Feature Article - June 2020
Find a printable version here

Trends in Aquatic Facilities

A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities


Aquatic facilities, with all their complex equipment, staffing requirements and budgetary challenges, are a crucial cornerstone of the recreation, sports and fitness industry. From the smallest hotel pool to a large waterpark with all its features and fun, aquatic facilities require special expertise and a whole catalog of specialized equipment. Innovations in the field abound, from manufacturers who create products that make it easier to maintain safe water and run pools consistently and efficiently, to creative operators who invent new programming to draw more swimmers to the water.

In the following pages, we'll examine the results from Industry Report Survey respondents whose facilities include aquatic elements: indoor or outdoor swimming pools, splash play areas, waterparks and hot tubs. For even more research and trends covering aquatic facilities and operations, be sure to check out our Aquatic Trends Report (February 2020), which dives even deeper into aquatics-specific research.

In 2020, 52.3% of respondents to the Industry Report Survey said their facilities include aquatics, down from 56.1% in 2019. (See Figure 34.)

Aquatic Facilities

As usual, the most common type of aquatic feature found among aquatic respondents' facilities in 2019 was outdoor swimming pools. More than seven in 10 (71.7%) aquatic respondents said they had at least one outdoor pool, down slightly from 73.1% in 2019. Nearly six in 10 (59.9%) aquatic respondents had at least one indoor pool, up from 58.1%. Splash play areas continue to show growth, with 56.7% of aquatic respondents indicating they have one, up from 54.2% in 2019 and 49.7% in 2018. Well over a third (37.7%) of aquatic respondents said they have hot tubs, spas or whirlpools (up from 33.3%0, while 22.4% said they have waterparks (up slightly, from 21.9%). (See Figure 35.)