Feature Article - June 2020
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Trends in Aquatic Facilities

A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

Facility Enhancements

When the Industry Report Survey was taken in January, aquatic respondents, like all respondents, were more likely to be planning construction than in past years. In fact, more than three-quarters (76.2%) of aquatic respondents said they were planning construction (up from 72.3% in 2019). This compares with 69.3% of non-aquatic respondents to the 2020 survey who said they were planning construction.

Aquatic respondents were more likely than those without aquatics to indicate that they have plans for renovations to their existing facilities or new construction, while those without aquatics were more likely to be planning additions. Some 61.8% of aquatic respondents said they would be making renovations to existing facilities, compared with 52.3% of those without aquatics. Nearly a third (32%) of aquatic respondents said they were planning new construction, compared with 30.2% of those without aquatics. And finally, 32.7% of aquatic respondents were planning additions, compared with 36.6% of those without aquatics.

Aquatic respondents' average planned budget for construction grew by 13.6% from 2019 to 2020, from $5,730,000 to $6,510,000. This compares with an 8.8% increase reported by respondents without aquatics (from $4,200,000 to $4,570,000).

The top 10 features covered by the survey that are most commonly found among aquatic respondents' facilities include:

  1. Automatic chemical feeders (found among 75.2% of aquatic respondents' facilities, up from 72% in 2019)
  2. Pool lifts and accessibility equipment (71.8%, no change)
  3. Zero-depth entry (45.5%, up from 41.8%)
  4. Diving boards (43.8%, down from 46.6%)
  5. Waterslides (40.6%, down from 41.6%)
  6. Water play structures (39.2%, up from 37.6%)
  7. Splash pads (32.2%, up from 29.5%)
  8. UV disinfection systems (27.2%, up from 22.4%)
  9. Variable speed pumps (21.4%, up from 18%)
  10. Variable frequency drives (18.7%, up from 15.1%)

Aquatic respondents from park facilities were more likely than others to include: lazy rivers, waterslides, water play structures, poolside cabanas, and splash pads.

Aquatic respondents from schools were more likely than others to have diving boards, ozone systems, variable speed pumps, and variable frequency drives.

Those from health clubs were more likely than others to have automatic chemical feeders and saline chlorination systems.

Aquatic respondents from rec centers were most likely to have zero-depth entry. Those from Ys were most likely to have pool lifts and accessibility equipment. College respondents were most likely to have UV disinfection systems, and those from camps were most likely to have solar pool heating.

More than one-quarter (26.8%) of aquatic respondents said they had plans to add features to their aquatic facilities over the next few years, up from 23.5% in 2019. Aquatic respondents from camps and rec centers were the most likely to be planning such additions. Some 44.7% of camp respondents and 34.9% of rec center respondents said they would be adding features. They were followed by parks (27.6%) and Ys (26.4%). Fewer respondents from colleges (15.2%), health clubs (6.7%) and schools were planning to add any of these features at their facilities.