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How Upace Helped the JCC on the Palisades Transition to the New Normal


The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey originally decided to partner with Upace so they could simplify the processes and procedures around series sale items in a mobile and web based application. However, once COVID-19 hit, the JCC’s focus shifted.

“We were delighted to learn Upace could also handle all of our needs for now mandatory reservations,” said Raychel Reilly, the chief health and wellness officer for the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. “Through the JCCOTP app powered by Upace, our members can reserve anything from a lane in a pool, to a tennis court, to a spot in a group exercise class.”

Below, Reilly shares how Upace has helped the JCC ease into the new normal with their app:

What do you enjoy most about the JCCOTP app?

We can customize the reservations as much as we like, including offering specific lanes and courts, asking how many people will be attending a family reservation, and creating custom pop-ups members need to accept. For example, when a member goes to book a spot in family swim, they would be prompted to accept a message reminding them the reservation accommodates only those listed on their membership. Our members appreciate the clear communication, and ease of making and tracking their reservations.

How has Upace helped streamline your facility’s operations and communication? 

Communication is everything right now in a world where community rec centers have limited access to the community. Upace’s features, such as the custom alerts, auto emails and facility closure features, have helped streamline our communication. When there is inclement weather, we can easily close that facility, which alerts and cancels for all members with reservations.

Additionally, the alerts and push notifications enable us to easily communicate announcements such as closures, promotions, and new offerings. On the backend, the admin portal has also made mandatory COVID-19 contact tracing incredibly easy. We know exactly when the individual was in our building, where they went and who they came in contact with.

Upace offered custom marketing, including detailed how-to videos, which made launching the app to the community a breeze. Members could easily create their account and start making reservations from the moment we launched.

On the backend we can limit how many reservations each member can make and how far out they can book. We also limit the time spent managing the app using features such as auto-suspend. We have the app set up to auto suspend and communicate with anyone who has two no-shows in a row.

What does your staff love most about Upace? 

The customer service and flexibility, hands down. Founder and CEO Rachel Koretsky and her team have been flexible and responsive throughout the entire process. They have taken our suggestions to create an app perfect for our current and future operations. With excellent customer service, the possibilities are endless. We are constantly brainstorming features to improve the member experience and the Upace team turns those ideas into a reality. It is rare to find a company that not only already has a deep understanding of JCC and community rec center operations, but one that continues to adapt and improve based on specific customer needs.

Why should other community rec professionals consider working with Upace?

JCCs and YMCAs are all-encompassing entities that serve as a one-stop-shop for their community. You need an app that works with your current structure and mimics the one-stop-shop experience for your members. Upace is exactly that.


To learn more about how Upace can help you improve operations, communications and streamline reservations, visit upaceapp.com.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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