Marysville pool officials are pleased with the 2019 season. Daily attendance increased for a second consecutive year. (Photo submitted)
Officials in Plain City and Marysville are pleased with the summer performance of the pool, specifically, the concessions stand.
In Marysville, concession stand sales topped $42,000 for the year, rising more than 15% from the year before.
Amanda Morris, recreation, aquatics and events manager for the city of Marysville said it is difficult to pinpoint just one reason.
“This year we really paid attention to a lot of things and there was a focus on customer service,” Morris said.
Morris said pool sales continue to “show a steady increase each season.”
She said 2019 membership was up 1.5% over the previous year.
Morris said the pool averaged a daily attendance of 398 swimmers, up from 335 in 2018 and 270 the year before.
Even so, Morris said she knows there is only so much growth possible with pool attendance and membership. She said concessions are an area where money can be made.
Pool officials said they made a commitment that the concessions stand would add value for swimmers and to the bottom line. Morris explained the service window was expanded and concessions officials spoke with customers to hear what they wanted to have offered.
The matter is a bit more complicated in Plain City.
“Regardless, we are very pleased with our gross sales at the concession stand,” said Plain City Parks and Recreation Director Linda Granger.
In the past, concessions at the pool have been outsourced, with the vendor giving the village a portion of the profits. Typically, officials said the village would receive between $1,000 and $1,500 for the concessions. This year, the vendor elected not to renew the contract with the village and officials decided to move forward with operating the concession stand in-house. At the time, officials budgeted for $1,000 in revenue but said they really hoped just to break even.
Granger said that in the finally tally, the concessions stand raised $25,567.
Village Administrator Nathan Cahall described the revenue from pool concessions as a “unicorn moment.”
Granger said she is equally pleased with the overall pool revenue. Granger said that by the end of the season the pool generated revenue of nearly $118,000, about $6,000 more than in 2018.
“We think that is fantastic given that we had a really rainy start to the season and at mid-season we were down about $11,000 from the year before,” Granger said. “We are really thrilled that we were able to make that up and even top last year’s revenue. I think that really speaks to how the pool is doing.”
She said swim lessons increased and the Plain City swim team has “grown incredibly.”
Morris said this year’s weather did not impact the Marysville pool the way it did in Plain City. She said that while there was some rain in the beginning of the season, it didn’t really hurt the pool because the rain would often stop before it was time to open the pool.
According to information from Morris, the pool generated revenue of about $185,000, more than $10,000 from 2018 and more than $22,000 above 2017.
Pool expenses also increased, topping $238,000, up about $3,500 over the 2018 season. The largest of the increases came from personnel costs. City Human Resources Director Brian Dostanko said the pool had a large number of lifeguards returning, meaning they were paid more. Morris added that with the retention, more of the guards were certified swim instructors, meaning they received an additional wage bump.
Morris said $10,000 of the expenses went to pool capital improvements. She said between $10,000 and $15,000 went to maintenance and materials at the Partners Park splash pad.
Granger said village officials have also committed to invest in capital improvements at the pool, “whether they are things the public can see or not.
“It is nice the council realizes the importance of the pool to our community and they have made it a priority,” Granger said.
Morris and Granger said their pools are able or very nearly able to cover operating costs with revenue.
“That is obviously a fantastic scenario for the pool and the community,” Granger said.
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