Supplement Feature - February 2021
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Just Keep Swimming

The 2021 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping


Some 13.2% of respondents reported that they had built a new aquatic facility in the past three years, down slightly from 14% in 2019 who had built a new facility. Respondents from parks were the most likely to have done so, with 17.8% indicating they had built a new aquatic facility in the past three years. That said, there was a significant increase in the number of rec centers and camps that had built new facilities. Some 16.7% of rec centers in 2020 said they had built a new aquatic facility in the past several years, compared to 6.1% in 2019. And among camps, 14.7% in 2020 said they had recently built new facilities, compared with 6.7% in 2019. Schools also saw an increase in the number of respondents who have built new aquatic facilities, from 8.8% in 2019 to 9.7% in 2020. (See Figure 10.)

When it comes to pool closings, while they continue to be relatively rare, there was a slight increase in the number of respondents who said they had permanently closed a pool. In 2020, 3.4% of all respondents said they had permanently closed a pool without building a replacement, compared to 2.6% in 2019. At the same time, the number who had replaced a pool with a splash pad decreased, from 2.6% in 2019 to 1.1% in 2020. (See Figure 11.) Respondents from schools and colleges were the most likely to report that they had permanently closed an aquatic facility, with 6.5% of schools and 6.4% of colleges indicating they had done so. Respondents from parks were the most likely to report that they had replaced a pool with a splash pad, with 2.1% indicating they had taken this action.