There’s a great scene in the movie “As Good as it Gets” in which a neurotic Jack Nicholson pours his heart out, only to then attack the person offering help.

“I’m drowning here! And you’re describing  the water!” he yells in the way that only Nicholson can.

I wonder if that’s how some aquatics professionals will feel when they see the cover of Aquatics International.

By now, it’s become all too evident that facilities are drowning in one of the worst and most persistent economic recessions in the nation’s history. We’ve done numerous articles outlining the devastation to pools and waterparks. Now we have a cover story that asks the question: Are aquatics facilities cracking under pressure? Well, duh! Nicholson would have a field day with us.

Fortunately, there’s more to the issue than the cover. Go to the actual story and you’ll find more than a description of the problem. You’ll find the kind of help that drowning people need. In this case, that help is the information needed to fight for your facility’s life in these tough times. As with so many challenges, the first place to start is with education.

Now, more than ever, operators must be advocates (even agitators) for aquatics. You must be able to tell city council representatives why you need $10,000 or $100,000 or $10 million to fix your pool — and why they should support you. The help we’re offering doesn’t just end with our feature article. Inside, you’ll also find two columns that detail why now is a great time to renovate and how you can even get financial assistance from utility companies to do so.

But saving facilities from going under financially and convincing voters or budget authorities to make a monetary rescue is a big job. So the help doesn’t end with this issue. We’ve also devoted our 4th Annual Virtual Conference to the subject. “Renovating Aquatics: Rebuilding, Renewing and Redefining Facilities in the New Economy” is as ambitious as it sounds. We’ve lined up an impressive group of speakers, some of whom are featured in this issue of the magazine, to tackle the confusing questions that renovation raises and to provide the necessary information for you to give cogent answers to those who hold your financial lifeline.

The free conference encompasses seven seminars and, as always, they’re available on demand so you can work them into your increasingly busy schedules. You can go to to learn more or to register.

I also encourage you go to our AI online network for even more help. From AI Connect to Twitter and everything in between, you’ll find discussions and threads devoted to your renovation questions, ideas and insights. And we’ll be announcing a special online offer in the coming weeks as well, so watch your in-box and networks for more information.   

More than merely describing the water to the drowning, we hope this multimedia rescue effort will give operators the help they need to save themselves and their facilities.


Aquatics International welcomes feedback from readers. All correspondence may be edited for clarity and space considerations. Please include your complete name and contact information.

Letters may be sent by mail to Aquatics International, Attn: Editor, 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90048; by fax to 323.801.4986; or via email to [email protected].


  • Do You Matter?
  • Aquatics facilities are complicated. They must have operators who are familiar with every aspect of the equipment that runs them.

  • End the Cliffhangers
  • Aquatics professionals need to be asking a different question than what’s up with the fed’s timing. The question you should be asking is, why does this keep happening? And how can we make it stop?

  • Access for All
  • The industry can’t afford to ignore ADA. Want a good reason? I’ll give you 54 million.