Generating more money from your old facility might feel like squeezing blood from the proverbial stone, but it can be done. Here are three expert suggestions:
1. Consider your water temperature. To target a wide range of user groups, Mick Nelson, facilities development director ofUSA Swimming in Colorado Springs, Colo., recommends all new facilities include three separate bodies of water — at different temperatures — designed for nonrecreational uses.
Existing facilities without separate pools still can target several diverse markets with careful planning. The key is to create a compromise with a water temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit, Nelson says. That should allow for the relative comfort of patrons of all ages in a range of programs.
2. Provide killer customer service. Given the economy, everyone is concerned about getting “the most bang for the buck” when it comes to spending their leisure dollars. Top-notch service — neat, informed, attentive lifeguards and staff — is perhaps the best way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
3. Go green. Replace old equipment with energy-efficient models of pumps and heaters. Explore alternative sources of power such as passive solar and wind, Nelson suggests. More simply, covering pools every night (even indoors) can cut power costs by as much as 50 percent.