Vail Daily letter: Don’t cut pool hours |

Vail Daily letter: Don’t cut pool hours

At my normal visit to the Avon Rec Center pool the other day, I read a notice that the pool closing hours are going to change on April 1 from 9 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is ridiculous. I asked one of the lifeguards why, and he said two members of the management looked at the “numbers,” and decided to cut the hours.

First, the town of Avon has set an expectation that the pool would be open until 9 p.m., and many of us who use the pool arrange our schedules for this very reason. For me, it will now be impossible to use the pool. I’m not the only one. Just ask any of the furious patrons who normally use the pool these hours, and you’ll get the same answer.

Second, these managers do not have the prerogative of setting pool hours — a facility provided by the town of Avon for municipal residents and others, and a community service. This change after so many years should demand hearings, a presentation at a council meeting, and reviews. A couple managers looked at numbers and decided arbitrarily to close the pool earlier? Unconscionable.

This is the only public pool with a lazy river, water slide, huge hot-tub, and swimming lanes available for miles around. People who work hard during the day and who want to enjoy a non-crowded pool environment should not be punished because some manager looked at “numbers.”

For that matter, why do we keep the street lights on during the wee hours of the morning, when the “numbers” are down? Why are the crosswalks open during the wee hours of the night, when the “numbers” are down? Why keep the speed limit signs in place when the “numbers” are down? Why have a police dispatcher on duty when the “numbers” are down?

Municipal services and facilities are there for the people, not for managers to examine “numbers” to try to look good to their budgeting bosses. It has nothing to do with that, but ignorance prevails. How many of us in our stores and on the slopes have recommended the Avon pool to guests? Many. Whether you use it every day or not, it needs to stay open until 9 p.m.

And another thing —locals don’t get the discounted drop-in rate of $7 until after 7 p.m. So those people who want to save money can use the pool for 30 minutes? Great.

The only other people I spoke to about this were men in the locker room who use the pool at the same times I do. All of us agreed we will not be renewing our memberships — because we can’t use the facility at any other time.

This is a matter for the Avon Town Council. It’s not a matter for managers looking at “numbers” they don’t have the capacity to interpret. The Avon Rec Center is not a for-profit store enslaved to the bottom line. It’s a community service that has set standard expectations to the community regarding hours of availability, and the hours should not be arbitrarily changed without council review.

If the Avon pool managers want something to count, let them count pool water molecules. That should keep them out of our hair for a good long time.

David Schaut


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