Given up hope of making money at your pool? Here's why you should stay optimistic.
by Monique Nelson on October 26th, 2010

I read a news article recently about a community aquatics center that had a serious budget deficit this year. There were valid reasons: more staff, mandatory upgrades and fixes, bad weather, etc. Excuses every commercial pool has used at one point or another.

That didn't surprise me.

The outlook was very positive, and the government official in charge of the center expressed very warm sentiments about the facility and high hopes for straightening out their budget soon. That being said, she also said something to the extent of...

“I don't know if we'll ever break even, but this center is critical to the community, and I will settle for coming close.”

That is not a direct quote, but it expresses the gist of her statement.

First of all, I think it is INCREDIBLY HONORABLE that a government leader is willing to run the aquatics center at a loss in order, potentially indefinitely, but I am left wondering WHY!?

I understand that the costs of maintaining a pool are astronomical, at best. I also know that if the weather sucks, attendance is going to be down. And lets face it, pool admission is probably not going to pay the bills.

I get it. I do.

BUT. I cannot stand by and let pool operators give up on getting their budgets up to snuff.

With the proper maintenance, pool costs can be kept under control. With strategic upgrades, costs can even go down significantly. For example, investing in solar energy in some areas can almost eliminate your energy bill for much of the year. If you don't get much sun, perhaps a heat pump would be more effective. The point is, there are options out there if you are willing to put in the research time and investment. Just make sure that it will pay out in the long run. Preferably even in the short run.

If you consider a product like Heatsavr, the liquid pool cover, the Return on Investment (ROI) is often only a few months, and the costs savings can be up to 40% off your energy bill. No brainer, right? Well, are you doing it? Why or why not? This is absolutely no time for excuses.

When you have a handle on your operating costs, it is time to look at ways to make money. With proper marketing you should be able to increase attendance and get a few more dollars out of your admission prices. Perhaps you can up the retail options: is there snacks available? Did you ever think of leasing some space to a swimwear retailer? What about renting amenities like towels, flip flops and wash machines?

I'm no expert, but even if you have to resign yourself to a cut-throat budget, do it in the back of your mind. Keep the front of your mind busy with ideas to cut costs and make money.

Good luck!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: FOR MORE INSPIRATION, CHECK OUT THIS NEWS STORY: http://bit.ly/9bcdgq

PS: If you would like to give Heatsavr a try in your facility to see if it could help reign in your energy costs, fill in this one page form:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2134108/Printing/Energy%20Efficiency%20Program.xls

Fax it to me, Monique, at (250) 477-9912.

I'll follow up with a no-pressure consultation to see if it is a good fit for your facility.

Here is the link again:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2134108/Printing/Energy%20Efficiency%20Program.xls


Posted in Reduce Energy, Commercial Facilities    Tagged with heatsavr, liquid pool cover, pool cover, swim, swimming, commercial, aquatics, center, facility, costs, savings, energy, heating