This may absolutely be a silly idea, but does anyone have a lane reservation system where your swimmers can reserve a private or semi-private (only share with one person) lane for a period of time? Do you charge more and how much?
I have heard all the gripes from customers feeling entitled to their own private lane. The fair argument against it is that their pass buys access to the pool and not a guaranteed space. The vast majority of our lap pools run at some sort of loss and their pass in no way offsets that cost. Lanes can easily accommodate several swimmers of similar speed if everyone plays fairly. I have adamantly fought anyone who argues that they should get their own space at my public facility.
As a hypothetical thought, I'm considering if I were to implement something like this how would I do it. It wouldn't be the whole pool, like two lanes. How would you do it?
swimmers who dont share a lane are not SWIMMERS...if they cant hang with the other fish...go buy a swim gym, I say...
I tried a strategy once...didnt work...people didnt show up for their alloted times, and people complained about not swimming in the empty lane...NYC swimmers are the toughest to make happy - I would suggest you stop beating your head in a wall about it, and enforce the policies you have in place, rather than cater to the minority... if you do so, they will only exploit your authority and look for something else for you to stress about - like water temperature....LOL...
I'd disagree that swimmers who don't share a lane are not swimmers. They are spoiled swimmers.
I'm not banging my head against the wall. This is more of a hypothetical exercise. I am fully comfortable with the response that we all give to the people who complain about this. I can give the reasons for why people shouldn't get their own lanes in my sleep. I totally get it and believe it.
I'm trying to see if there is a better way. I have a very small facility in a rural area. I'm trying different attacks to the problems that we all face with our facilities. Why not turn a disadvantage of having a smaller population draw, a small staff and limited resources into a strength? Instead of trying for 100 satisfied customers, why can't I have 40 stark raving mad supporters who would riot for me and the facility, and 20 generally satisfied customers? A highly motivated group that is half the size of a generally happy group is much more valuable.
In response to your point about being pushed around, why stick to a rule that we can change in a fair way? At my facility I hear out people, and then tell them why we are doing what we do. If they make good points, I consider their advice. If not then I thank them for their support. I've had many patrons slam my office door shut after not hearing what they want. I've heard "you are ruining this pool" and been called many colorful names. The people who feel this strongly are generally very stubborn and opinionated. Where I can I work with them. I always try to make them felt heard and I feel that has earned me more respect and support when I do tell them no.
If I can find a way to spoil my swimmers though, I will.
a simple "slow", "medium", and "fast' lane designation, should help...if you have 6 or more lanes, try renting 2 lanes. 5 bucks per 30 mins. tell them proceeds go towards a new pace clock, or something...
I tried that a long time ago...it worked for a time... but I had 6 lanes, and it was tough to set hours for lane rental.
if you have 8 lanes or more, go make that money!