Alpena Plaza Pool Director Krista Morrow wants to make a few small price adjustments for swimmers at the pool in hopes that it will increase the amount of participation.
During Wednesday's Alpena County Finance Committee meeting Morrow explained to the commissioner why she felt some tweaks to the prices would help attract swimmers, especially ones who are non-members. Morrow said currently there is a $25 charge for swimmers who want to use the pool whom are not members. She said doing away with the charge will make the pool more customer friendly and more affordable for everyone.
"The non-membership fee was brought in for a good reason and that was to increase revenue, but the fee is a big slap for people who are only going to use the pool temporarily or here to visit," Morrow said. "We have actually had people turn around and walk away when they find out about the fee. With this you have an ill feeling with a person right off the bat, so I proposed we do away with it and increase other things slightly, so we pull more people in quicker and for longer and make more money in the long run."
There will be several other adjustments made to pricing at the pool. Morrow said discounts we be available for service members who want to utilize the pool and for those who have disabilities. Morrow said she would like to slash the cost of any pool purchase for military families and also provide a half-off discount for veterans and their spouse(s).
"The military discount was for active military and I think anyone involved with the military or is a veteran should be able to get it," Morrow said. "Veterans today for the most part are on a fixed budget and we need those people in the pool. They need the pool and I'm hoping by including them in the discount we will get more people using the pool."
There will also be a change in price for swimming lessons. Morrow said she has checked rates at other pools and found out lessons in Alpena were well under the market standard. She said private and group lessons will cost a little more, but said with the $25 non-member fee possibly being done away with, she thinks lesson participation numbers will increase. Lessons will now be $12 for a member and $16 for a non-member.
"I found we were grossly under charging private lessons. To have a lifeguard work with someone privately and make $8 and charge nine $9 doesn't make sense," Morrow said. "We have a lot of people using private lessons and I think they will understand the change."
Morrow said for some of the swimming classes she is having to turn people away. She said she made a temperary price change for the infant swim class and it exploded in popularity.
"Our swim lesson numbers right now are just phenomenal. I'm very, very proud to say that," Morrow said. "I'm pretty sure we had 100 kids total for our last session. I actually had to turn people away. When I dropped the $25 dollars for the infant class we had 52 kids and many parents in the shallow end of the pool. It caught me off guard, but it was awesome."
There could also be potential savings for people with disabilities. Morrow said they can call the pool to see if they qualify and what the rate would be. She said she would like to be able to offer $20 punch cards to some of the people with disabilities.
The new prices were approved by the finance committee, but must still must pass a vote of the entire board on April 30.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.