Aquatic industry news from WTI

Tips to re-open your pool for the upcoming swim season.

Now that you have had a productive off-season full of annual and preventative maintenance, it’s time again to welcome guests back to the pool. How do you complete everything on time without forgetting anything in the process? Let’s take a look at some helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to establish a successful opening routine.

1. Plan

Start with a well-defined list of what you should complete before your opening day. Include changes from the year prior, dates, labor needed, and any associated costs. This planning should begin immediately after your facility closes the prior year. Continue updating this list to utilize this information year after year.

2. Start Early

If you have been in this industry long, you know all too well that no matter how much you plan, the week (or month) before reopening can be a lot of 15-20 hour days. The earlier you start preparing, the fewer of those days you will have. Adequate preparation will allow you to find and correct any issues that may arise while preparing your facility for the summer.

3. Hire

Start reaching out to previous staff over the winter break. A fun open house (with snacks) should get them excited for another summer at your facility. Use this time to get them to bring friends interested in working with you. Have dates ready for them to apply, dates of training coming up, and the summer theme or incentive program for that year. Once the new year begins and you can start hiring, begin the process to ensure you are not waiting on anyone else. The earlier you start, the sooner you will have all the best staff possible.

4. Train

Whether you have seasoned employees or are working with new hires, there is a lot for staff to learn through training, certification classes, job responsibilities, Emergency Action Plans, Customer Service, and so much more. Schedule earlier dates so staff is ready for opening day. Offer make-up dates, as some team members will likely return from school after the facility is open. You do not want them to miss out on your training. Post these dates early/as soon as you offer a job to guarantee they can make it to the necessary scheduled trainings.

5. Facility Set Up

Be specific and plan for extra time, as some projects will take longer than expected. Types of projects on this list will be cleaning and placing furniture, uncovering or reinstalling signage, setting up computers or cash registers, and cleaning everything.This process is a great opportunity to bring back some staff early while giving them pride and ownership in the facility.

6. Advertise

Don’t forget how important advertising is. Use social media, signage, event presence, etc., to promote hiring, special events, programs, and operations dates.

7. Maintenance Set Up

Maintenance is a more intensive process that will require knowledge to complete. Any of these areas could lead you to problems if not done correctly or skipped. These could also cost you a lot of time you do not have if a problem arises. Start these projects early and allow for extra time. Inspect all barriers, clean/paint/pressure wash pool surfaces, replace chemical injector lines, test gauges, inspect pumps, install floatables, and test all lighting/timers.

8. Inspections

Contact inspection agencies at the beginning of the year to set up your permit, amusement, and other necessary inspections for early spring. Inspector schedules fill up right before summer. You will want to schedule late enough to know you will be ready for the walk-through but early enough that if they spot a problem, you have time to fix it before your opening date.

Have a fun and safe summer!

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