Supplement Feature - February 2021
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Just Keep Swimming

The 2021 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping


Aquatic facilities are certainly not one-size-fits-all, and there was a wide range of types of aquatic facilities represented in the survey response. The most predominant type was outdoor swimming pools, found in the facilities of 57.9% of the respondents. More than half (54.8%) also had at least one indoor swimming pool. Splash play areas also continue to be popular, with 35.4% of respondents indicating they had at least one. Some 28.3% said they had at least one hot tub, spa or whirlpool. When it comes to slightly more complex facilities, 16.9% of respondents said they had at least one aquatic park (with a focus primarily on swimming pools and other aquatic activities), while 10.2% said they had at least one waterpark (with a focus primarily on rides and waterslides). (See Figure 4.)

Outdoor swimming pools were most commonly found among respondents from camp facilities, where 85.3% said they had at least one outdoor pool. They were followed by parks respondents, 75.7% of whom had at least one outdoor pool, and rec centers, at 53.8%.

Indoor pools were most common for respondents from schools (93.8% had at least one indoor pool), colleges and universities (87.8%), and Ys (80.3%).

Splash play areas were most commonly found among park facilities, where 59.6% of respondents said they had at least one splash play area. They were followed by rec centers, 28.2% of which had at least one splash play area.

Hot tubs, spas and whirlpools were most prevalent among rec centers, where more than half (51.3%) said they had at least one hot tub. They were followed by Ys (43.9%) and colleges (28.6%).

Aquatic parks were most commonly found among the facilities of respondents from parks (29.8% said they had an aquatic park) and rec centers (10.3%).

Finally, waterparks were most prevalent among the facilities of parks respondents (15.1% of whom said they had a waterpark) and camp respondents (14.7%).

Well over half of respondents (58.9%) said their aquatic facilities are open year-round, while 41.1% said their operations are seasonal. (See Figure 5.)