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Yesterday’s Numbers

When analyzing the efficiency of your aquatic operation’s business plan and financial sustainability, it’s extremely important to know where you’ve been in order to know where you are headed and how you can get there. There are several categories that can give you a good indication of your overall financial situation in terms of revenues and expenses, and analyzing evaluating these can help you determine in what areas you can increase revenues and decrease expenses, the key to financial viability and continued success. The following are the key areas you need data for in terms of both revenue and expenses:

  1. Total Attendance
  2. Total Revenue
    1. Admission Revenue
    2. Rental Revenue
    3. Food and Beverage Revenue
    4. Retail Revenue
  3. Daily Revenue Average
  4. Daily Attendance Average
  5. Total Expenses
    1. Total Salary Expenses
    2. Total Operational Expenses
  6. Expenses Per Operating Day
  7. Expense Per Guest
  8. Salary Expense Per Day
  9. Guests Needed to Cover Expenses

Aquatic facilities should track these numbers on an annual basis and keep a 3-5 year track record so it can be compared to the current financials of your operation. This will help you to see areas where your operation is thriving, as well as areas that provide opportunity for growth. For example, analyzing your personnel salaries on a year to year basis will help you to see where you currently stand on labor expenses compared to the previous years and will better enable you to identify if you are overstaffing your operation, or staying on par with your 3-year average. When starting to track these numbers on a year to year basis, it will be a great benefit to the efficiency of your operation and help you to better meet your financial sustainability goals.

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Xciting Programs

Aquatic programs don’t have to be dull and boring. Check out the list we compiled of some “oldie, but goodie” programs, as well as some new exciting programs to keep your guests engaged and enjoying your facility all year long! Lessons – Standardized swim lesson program for all ages Swim Team – Year-round or summer […]

Updating Policies

One of the primary keys to having a successful aquatic facility operation is the development and implementation of policies and procedures.  Aquatic facilities need policies in regards to a variety of issues that will come up on a daily basis, including hours of operations, admission prices and refunds, severe weather, parental supervision, outside groups and […]


It Is critical that all aquatic operations have a comprehensive onboarding and training process for all new and returning team members.  Back in my aquatic manager days, I made the mistake of telling myself that I “didn’t have time for training my management/supervisory team” and that was the biggest mistake I ever made, and I […]


The decision to outsource your organization’s aquatic operation is not one to be taken lightly. And, in the new climate of break-even cost recovery and sustainability being the expected norm for aquatics operations, you should know the three primary reasons that parks and recreation departments are exploring the possibility of outsourcing. Financial For some departments, […]