• Bi-Annual Construction Report Shows Recession Still A Factor

    In a clear indication of the impact of the recession, fewer than 20 hotel waterpark resorts opened in 2009, compared to 24 openings in 2008 and 34 in 2007

  • VGB, RWIs Among Top Concerns at Aquatic Health Conferences

    Aquatic health professionals gathered last fall in Atlanta for the third annual National Swimming Pool Environmental Health Leaders Meeting and sixth annual World Aquatic Health Conference, hosted by the National Swimming Pool Foundation

  • USA Swimming Experiences Membership Boom in ’09

    Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USA Swimming has reported its largest single-year member increase since its inception

  • Olympic Aquatics Center Embroiled in Controversy

    As fervor from the 2008 Beijing Olympics died down, focus in the past year has turned to the future competition site: London’s new aquatics center for the 2012 summer games

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    New Study Links Chlorine to Asthma, Allergies

    Results from a new study support a growing body of research that suggests a link between chlorinated pools and asthma

  • Waterpark Resort Earns Green Lodging Certification

    The Nickelodeon Family Suites in Orlando has been recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with a Green Lodging Certification for environmentally friendly hotel practices

  • Lawsuits Settled, More Pending

    2009 saw several aquatics-related lawsuits either introduced or resolved. A British Columbia, Canada man who was hit in the head with a pipe at the Cultus Lake Waterpark was awarded nearly $500,000. The injury occurred in 2003

  • Studies Point to Swimming Health Benefits

    Recent research by the European Journal of Applied Physiology suggests health benefits from swimming for post-menopausal women.

  • ISHOF Renovations One Step Closer

    Long-standing plans to redevelop the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Aquatic Complex, which houses the International Swimming Hall of Fame, continue to take shape

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    America’s Girl and Young Woman and the Sea

    Gertrude (Trudy) Ederle’s accomplishment of being the first woman to swim the English Channel makes her one of the most important individuals of the 20th Century regarding the advancement women in sport

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    Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

    San Diego, 2019 — It’s a typical sunny Saturday, and tourists and locals are flocking to the new, state-of-the art indoor waterpark.

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    Rosy Future

    Our environment is changing! No, I am not espousing (nor denying) global warming. I’m speaking of the business environment for commercial pools.

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    Tools of the Trade

    Kickboards and peanuts can be used for so much more than swim training.

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    Drill, Baby, Dril

    Winter is an excellent season to polish lifeguarding skills and to brush up on some of the more challenging aspects of the job.

  • Lifeguard Standards Are Up for Discussion

    The United States Lifeguard Standards Coalition, formed in 2006 “to research, identify and promote evidence-based standards for lifeguarding and water rescue,” has officially posted its initial draft outcomes for public review and comment

  • The House of Representatives applauds VGBA, condemns racial disparities.

    Further demonstrating the federal governments commitment to aquatic safety, the U.S. House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution applauding the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and encouraging “public and private fun

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    FINA Bans High-Tech Swim Suits

    The futuristic high-tech swimsuits that helped athletes break records at the Beijing Olympics and 2009 FINA Swimming World Championships now are a thing of the past.

  • Chemical Injuries Cause Mishaps, Shutdowns

    Several serious accidents involving chlorine hit public pools this swim season.

  • Aquatics Crimes Make Headlines

    Several aquatic-related crimes made headlines during the 2009 swim season

  • Aquatic Entertainment is Going High-Tech

    What do video games have in common with aquatics? A lot more than you might think, given some of the latest developments in the industry.

  • WWA Announces New Insurance, Certification Programs

    The World Waterpark Association announced several new strategic partnerships at its recent trade show including a deal to offer industry insurance and another to provide certification.

  • The Future Is Here

    When I was growing up, I used to love poring over the pages of Popular Science.

