LEXINGTON, Ky. - Attendance at Lexington’s public pools is down about 35 percent from what it was 12 years ago.
Officials told members of the Urban County Council Tuesday that around 288,000 patrons visited Lexington pools in 2000, compared with 177,000 in 2011. Last summer, which saw record high temperatures, pool attendance was nearly 198,000.
Lexington General Services Commissioner Sally Hamilton says competition from other aquatic centers and the dated feel of the city’s pools contributed to the decline in attendance.
“When I grew up, you just had a pool and you had a diving board and you swam. Well now you want all these water features and all these climbing walls.”
The Parks & Recreation Department plans to make small changes in the coming months, such as adding play features and more shade structures at the pools.
“There’s some things we can do to really invigorate and make these pools attractive and fun again that don’t cost a lot of money,” says Hamilton.
Two Lexington pools that were closed last year are being transformed into different park space. A softball field is under construction at the site of the old Constitution Pool. Demolition of Berry Hill Pool will begin soon with plans for it to eventually be home to a new skate park.