Aquatic Consulting Services;
Whether you have a new aquatic facility or an existing facility, periodic reviews of your physical plant, aquatic programs, fees and revenue stream, and day to day operations must be a scheduled part of your processes. USA consulting efforts are comprised of over 150 years of combined aquatic facility experience and we design our service to fit your particular facility’s needs. USA has assisted thousands of organizations over the years to help improve their daily operations and revenue stream. These services included:
- Recreation revenue
- Lessons and programs revenue
- Competition revenue
- Therapy & Wellness revenue
- Facility Inspection
- Feasibility Study
- Capital Investment and Planning
- Emergency Response Management
- Marketing, Branding, & Promoting Plan
Research shows that “recreational” users prefer to have shallower and warmer water to allow for extended stays and socialization. It also shows that recreational users provide 75% of the revenue that can be generated from aquatics facilities. Newer recreational aquatic facilities that install fun features, similar to playground equipment, waterslides suitable for multiple age groups, different water depths from zero-depth beach entries to diving areas; and other popular features such as lazy rivers and current channels invite the recreational user to stay longer and visit more frequently. Additionally, modern facilities include more creature comforts for extended stays such as shade areas, lounge chairs, picnic tables, lockers, and concession areas.
Research for “lesson & program” users that frequent aquatic facilities for the purpose of instruction for swim lessons, lifeguard training, water safety, water aerobics classes, scuba diving, etc. need appropriate spaces for teaching and training. These spaces are usually competitive and recreational style pools. Swim lessons are typically the largest of instructional classes and are considered a life-safety skill necessary to promote water safety for patrons. Some communities have even made learning to swim a requirement at their public school programs. New recreational style pools have increased children’s desires to participate in swim lessons in order to be allowed to play and interact with other children. Lesson & programming users typically provide 20% of the revenue from aquatic facilities.
Research for a “competition” user requires a swimming pool that meets the dimensions of the NFSHS (High School Standards), NCAA (Collegiate Standards), USA Swimming (Club Team Standards), and/or FINA (International Standards). This user also prefers deeper and colder water to increase the competitive abilities of the pool. The primary distance for competitive swimming in the US is 25 yards. Only FINA and USA Swimming’s summer program requires a 50 meter dimension. Competition groups are a small but dedicated group of users who have demonstrated that they will drive long distances for practicing and competitive meets. One commonly used rule in planning for competition pools for high school swim teams is to provide one competition pool per public high school. While it is true that a year round indoor competition pool can generate year round revenue and user fees – the cost of operating such a facility GREATLY reduces the net income generated. Research has found that competition users typically generate only about 3% of the revenue from aquatic facilities.
Therapy usage is currently the fastest growing aquatic user group. New research provides evidence of the benefits of aquatic exercise. While aerobic dance and cycling have decreased by 17.3% and 23.2%, respectively, from 1998-2007, aquatic exercise increased by 25% from 2004-2007. This group requires a small body of warm water that can offer a variety of classes and programs from water aerobics to exercise lap swimming. Therapy and wellness program usage typically generates about 2% of the net revenue from aquatic facilities.
Prior to and during the 1960’s many neighborhood public pools were filled daily with potable water and drained. Concerns over infectious disease outbreaks resulted in more stringent sanitation codes. Additionally, as the codes became more stringent and liability concerns increased – many public pools began to lose features such as diving boards, small water slides and deep water. Shallow wading pools became suspect and increased operating costs and ever-increasing competition for recreation time led to decreased pool attendance and the closure of many pools throughout the United States. Beginning in the late 1970’s the “water park” concept was developed with more exciting water features such as wave pools, a variety of water slides, and lazy rivers. In the early 1980’s, public operators began to incorporate some of these features into their municipal aquatic facilities to re-attract aquatic recreation users and to increase revenue to offset the cost of operations. In the early 1990’s community builders started catching on to this trend and developed neighborhoods with small aquatic features.