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    False Alarm

    It was the middle of summer season, and our swim lesson program was in full swing

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    Cover Flow

    Lately, it seems the only news we hear involving facility construction and aquatics management relates to the enactment and enforcement of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

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    Home Made

    As the end of summer approached, the prospect of filling the indoor pool weekday lifeguard shifts from 5 a.m until 4 p.m. loomed like a harbinger of doom.

  • The Mother of Invention

    People of a certain age will get a jolt of nostalgia when they read these next three words: “School House Rock.

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    Hitting the Mark

    We can always tell when an aquatics operator was not involved in the materials we get requesting our services.

  • U.S. Avoided Major Crypto Outbreaks

    As of Oct. 1 no major large-scale crypto outbreaks were reported in the United States for 2009.

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    Satisfaction Guaranteed

    In an age of constant communication, when e-mail and texting have the nation all a-Twitter, communication with members and guests continues to be an area that needs the most improvement. For the most part, the age group that safeguards the guests at…

  • Pennsylvania Swim Club Charged with Racism

    The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has issued a finding of probable cause of racism on the part of suburban Philadelphia’s Valley Swim Club.

  • Red Cross Seeks Board Members

    The American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety Services department now is accepting applications for its Lifeguarding (r.11) Program Sounding Board. Board members will provide advice and guidance to assist in the revision of the ARC Lifeguardin

  • Industry Advocate Launches Campaign to Fight Detrimental Legislation

    The California Spa & Pool Industry Education Council (SPEC), kicked off its 2009-2010 membership campaign last week at the Pool Industry Expo in Monterey, Calif. The SHARK Campaign, described so because of its hard-hitting message…

  • CPSC to Hold Public Hearing on Pool Drains

    The Consumer Products Safety Commission will be holding a public hearing Wednesday, Nov. 4 to receive input on its July 2009 report that specified requirements for drain covers that when attached to a drain made the area “unblockable.

  • IALEI, IAAPA to Merge

    Required approvals are in place and officials from the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) are moving forward to dissolve IALEI and merge..

  • NRPA National Aquatics Branch Inaugurates New Leadership

    The National Recreation and Parks Association National Aquatics Branch welcomes a new president this week. Clay Shuck has been elected the 2010 president and will serve a one-year term

  • New Aquatic Standards Approved

    After nearly a decade of work, the industry’s first-ever set of uniform standards now are in place for aquatic play features, covering water quality, placement and durability.

  • CPSC Seeks Comments on VGBA

    The CPSC is seeking public comments on a Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act Compliance Verification form.

  • Waterpark Resort Takes Top Honors

    A waterpark resort has earned top honors among world-class facilities across the nation in a first for Aquatics International’s annual Best of Aquatics Awards

  • Chemical Costs on the Rise

    The recession has not drowned pool maintenance expenses

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    Going Deep

    Deep-water exercise has been well-documented as a viable alternative to shallow-water and land-based fitness training.

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    Green Solutions

    On practically a daily basis during summer 2003, major newspapers in California carried articles citing closures of public swimming pools due to an inability to afford the utility costs, or justify keeping pools open.

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    Doorway to Opportunity

    These days, when Clay Shuck thinks about next year’s operating budget, he almost feels as if he’s waiting for the results of a biopsy: Will he live or die?

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    Inside the Olympics: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Politics, the Scandals and the Glory of the Games

    Early this month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected Rio de Janeiro as the host city for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympiad. Rio received more votes than the other three final candidate cities of Madrid, Tokyo and my favorite host city choic

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    Ever since the 1980s, the school district of Yuma Union High School wanted to add a swimming pool for its competitive team and physical education classes

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    Can Old Facilities Be Saved?

    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

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    In a community where child obesity, asthma and diabetes are on the rise, it’s no wonder citizens shunned the aging swimming pool and demanded a new one

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    Before a city was even built, there existed a Recreation & Park District in the Conejo Valley north of Los Angeles.

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    Mobilizing a grand project such as a new swimming pool in a small town like Pittsfield, Maine, requires a citizens’ grass-roots effort.

