Special aquatic programs

Special aquatic programs


Posted By on Jan 13, 2015

When it comes to special aquatic programs and events, the goal is to create a memorable experience that sets you apart from everyone else in town. For example, did you know Santa can swim? Instead of just having Santa visit for a holiday party, hire a swimming Santa who will hop in the water and pose for photos in the pool with the kiddos. Birthday splash parties are another way to generate revenue. Parents will gladly pay for value and convenience, so make sure the cost to the customer is packed with value. A package that includes themed decorations, room rental, food and swimming will practically sell itself. Scout merit badge programs also are wildly popular. Design a special aquatic program that meets all the badge requirements of the Boy and/or Girl Scouts. Usually in under an hour, the Scout has earned a new badge and your facility is bringing in new dollars. Specialized aquatic fitness classes are another option to boost revenue, and make a tremendous difference in the community. One idea might be to create pocket water fitness classes for groups such as cancer survivors or new and expectant mothers. These individuals may be facing significant physical changes that could make it uncomfortable to be around others when in swimsuits. Specialized classes offer a supportive and safe environment that will help foster a healthy mind and body. You might also consider offering kayak clubs or scuba classes.These activities can take up a considerable amount of programming space, so you’ll want to look at scheduling them during slow times, such as on Sunday mornings before the pool is open for general swimming. The clubs pay a premium for space and your profit margins increase due to low staffing requirements. Beyond the specialized options, think about becoming a hub for general health, fitness and safety by offering a mix of dry options. Use classroom or deck space — and consider partnering with your local American Red Cross to provide community classes such as pet CPR, baby-sitting and first aid. Once the people are at your facility, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your aquatic offerings. Finally, tap into the power of free “teaser classes.”Parents waiting for kids in swim lessons are a great audience. When they want to learn more, provide help registering them for the next regular class session. Partnerships and sponsorships Create simple, inexpensive business partnerships and sponsorships for your camps, classes and operations. It’s likely that an entity such as a local bank would jump at the chance to sponsor swim lessons for $1 or $2 per child. This type of sponsorship helps keep the fees reasonable...

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Programs for swimming pools

Programs for swimming pools


Posted By on Dec 17, 2013

TIME MANAGEMENT Working 9 to 5 doesn’t apply to aquatics facilities — at least not to aquatics facilities that want to remain open. Approximately 41 percent of respondents stated that their pool stays open between 9 and 12 hours, while 59 percent responded that their pool is open for 13 hours or longer. For many, being handcuffed by swim lessons, swim teams and/or open swim forces them to use pool space at odd hours to accommodate other activities, such as adult water aerobics and programs for swimming pools. Todd Roth, aquatics supervisor for both the Welch Swimming Pool and Park Forest Pool in State College, Penn., shared what a typical day at his pools looks like: • Two hours per day for swim lessons • Three and a half hours for swim teams • Seven hours for open swim This schedule essentially monopolizes Roth’s pool programming from sunrise to sundown, forcing him to schedule his masters swim program — known as “AM Aquafit” — at 6 a.m. The AM Aquafit program offers a variety of water workouts, including adult swim team workouts, self-guided lap swimming and water walking against the channel. Despite being a strong program with solid interest from the community, Roth admits to struggling to get a large turnout because the class is so early in the morning — a dilemma that Jenni Phillips, aquatics supervisor for the City of Cody, Wyo., knows all too well. “Finding the right time is a challenge,” she says. “We have people who say our water aerobics classes are either too early or too late or not on the right day. We modify the class every couple of years to see if we can reach anybody else.” Another obstacle for Phillips is the costs involved with participating in programs. “Most of the people for our water aerobics classes are on a fixed budget and cannot afford to pay the cost that we need to charge for our programs.” SPECIAL EVENTS Rather than focus on building up specific programs, aquatics directors are investing in one-time activities that will cost less for the user but generate stronger participation for the aquatics facility. “People have so many choices now,” says Roth, who has to compete with Penn State University,  and other local pools. All of these offer swim lesson options, making the market extremely competitive. And Roth acknowledges that he can’t compete against the YMCAs for the adult fitness business, because their programs are year-round. “The market is getting diluted now with so many choices that you need to find a niche or focus on single events rather than programs,” he says. Roth has...

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