t be ashamed for stating his opinion, he should be ashamed for using such a sad excuse to try and prevent the Y from moving. And apparently you should be too.

          • The Dude Abides

            I have been, off and on, a member of the Y since ’53. I am not sure where you anger comes from but it does not belong in association with any Christian organization. Those for and against its move have had their say and day in court. Stop the bickering and start raising money because that high hurdle has not yet been completed.

      • I agree with you Buzz Life.

        The blowhards against the Y are just a bunch of whiny losers.

        • The Dude Abides was much more concilitory. Wrecker, you’re just throwing oil on the fire.

  3. The Dude Abides

    I guess my days of biking to the Y are over unless I have a strong death wish.

  4. Who or What is Bridgewater Associates?

  5. Bridgewater Associates is one of the two largest hedge funds in the U.S. They manage upwards of $80 billion I think and the owner was one of the billionaires to recently announce he’d be giving away half his wealth (I think he’s worth 6 billion). They’ve got offices all over Westport–by the Weston border and off Ford Road, as well as near exit 18 I95 area

  6. Milton Friedman

    Ah, so let me see. 127 jobs for two years and the price of the YMCA is going to be what? And I am not sure to this day whether the Y is self-sufficient as to membership fees covering operating expenses?? So, depending on the upstart cost, I am not sure this is really “strong economics” for the town of Westport.

    • I am not sure this is really “strong economics” for the town of Westport.”

      Uh…..get a clue Milton…the town of Westport won’t be running the Y.

      • You wanna bet. Look who is raising the money and where did they get the land???

      • Wrecker, I suggest you understand that the YMCA is very much subsidized by the town in monies that would be spent in other areas other than a non-profit organization that does not meet its own operating expenses. If the new YMCA turns out to be profitable, that would be great. But with a current 4-5,000 members and/or dramatic new programs, it will not. Further, there is great doubt whether initial capitalization will unfold. This is also a drain on other developments possible in the town. Therefore, it becomes a money pit rather than “strong” for either its members or the town in which it sits.

        • Who would fund that other development? Joseloff? Has the Y asked the town for taxpayer dollars?

  7. I believe Save the Children is Westport’s largest private employer.

  8. Richard Lawrence Stein

    If the money can be raised…the courts have given the approval….so let it be…. but as a person who has lived for close to 40 years a half mile from exit 41 and has used Mahackeno as his backyard playground…..the traffic is awful….how much worse can it get…I am very scared to see…..but hey thanks for all your concern hahaha…. just imagine a saturday or sunday morning in this area of town… xmas shopping and parking everyday of the year now will be our fate at best….oh joy can’t wait!!!!

    • You are right Richard. It is a cluster&^%$. I would not be surprised to see 24 Hour Fitness come in and undercut the Y at its roots.

  9. The market will decide what takes the place of the Y, unless of course our town leaders choose to substitute their own personal preferences. How about a combined elder hostel and doggie toilet?

  10. I am glad the Y is moving. The current facility just seems like it is falling apart and hard to maintain. Im hoping that with the new Y it will be more efficient and cost less to keep the building running. Then more money could go to strong kids campaign or other stuff

  11. Elihu Smails

    You can drive through Nistico’s Red Barn parking lot