The Ultimate End-of-Season Checklist for Pool Facilities
As important as it is to be best prepared before opening your pools, it is also fundamental that pool facilities pay equal attention while the season is about to end. Once summer is off the list, it’s time to tidy up your pool so you are best prepped for reopening in the next season. Neglecting proper maintenance and cleanliness details would only pave way for extensive and unplanned budgetary expenses which are of course damaging to a pool’s revenue and reputation.
While you are closing down for the winter, here’s the ultimate End-of-Season Checklist for Pool Facilities to keep your pools in the best condition no matter what season!
The Ultimate End-of-Season Checklist for Pool Facilities-
- Ensure Pool Safety and Maintenance
- Audit Pool Equipment
- Analyze Budgets
- Review Facility Rules
- Nurture Community Bonds
Let’s take a deep dive and explore each point in greater detail.
1. Ensure Pool Safety and Maintenance
After the busy pool season ends it gives facility owners an opportune window to fix some of the basic maintenance needs just before spring rolls in! Apart from the normal cleaning sessions of skimming, brushing, and vacuuming the pool, go through a proper winterizing process for your pools. Adding shock, oxidizer, and algaecide to the pool water helps in advance disinfection. Adding to that, maintaining proper pool water chemistry and balancing ph and alkalinity is vital. Depending on the pool size, it is also recommended that facility operators run pumps at least 4-6 hours a day during the fall and winter months.
Secondly, covering your pool securely for the cold season helps. Use the best options available for pool covers that suit your pool type ranging from mesh covers, solid covers, hybrid covers, special winter covers and so on that are ideal for your needs. Depending on the weather and geographical location, things that pool managers need to take care of while choosing pool covers are the ability to filter out debris, prevent accumulation of melting snow or rainwater, provide superior UV protection, and keep everyone safe from pool-related accidents.
2.Audit Pool Equipment
The off-season is also a good time to review all pool equipment, repair and reinstall anything that needs fixing. And that includes technically everything that helps operate a pool - diving boards, water slides, rails, ladders, pool toys, life jackets and floatation devices, and so on. Do a thorough check of your pump to make sure it is in good working condition, preventing calcium buildup on the chlorination cell. The same goes for the filters as it is central to maintaining a clean pool. For pool winterizing, it is imperative to drain all pumps, filters, and chlorinators from freezing or cracking. Store every piece of equipment that is not used in a clean and dry place until the next season.
Thorough maintenance of pool equipment mostly requires the assistance of a pool service company for a close inspection and complete overhaul of core equipment as per need.
This winter break surely gives ample amount of time to facility owners and management boards to review and plan budgets. Certainly, financial expenses are crucial to running a community pool smoothly. What were the pool maintenance costs in the previous season? Could you work with new vendors that help you cut your maintenance costs? What were the pool operating costs like? What were the costs of maintaining an elaborate pool staff including coaches, lifeguards, pool operators, and front desk? Could your facility limit a few of those staff and automate things using booking software?
Pool facility owners could also consider auditing the types of swim classes and swim sessions that were offered the previous summer. Pick out the most popular ones, and redo class structures in a way that you could increase prices for the popular ones. This is also a good time to evaluate client data in depth so you can restructure your membership plans, rethink ways to bring in discounts, reengage inactive members and retain older ones.
4. Review Facility Rules
Other than reviewing the costs of running a pool facility, do a thorough review of the facility rules laid down for pool users. Rules are critical to the safety of the visitors and success of a facility. See if the existing rules were good enough for the safety and security of your members and the staff.
Assess what rules were followed and what was broken that might make your facility liable for damages. Were there any pool-related accidents that happened last season? How was the damage control taken care of? How could you further avert such mishaps in the future? Would it make more sense if your facility had made mandatory liability waivers with rules put down by you, that would have to be signed by pool users before making a booking, so as to deter any possible risks keeping your facility safe from potential damages.
Secondly, what were your facility rules around access management, equitable share of pool resources, or capacity management? Was it chaos at the front desk? Did your facility staff have a tough time managing a crowd? Was the waitlist uncontrollable? Or did you have to face numerous complaints from your existing members regarding facility access, rules, or booking slots? Working on negative feedback helps a lot in improving your daily operations and member experience. Make your facility experience worth the money your loyal members invested in.
Using a modern-age swimming pool booking and management software helps resolve many of these issues and more. It allows fair and equitable access to pool amenities so everyone can have their best time. Make sure there are no nasty surprises or tedious queues at your front desk. Build a system where your members can book their favorite slots, check-in with ease, receive every update in real-time, and get instantly informed about an open spot off the waitlist.
These might look like small things but taking care of them and offering an unmatched pool facility experience for your clients and members right from the time they step in will surely make a big difference!
5. Nurture Community Bonds
Seasonal downtrends are an inevitable part of a pool business. A pool facility owner or manager cannot expect huge turnouts day in and day out. However, one can still utilize this relatively calmer pre-season trying to keep engaging with the existing clients and members. As a community is central to any service business, nurturing community members and building relationships is the best way forward. Keep your members engaged with your facility even while it’s going through a periodic shutdown.
As per a recent report, returning customers spend 67% more than new customers. Hence, building loyalty programs, and offering discounts help a lot. While generating new customers also, getting referrals from your current customers has been the most effective way.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are strong methods not just in earning ‘five stars’ but even leads. Apart from offering special packages to your existing customers to get set for the new season, think about how you can leverage your pool’s reputation with customer reviews and testimonials. Good reviews are real experiences of people using your pool hence backed with powerful credibility.
Similarly, this is the best time to work on the negative reviews or any specific product or service that your customers are looking for. Doing a customer survey will help a facility owner get a reality check and also the chance to improve it.
But how do you go about implementing these techniques? It’s simple. As your sales are naturally lower during the off-season, focus on low-budget marketing strategies to keep the conversation on before the peak season starts. Use economical marketing channels such as social media, text messages, newsletters, email campaigns, and so on to keep the engagement going.
Remember, this will only help to make your facility a popular spot when finally summer kicks in!
As the temperature starts dipping, pool facilities will decide to close down for the season. Maybe the end of the swim season is not the favorite time for pool owners. However, pool closing time could be made worthwhile with planned maintenance and solid strategies. The above checklist will undoubtedly help you keep your pool facility in great shape throughout the year, so you are all braced up until the sun shines brighter!
Make sure you are fully equipped to implement your plans to optimize pool operations when you reopen the next season. In order to deliver the highest quality of service, Omnify offers pool facilities and HOAs an all-in-one scheduling and management system through an intuitive and user-friendly platform. Sign up for a FREE TRIAL and get started today!
While pools close down for the winter, here’s the ultimate End-of-Season Checklist for Pool Facilities to keep pools in the best condition until next summer!