Park District moves to hosted solution ahead of fall registration

It was smooth sailing for participants signing up for summer programs during resident registration on Saturday, May 5. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case during the spring registration on Saturday, February 24, when the District’s registration software failed to meet the needs of the residents, resulting in delayed registrations and a lot of frustration.

Since that time, District staff has had ongoing conversations with Vermont Systems, Inc., the provider of the RecTrac registration software, to understand the source of the problem. A number of tests were completed and results were minimally positive in terms of performance, user response time, and software programming.

While summer registration went as planned, fall will be significantly larger in terms of volume, and therefore a decision was made by staff and the Park Board’s ad hoc IT committee to host the fall registration on the VSI Cloud servers, instead of on the District’s on premise servers.

Commissioner Kevin Graf indicated that the larger size of VSI’s servers provides more room and flexibility during big registration events, especially if glitches occur in the software. VSI staff also monitors the server during registration, and their knowledge and experience working with the software should help them catch issues quickly should they occur.

The District’s IT staff will work closely with VSI staff to make the switch beginning overnight on Wednesday, June 20. RecTrac will be down for most of the day on Thursday, June 21, which means no registrations will be processed during that time. Staff will be unable to process credit card payments as well so cash or check will be accepted at the pools and The Hub.

“We believe this is the best course of action at this time but it doesn’t mean we’re staying with this vendor for the long term,” said Executive Director Jim Rogers, “However, we believe the opportunity to have a successful registration on August 4 is better if we move the servers.”

The District’s fall brochure will hit resident households the week of July 16 with fall registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4.

For more information about registration, please visit epd.org.