Feature Article - June 2019
Find a printable version here


A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

Aquatic facilities represent a unique challenge for facility managers, with complex operations and staffing requirements that create different budgetary challenges. From the most complex waterparks featuring waterslides, surf simulators, water coasters and more, down to the smallest community pool, aquatic facilities require complex systems and management. Manufacturers have increasingly innovated to bring products to market that make it possible to run pools much more efficiently while maintaining safe water more consistently. But that doesn't mean these facilities do not present an intricate challenge to those who operate them.

In this section, we take a look at the answers provided by survey respondents whose facilities include aquatic elements: indoor swimming pools, outdoor swimming pools, splash play areas, waterparks, and hot tubs. For much more information on aquatics, be sure to read our Aquatic Trends Report (February 2019), which takes an even deeper dive into aquatics-specific research.

In 2019, 56.1 percent of respondents to the Industry Report survey said their facilities include aquatics, from indoor and outdoor pools to splash play areas and more. (See Figure 34.)

The most common type of aquatic feature found among aquatic respondents' facilities in 2019 was outdoor swimming pools. Nearly three-quarters (73.1 percent) of aquatic respondents said they had at least one outdoor pool, representing no change from 2018. Slightly fewer respondents in 2019 had indoor swimming pools—58.1 percent vs. 59.3 percent in 2018. Splash play areas saw significant growth, from 49.7 percent in 2018 to 54.2 percent in 2019. Another third (33.3 percent) of respondents said they have hot tubs, spas or whirlpools (down from 36.2 percent in 2018). And finally, 21.9 percent of aquatic respondents said they include waterparks among their facilities, down from 23 percent in 2018. (See Figure 35.)