Ah, the New Year.
A time of new gym or club memberships, full aerobics classes, and packed equipment rooms…for about three weeks! With the new year approaching, this is the time to be thinking about what you can do to improve your aquatic facility and make it even more appealing to those new and/or returning clients. Sure, a shiny new pool and spa would certainly draw those clients in, but most of us are not so lucky as to be getting a new pool this year. Even so, there are a number of small changes that you can make to your pool to help draw in, and keep, old and new clients alike.
Take inventory of your current pool sanitizing program. Have you had the same equipment for many years? Are there areas you could improve upon and therefore improve the quality of your water? More and more facilities are turning to salt water chlorination. Why? Salt systems bring clients. Bathers love how gentle a saline pool is on their eyes, skin, and hair. They enjoy the slightly more buoyant feel while swimming. They prefer the decreased chlorine smell in the air. Saline pools are often considered therapeutic. After all, people have been seeking out mineral springs for centuries. Additionally, salt systems are more environmentally friendly and safer than trucking in liquid chlorine, and we all know that “going green” is a great selling point. Plus, they’re easy to maintain, which is a nice bonus to your staff.
If a salt system isn’t in the cards, you have a number of other options to look at. Have you added a UV system to your pool yet? The industry has truly embraced this product in the past few years, and for good reason. Ultraviolet systems reduce or eliminate the combined chlorine in the water, which can improve both the feel of the water as well as the air quality in the pool room. Both of these changes help keep swimmers coming back, day after day. No one likes to smell the pool long before they arrive there, or on their skin after they have left! Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, UV neutralizes the threat of bacteria and viruses, including cryptosporidium, in the water. You’re providing your clients with a safer, healthier place to swim.
How are you currently controlling your waters pH? Muriatic acid has long been the standard, but have you considered CO2? Continuing with the “going green” theme, switching over to CO2 eliminates the need to have hazardous acid onsite. If you are using a liquid chlorine feed, this eliminates the potential for liquid chlorine and acid to meet and cause deadly chlorine gas which will decrease liability. Should you have a leak at your tank or in your line, you are simply releasing a non-toxic gas, rather than spilling corrosive acid. Fewer hazardous chemicals and a greener environment are great draws to potential bathers. CO2 can have pool and pump room benefits as well. Muriatic acid off gasses and can cause pump room corrosion, leading to potentially costly repairs and replacements over the years. You won’t see that with CO2. CO2 also happens to raise the Total Alkalinity of water, an added bonus to those pools that may always battle low TA due to fill water. If that sounds like your pool, switching to CO2 may even save you money that you are currently spending on TA enhancers, such as Sodium Bicarbonate.
Perhaps new equipment just isn’t in the budget right now. If that’s the case, take a look at what you can do with existing equipment to make your facility more enticing. Has your HVAC system been inspected and serviced lately? As I mentioned before, air quality is vitally important to retaining bathers. While you may not draw new clients in simply due to the clean air in the pool room, you’ll certainly loose them if air quality is poor. How does your pool and pool room look? Could it do with a few fresh coats of paint? Could the deck use a good scrubbing? Is the furniture in the pool area clean, well kept, and in good condition? Is the environment a pleasant one to be in?
In the next few weeks you could be seeing an increase in visitors to your pool. Take the time now to go over your facility and ask yourself these questions. A few simple improvements could add up to a better aquatic experience for your clients and more revenue for you.
What will you be doing to the pool this year? We’d love to hear your thoughts.