The aquatics industry may be feeling the pinch, but operators have reason to take heart. So says Tom Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo. He is one of several Power 25 honorees who expressed the need to remain optimistic.

"While facilities that have fallen behind will be at risk, there are lots of outside influences [such as energy prices or consumer confidence] that operators don't have control over, so they need to stop dwelling on the negative and put their energies into focusing on consumers," Lachocki says. "The better that an operation can deliver value to its consumers, the better it will be able to survive."

This means pay attention to customer service. "We can't forget that all facilities are fundamentally working at the whim of the customers," he says. "Facilities that can demonstrate exemplary customer service through new initiatives or ongoing protocols will see stronger revenue."