As owner of Hubbard Family Swim Schools in Phoenix, Bob Hubbard is a true entrepreneur. He says given the current economy, no matter what their operational status nonprofit, school, municipally owned aquatics facility operators need to embrace a private enterprise philosophy and focus on generating revenue.

"To become more profit-driven, operators can look for ways to open facilities to non-city operators. This will help offset the cost of running the pools," Hubbard suggests. "Another option is to work with the local business community on opportunities for potential commercialization or underwriting."

In this down economy, he says he's focusing on another tenet of service-driven, private-enterprise operations: perceived consumer value. "We're looking closely at things such as overall quality of instruction and the effectiveness of communication efforts," he says. "Word-of-mouth is our best marketing tool, and parents are being more cautious and seeking more value."

As a result, the Hubbard team has become experts on the benefits of swimming, including factors such as muscular development, balance and bilateral motor development.