Feature Article - June 2008
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The Deep End

Respondents from aquatic facilities were more likely than the average respondent across all facility types to require certifications. A full 95.8 percent indicated that they currently require some kind of certification for staff members, compared to 90.1 percent of all facilities. Of those who do not currently require certification, 21.4 percent said they plan to require certification in the future.

Understandably, those respondents whose facilities include aquatic components were more likely than the average respondent to require aquatic management or pool operations certification. Nearly 60 percent of those with aquatics require such certification, compared to just 37.5 percent overall. They also were more likely to require lifeguard certification (87.2 percent of those with aquatics, compared to 60.6 percent of all respondents), and CPR, AED or First Aid certification (87.3 percent of those with aquatics, compared to 82.3 percent overall).

Building Plans

Nearly three quarters (73.5 percent) of respondents with aquatic facilities said they have plans to either build new, add to their existing facilities or renovate their existing facilities. The average amount these respondents plan to spend on these facilities is $5,013,100—13.9 percent more than the overall average of $4,400,200.

One facility owner explained the reasoning behind the spending on new facilities: attendance. "That is why we are building a wave pool for the 2009 season," he said. "Construction will be started this spring. Our attendance is lower compared to other parks our size in the area we are in. …We have had a lot of requests for a wave pool."

The top 10 amenities or systems aquatic facility managers surveyed are planning to add within the next three years include:

  1. Splash play areas
  2. Water play structures
  3. Waterslides
  4. Concession areas
  5. UV disinfection
  6. Zero-depth entry
  7. Pool lift or accessibility equipment
  8. Locker rooms
  9. Poolside cabanas
  10. Indoor pools