Have you Optimized Your Opening Events?
by Monique Nelson on May 10th, 2011

Have you ever bought a pair of those tube socks that say "O/S" on the package? Also known as the "one size fits all" variety? In my experience, they never fit. They don't fit anyone really well, I don't think. They simply cover your foot in the most basic way possible. Certainly not well.

Well, the same can be said for a "O/S" pool opening routine. There are some basics that you need to cover that apply to any commercial aquatics facility opening for the summer - clean it, fill it, warm it, staff it.

But it is the unique, custom "fit" that keeps your swimmers coming back, year after year. How do you individualize your season grand opening can mean the difference between a "basic coverage" year and a "oh, so comfortable!" year.

Aquatics International magazine featured a great article in their May 2011 issue. It covers the opening process, and continues on to outline good ideas for the rest of the year. Their suggestions for March - May?

Marketing: host an open house or free introductory classes to get your community excited about what you have to offer. You can also participate in local events to raise awareness about your facility.

Management: Get your staff trained and / or training; update your summer programs and have your registration available as early as possible; make sure you have all your supplies and equipment in inventory and up to code.

Staffing: Well, this one is fairly self explanatory - HIRE!

Facility: complete a monthly inventory; clean and fill your pool; prepare your water and make your center sqeaky clean and beautiful.

The suggestions for the rest of the year are equally as great, and you can read them all online: http://aquaticsintl.com/2011/may/1105_handbook.html

Even these recommendations, however, are fairly basic and will work for any facility. Once you have the basics covered, it is time to think about what you can do EXTRA.

When you are marketing, think of ways to showcase your facility in new and exciting ways. Do you a have a mascot? If yes, photograph or digitally design them doing something crazy. If no, maybe it is time to introduce one? A really creative and fun one, of course.

When you are managing, try to introduce new programs that may bring in members of your community that don't usually participate. I know that the new ADA requirements have everyone updating their facilities for accessibility, why not add an "Adapted" program, teaching disabled patrons how to swim - or kyack!

If you have gone through your inventory already, make sure that you have enough Heatsavr, liquid pool cover to last you the entire season. Cutting your heating and water costs will provide you with more space in your budget for those new programs. If you need more, email me today for a local supplier. If you don't have a system set up yet, email me NOW for details - you need to get one installed quickly so that your water is up to temperature and comfortable all season long!

As you hire staff, ask them what unique skills and ideas they can bring to the job. If they start the job with a license to thrill you with their great ideas, they will always feel comfortable and excited bringing a new perspective to the table. Even if all their ideas aren't stellar, one or two good ones can make for an exciting season.
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Posted in Commercial Facilities    Tagged with commercial aquatics facilities, heatsavr, swimming pools, opening procedures, liquid pool cover