Supplement Feature - February 2019
Find a printable version here

Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping


The average operating costs for aquatic facilities increased 2 percent from 2016 to 2017, from an average of $500,000 reported in the 2017 survey to $510,000 in the 2018 survey. Looking forward, respondents expect operating costs to increase another 11.8 percent between 2017 and 2019, from $510,000 to $570,000. (See Figure 7.)

Respondents from Ys and community centers had the highest average operating costs in 2017, both reporting that they spent $600,000 in that year. They were followed by parks ($570,000), colleges ($280,000), schools ($220,000) and camps ($200,000). (See Figure 8.)

Only community center respondents reported an increase to their average operating expenses from 2016 to 2017, with a 39.5 percent increase from $430,000 to $600,000. Camps reported no change to their expenses in that time frame. All other facility types saw a decrease in average operating expenses from 2016 to 2017, with the greatest decrease reported by schools (dropping 18.5 percent) and colleges (down 15.2 percent).

Looking forward, the greatest increase to operating expenses from 2017 to 2019 is expected among respondents from schools, who expect their average cost to rise 13.6 percent, from $220,000 in 2017 to $250,000 in 2019. They were followed by Ys (reporting an 11.7 percent increase) and colleges (up 10.7 percent). Parks respondents are expecting operating costs to rise 8.8 percent, from $570,000 in 2017 to $620,000 in 2019, and community centers are expecting a similar increase, at 8.3 percent, from $600,000 to $650,000. Camp respondents reported that they expect no change to average operating costs in that time period.