Category Archives: Design

Almost Half Of Americans Are Afraid Of The Deep End Of A Pool.

Two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep water in lakes, rivers, and oceans

A study performed by Gallup (n-815) and presented at the 2008 World Aquatic Health Conference (Melon Dash) indicates that 64% of Americans are afraid in the deep, open water (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.)  Forty-six percent are afraid in deep water in pools.  Even 39% are afraid to put their heads under water.  It seems reasonable to surmise that if an individual is afraid of a specific environment, it is less likely that the individual would advocate participating in activities in that environment.  If that individual has influence of family purchasing decisions, it is reasonable to conclude that over half of American households may oppose the idea of engaging in aquatic activities.

People don’t think about “strokes” when they think they are going to die

Overcoming change is a substantial barrier for most people.  Overcoming fear is even a greater obstacle.  Gallup research suggests that almost half of American adults fear deep water.  Most learn-to-swim programs focus on children and development of the ability to perform a variety of swim strokes.  The marketing of learn-to-swim programs may not connect to this large market segment.  As a result, in it important to explore and support programs that are tailored to the fearful adult.

The above data was shared at the Learn-To-Swim Innovator Meeting in Colorado Springs Colorado on April 25, 2012.  This meeting was sponsored by the National Swimming Pool Foundation


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Is Common Sense Drowning?

In the past few years the swimming pool industry has experienced an aggressive use of mandates of swimming pool codes without the inclusive interests of all stakeholders in the aquatic industry. The Virginia Graeme Baker Act cost the swimming pool industry hundreds of millions of dollars and there are new challenges that the current language does not go far enough. The Dept. of Justice has reinterpreted the ADA code for portable lifts “no longer applicable” for their intent. The Model of Aquatic Health Code public process is getting significant feedback from industry manufactures that may have their own agenda in mind and not benefiting from the collective wisdom of all stakeholders (owner/operators, designers, users, health code officials). These examples bring to question are we able to apply best practices to raise the standard of care and experience for aquatic patrons in the United States or will this effort be hijacked to promote narrowly focused agendas?

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Designing The Perfect Waterpark

Waterpark Success:  Designing the Perfect Waterpark

With today’s economy, everyone wants to build a waterpark and make lots of money.  The problem is, just because you build it doesn’t mean it’s going to make money.  Most people have no idea what it costs to construct a successful waterpark, let alone what it costs to operate.  They come up with some grand scheme based on their personal preferences and think that everyone is going to enjoy it.

Without taking the proper steps to plan your park, there is no guarantee that it will be successful.  The first question you have to ask yourself is what does success mean at your waterpark?  Then you need to make sure you have the proper amenity blend to be successful in your market.

After you have an idea of how big the park will be and what it may include, you have to get realistic cost estimates.  When you look at construction cost, you can’t just find out the cost of a ride.  Who’s going to put it in?  How are people going to get their?  Where are they going to park?  What are they going to do when they’re not in line?  Getting the right answer to each of these questions will help ensure success at the waterpark.

Click here to read the entire article, which appeared in The World Water Park Annual Developer Guide 2011.

Swimming Is The Top “Aspirational Activity” For Kids And Seniors

The Sporting Good Manufacturing Association partners with five other organizations to ascertain activity popularity. In 2011, they measured the activity of different age groups hope or wish to do (aspirational activity) for seven age groups ranging from six to 65+ years of age. “Swimming for fitness” was in the top three aspirational activities for EVERY age group. In fact, “swimming for fitness” was the leading aspirational activity for the 6-12 and the 65+ age groups. US census data suggests that the 65+ age group will increase from about 39.5 million  July 1, 2009) to about $88.5 million (2050),  according to the US Census Bureau. This finding demonstrates there is substantial interest throughout the population.

The above data was shared at the Learn-To-Swim Innovator Meeting in Colorado Springs Colorado on April 25, 2012. This meeting was sponsored by the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

Wish List For Chamionship Facilities

When developing a new aquatic facility that is intended to be a venue facility for sport, there are a significant number of priorities to be managed.  Most facilities will not be selected in the bidding process to host a major championship event.  When prioritizing capital dollars for the final solution, decisions will be required to balance the day to day programming needs against the requirements of hosting a major event.  To help understand the requirements of hosting a USA Swimming Championship Event, below is a wish list for the ideal facility.   


Long Course Championships

Main Competition Pool – Eight-lane 50 meter with 9’ wide lanes, all minimum 2m deep

Secondary Competition Pool – Eight-lane 50 meter with 9’ wide lanes, all minimum 2m deep

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