Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

Finding the Way

To improve profitability and run your aquatic facility more like a business, you must consider your entire facility and determine where you can improve efficiency, as well as where you might be able to boost your bottom line, whether by investing in recreational elements that will draw more swimmers, adding programs that pay for themselves, or reducing your energy consumption by investing in solar pool heating, covers and other technologies.

And depending on where your facilities are located and your own budget situation, now might not be a bad time to make some of those investments. In California, for example, where the state budget crisis has been looming large for years, the collapse of the housing market has just thrown even more competition into the construction landscape, and Mendioroz said that as a result of this increased competition, the competitive bidding process many cities engage in is seeing impressive results. "We're seeing bids come in at a minimum of 20 percent under budget," he said.

"If you're building new facilities or renovations, you don't need to worry so much about the budget because prices are cheaper than I've seen them for some time," he added. "It's like falling out of your boat hoping to get wet."

And, in fact, many of those we surveyed who have aquatic facilities indicated they do have plans to add more features to their existing facilities in the next three years. Nearly a third (28.4 percent) said they plan to add additional features to their facilities in the next three years. The most commonly planned additions include:

  1. Water play structures
  2. UV disinfection systems
  3. Waterslides
  4. Zero-depth entry
  5. Solar pool heating and pool lifts/accessibility equipment (tied)