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    Five Facility Musts

    What does a modern aquatics facility need to succeed? Sue Nelson, aquatic program specialist at USA Swimming in Colorado Springs, Colo,. suggests the following five factors

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    The following facilities got creative to ensure that their communities' aquatic needs were met — while staying mindful of budgets and other vital concerns:

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    Profiles in Reinvention

    When the county of Spartanburg, S.C., passed a local hospitality tax for the purpose of building more recreation for its residents, the city of Duncan jumped on board. It secured a note to finance an aquatics center and citizens embraced the idea immediately

  • No Limits

    No Limits: The Will to Succeed

    Michael Phelps is truly a champion.

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    Jacket Required

    Over the years, I have experienced a great deal of criticism from guests, and even fellow waterpark managers, for our policies requiring life jackets for younger guests.

  • Illustration by Nick Orabovic

    Balance of Power

    What we generally refer to today as the “core,” Joseph Pilates called the “powerhouse.”

  • Pool Operators plagued by Poor Weather

    With record cool summer temperatures, operators down the East Coast and through the Midwest reported decreased attendance for the usually hot months.

  • CPSC Ramps Up VGB Enforcement

    Several months after the new head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned against noncompliance with the Pool and Spa Safety Act, the agency has officially begun nationwide compliance, and may be stepping up its enforcement efforts.

  • The Price of Heroism

    With summer nearly over, the aquatics industry is on track for a sad milestone: 2009 may be one of the deadliest drowning years on record. Every day, it seems a new tragedy makes headlines.

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    Angels and Demons

    I’d been in aquatics for what I considered to be a long time and had just taken a job at a great new facility

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    Suspicious Behavior

    Each year, I provide awareness training to new and returning lifeguards to help them become aware of potential sex offenders

  • USA Swimming Announces New National Team

    USA Swimming has named its 2009-2010 National team.

  • VGB Scams Cloud Compliance

    In the months since the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act went into effect, problems have come up and nationwide compliance is still far from complete.

  • Online Educational Conference Debuts in November

    is hosting a virtual conference to help aquatics professionals deal with today’s new economic realities.

  • Aquatics Facilities Give Back

    In spite of the recession, aquatics facilities have raised more than $300,000 for cancer research and other charitable causes.

  • Slips, Falls Behind Most Theme Park Lawsuits

    In a review of 477 personal injury lawsuits filed against Orlando, Fla’s. three largest theme park companies, the Orlando Sentinel found approximately half were slip-and-fall incidents.

  • Buzz: Tough Times for Several Older Waterparks

    The pressure to compete is tough and several well-established waterparks are struggling.

  • USA Swimming Announces New National Team

    USA Swimming has named its the 2009-2010 National Team.

  • Keep ’Em Open

    Several communities facing budget cuts found strategies to maintain aquatic operations last summer.

  • Penn State Welcomes Griffiths’ Replacement

    Shawn DeRosa, JD, has replaced industry veteran Tom Griffiths as manager of aquatic facilities at Penn State University in State College, Pa.

  • Fear Factor: Facilities Cash in on Holiday Promotions

    By late October temperatures have cooled off, kids are back in school and summer is a distant memory.

  • Lifeguard Survey Calls for Participants

    A new survey launched by the Department of Kinesiology at University of North Carolina- Charlotte aims to collect information directly from lifeguards regarding their responses to water-related incidents.

  • California Moves Forward on VGB Legislation

    California’s legislature has passed a highly anticipated bill to address the Pool and Spa Safety Act, and is moving forward on other legislation likely to impact the aquatics industry.

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    Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark

    When Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark, opened last spring it was the first major new park addition to the Orlando area in nearly a decade.

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    Wet’n’Wild Water World

    One of several theme parks in Australia’s Gold Coast, Wet’n’Wild Water World is Australia’s largest waterpark.

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    Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort

    One of three family-owned Schlitterbahn waterparks in Texas, the Bavarian-inspired waterpark resort in New Braunfels includes more than 15 water slides, seven children’s water playgrounds and a stationary surf machine.

