There are plenty of swimmers in the pool, but not many are getting the water, says a spokeswoman for the National Association of Pool and Spa Owners, which represents more than 300 pool operators nationwide.
“There’s not a lot of pools in this country that are designed for swimmers.
That’s the way it is,” said Stephanie Wigler, a spokeswoman.
The swimmers that do get the water typically spend their days swimming in the swimming pool.
When they’re not in the water they’re either sitting on the grass or in their own pools, she said.
The average number of swimmings in the U.S. is roughly 3,000 per year, but there’s a lot more going on than that, she added.
“A lot of these swimmers have been working at pools for many years and have never really gotten a swim,” Wigling said.
“They’re not getting the real swimming experience.”
Some people who do have a pool to spend their time in also don’t seem to be taking advantage of it, according to the pool operators.
“Some of the pool owners who are complaining to me are people who never go swimming.
They never go in the pools,” said Todd Dominguez, who manages the Los Angeles pool in Riverside, California.
“The pool is always closed and they can’t get in.
You just have to ask your customer service.
If you’re like, ‘I’m going to go to the swimming facility,’ I’ll let you in,” Domingue said.
When people do want to go in, they may have to pay extra for access to the indoor pool.
A common complaint among swimmers is that they have to put up signs that say, “No Swimmers,” according to Mark Zipperer, owner of the Los Angles Aquatics Center.
“You’ve got to take the word of the customer,” Zipperers pool manager told NBC News.
“If people can’t access the pool because of signage, then you’ve got a problem.”
Zippers pool also recently opened up a swim area to the public and has begun a program to make the indoor swimming facility accessible to anyone with a disability.
Pool operators are trying to educate people about the benefits of swimming and the costs of having to pay for access.
“I think it’s a great way to get people involved and to make sure that you’re having a good experience with a pool,” Domereser said.
If the swimmers aren’t getting the pool experience, some pool owners have tried to cut the cord.
“When I go to my pool, I have a personal assistant who takes care of me,” Domes said.
That assistant, he said, would be working at the pool with him on a voluntary basis.
“She doesn’t get paid.
She’s just doing it because it’s what she does,” Doms pool manager said.
Zipperos pool is part of the Aquatics center in Orange County, California, but Domes pool manager says the company’s policies are different than the one that other pools use.
“We don’t allow personal assistants, because they get too involved,” he said.
Many people are reluctant to pay the extra for a pool because it might make them feel uncomfortable, he added.
Some pool operators are not happy about it either.
“This is a private business, so there’s no obligation to pay.
If it were a public pool, then we would have to provide accommodations for swimmers,” Zimmerers pool manager explained.
“So, why are they charging a fee for that?
It doesn’t seem right to me.
We just want to make it easy for people to swim.”