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    Judge’s Comment: “This indoor complex incorporates a lot of amenities. Operators have an excellent marketing strategy with lots of program offerings to the community.”

The Silliman Activity & Family Aquatic Center is one-of-a-kind in its design, mix of amenities and marketing outreach.

Walking into the center is like walking into an opulent 5-star hotel, according to operators. The entry features slate floors, glass ceilings, a viewing window out onto the deck area and a bronze statue titled “Keeping Up” by artist Dennis Smith.

All elements in the facility were crafted using high-end materials.

Aquatic amenities expand over approximately 32,000 square feet and include a 4-lane lap pool, a zero-depth entry activity pool with a large play structure, a lazy river, two water slides and a 15-person spa.

The facility serves families in the San Francisco Bay Area and marketing outreach is extensive, including everything from social media to print fliers.

For the 2010-11 fiscal year, the marketing plan required activity every month. For example, in September, fliers were sent to schools outlining available swim lessons. In December and March, a Groupon or Living Social, coupon was offered. April saw the announcement of spring break specials and summer promos were launched in June.

Along with the all-out marketing campaign, partnering with a local business also  has worked well for Silliman Activity & Family Aquatic Center. Because of a strict swimsuit policy that prohibits street clothes in pools and spas, SwimOutlet.com makes the ideal partner. Swim apparel is purchased from this business and Silliman also gets the company’s returned or discontinued items as donations. Then, when someone doesn’t have the right swimwear, that guest can choose from the SwimOutlet.com inventory rather than be turned away.

Volunteers help a great deal at this facility. If someone complains, they might be asked to be part of the solution. For example, when one woman said she could do a better job managing upkeep and care of the plants, she got the job!