Are you maximizing swimming pool revenue and efficiency? Keeping your pool covered when it’s not in use is not only important for safety, but covers can reduce evaporation and water waste by as much as 95 percent. If the cover is solar, it will help to heat the pool.
A study by the Center for Energy Conservation in Florida found that pool operators can save energy and maintain a comfortably heated pool by using smaller and higher-efficiency pumps, and operating pumps less each day. Some pool operators saved as much as 75 percent of their original pumping bill when they used both conservation measures.
Another way to maximize pool revenue is to increase attendance. Adding features to your pool, such as tanning ledges, custom decking or waterfalls, could make it more attractive to your users. Another possibility is enhancing the landscaping in the pool area with shrubbery and flowerbeds, but keep in mind that some plants attract unwanted insects.
Encouraging organized swimming events is another possible way to increase attendance.
Founded in 1970, U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) is a non-profit national organization that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country, promoting information via the bi-monthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, its website, usms.org, and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions.
“More than 55,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming,” said Bill Brenner, USMS club and coach services director. “Socialization is the number one reason our members choose to be a part of this established program. Swimmers are more likely to maintain a steady fitness routine if they are participating in a team environment complete with a coach. Adult athletes tend to stick with the program longer and with more success when surrounded with like-minded adults.”
Parks and recreation departments can maximize revenue and increase pool participation with proper programming. Revenue can be generated from program fees, hosting clinics, meets, and providing swimming lessons for adults, as well as sponsorships from local merchants.
“We are an adult aquatic fitness program that provides diversity for all adults, ages18-100-plus, who want to swim as their chosen method of exercise. Any park and recreation department can register a USMS program. The national office of USMS provides numerous resources for new and established programs to grow and maintain membership,” Bill explained.
Coached workouts provide increased incentives and value for members in a USMS program. They administer a Masters Coach Certification program available to all USMS members. This education is geared toward understanding the adult athlete, establishing a coaching philosophy and teaching proper stroke technique and correction. Bill told us that everyone has his or her own reason for belonging: health, fitness, camaraderie, fun, the thrill of competition, travel and coaching are a few.
“About 30 percent of members compete in swimming meets on a regular basis. For those who are serious competitors, there are an incredible number of opportunities to test your skill and conditioning. Short course (25 yard and 25 meter) and long course (50 meter) pool meets, lake and ocean open-water swims, postal meets, special events and international championships are all part of an ambitious program of Masters Swimming.”
A recent U.S. Masters Swimming World Championship meet at Stanford drew over 7,000 participants, and Bill said it was the largest swimming meet ever held in North America.
“But if competing isn’t your style, there’s no need to feel pressured. Many Masters Swimmers are simply interested in the regular routine of working out with friends. Our program’s mission is to promote health, wellness, fitness and competition through swimming for adults. Our vision is to be the premier resource of adult aquatic fitness in America. We value excellence, health, fitness, learning, respect and fun.”