Supplement Feature - February 2020
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A Deep Dive Into Aquatic Facility Trends

By Emily Tipping


This year, we also broke out facilities that only included indoor or outdoor pools and compared various factors. In 2018, respondents with indoor pools only reported a 90.5% higher average operating cost than those with outdoor pools only, with indoor pool respondents spending an average of $400,000 and outdoor respondents spending $210,000. That said, they reported a similar rate of increase in their operating costs from 2018 to 2019, with indoor respondents seeing a 5% increase to $420,000, and outdoor pool respondents reporting a 4.8% increase, to $220,000. (See Figure 9.)

This year we asked respondents about various actions they had taken in regard to their aquatic facilities, from building new aquatic facilities to closing existing pools. Some 14% of all respondents said they had built a new aquatic facility in the past three years. Respondents from parks were the most likely to have done so, with nearly one-fifth (19.2%) indicating they had built a new aquatic facility. They were followed by Ys (15.3%) and schools (8.8%). (See Figure 10.)

Pool closings were a fairly rare event, with only 2.6% of all respondents indicating they had closed a pool permanently without constructing a replacement facility, and another 2.6% indicating they had closed a swimming pool and built a splash pad in its place. Pool closings were most common among respondents at rec centers, where 6.1% said they had closed a pool without replacing it. They were followed by colleges (4.3%) and camps (3.3%). Parks were the most likely to report that they had closed a pool and replaced it with a splash pad, with 4.4% of park respondents indicating they had done so. They were followed by camps, 3.3% of which had closed a pool and built a splash pad in its place. (See Figure 11.)