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    Caribbean Bay at Everland Resort

    Operators say Caribbean Bay is the biggest indoor and outdoor water park in the world

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    Vivaldi Park’s Ocean World

    Located within Vivaldi Park resort, which is best known for skiing, Ocean World is an Egyptian-themed indoor/outdoor waterpark that includes several distinct zones to entice all types of patrons.

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    Wet ’n Wild

    When industry pioneer George Millay first opened Wet ’n Wild more than three decades ago, the idea was essentially to create a theme park with water rides.

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    Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

    Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is one of two Walt Disney World Resort waterparks.

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    Disney’s Blizzard Beach

    Thanks to detailed theming, it’s always winter at Disney’s Blizzard Beach waterpark. Set on the slopes of fictional Mt. Gushmore, it’s the newest of the two Walt Disney World Resort waterparks.

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    Chime Long Water Park

    Part of the Chime Long entertainment complex, the tropical-themed Chime Long Water Park is the largest waterpark in Asia

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    Tokyo Summerland

    Tokyo Summerland is known for its many pools and attractions, including Adventure Dome, a covered space featuring a wave pool and open year ’round

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    Beach Park

    Located on the beach of Porto das Dunas, in the Brazilian state of Ceará, Beach Park, includes Aqua Park, one of the few waterparks in the world facing the ocean.

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    Wild Wadi

    Located between two top hotels on the shore of the Arabian Sea, Wild Wadi Waterpark is the only Arabian-themed amusement venue in the United Arab Emirates

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    Dollywood’s Splash Country

    Situated on more than 30 acres of Great Smoky Mountains woodland, Dollywood’s Splash Country opened in 2001 and features more than a dozen aquatic rides and attractions — all designed to complement the area’s natural beauty.

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    Water Country USA

    Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Water Country USA is the mid-Atlantic coast’s largest waterpark.

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    Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

    Six Flags Hurricane Harbor features more than 26 rides, slides and pools.

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    Sorak Waterpia

    Designed in harmony with the natural beauty of the surroundings, including Mt. Sorak, Sorak Waterpia blends the relaxation of a European spa with the excitement of a traditional waterpark.

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    Raging Waters

    Nestled in the desert community of San Dimas, Calif., east of Los Angeles, is Raging Waters waterpark.

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    Splish Splash

    With 96 acres of slides and attractions, Splish Splash includes rides and attractions for all types of guests.

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    Adventure Island

    Adventure Island is Tampa Bay’s only waterpark. Located across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the 30-acre waterpark features a combination of high-speed rides and low-key attractions in a tropical Key West-inspired atmosphere.

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    Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark

    Operators say Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is the world’s first convertible waterpark.

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    Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe

    Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe is North Carolina’s largest waterpark.

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    World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall

    The tropical paradise-themed World Waterpark is a 5-acre indoor waterpark located in West Edmonton Mall, North America’s largest entertainment and shopping center.

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    Hyland Hills Water World

    Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Hyland Hills Water World is perhaps the first publicly owned, full-sized waterpark.

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    Noah’s Ark

    Residing in the heart of Wisconsin Dells — the waterpark capital of the world — Noah’s Ark has 49 water slides, two wave pools, two endless rivers, four children’s water-play areas, the Paradise Lagoon activity pool, three family tube rides, minigolf, ret

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    Six Flags White Water

    Six Flags White Water — the Southeast’s largest waterpark — celebrates its 25th anniversary this year

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    Thirst for Solutions

    Headlines around the world call attention to global warming, drought conditions, carbon footprint reduction and going “green.

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    Great Wolf Lodge

    Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, Pa., features an 80,000-square-foot North Woods-themed indoor waterpark with 12 water slides and several pools

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    Great Wolf Lodge

    Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, features a 78,000-square-foot North Woods-themed indoor waterpark with 12 water slides and several pools

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    Boyne Mountain Resort

    The Swiss-Austrian village-themed Boyne Mountain Resortfeatures Avalanche Bay indoor waterpark