I had the pleasure over the holiday season of having a generational “Oreo” moment. I got that sweet creamy feeling inside seeing the generation above me and below me spending time together. Yeah, I probably did have a few Oreos too. Don’t tell my doc! There are few feelings as precious as seeing people who love our kids even more than you do. Grandparents are a wonderful thing!

As we start the year, my mind keeps coming back to the question, “How do we grow our industry?” 

There are five amazing “truths” that open the door for growth:

1)    Grandparents want to spend time with grandchildren. Most grandparents don’t understand their grandkids attraction to video games. Grandparents prefer to do things with their grandchildren, then, drop them back off at home.

2)    The most affluent population are the 65+ year old people (grandparents, grand uncles, grand aunts)

3)    The population that has the most discretionary time is the adults that have transitioned to being empty nesters.

4)    According to the Sporting Good Manufacturing Association, the number one aspirational activity (what they want to do) for the 65+ age group is “swimming for fitness.”  Similarly, the number one aspirational activity for the 6-12 year old group is also swimming.

If we want to grow demand for pools, spas, aquatic facilities, and the products that support them, the door is right in front of us. We just have to figure out how to convince the people with time, money, and desire to open the door and enroll their grandkids AND themselves in a swim program.

Some recent research I read showed that people who enroll their kids in a learn-to-swim or swim program chose the program via word of mouth.

Let’s make this the year we encourage people to enroll their grandkids into a learn-to-swim program. While we’re at it, encourage our parents to get in the water too!  If your family already knows how to swim, you can pay for someone else’s membership to a local pool so they can learn to swim. Then, let’s tell our friends so they do it too.

It is a sweet thing when we can see our parents and kids having magical times together and know they will be healthier and have great memories together. Of course, there is no escaping the laws of economics. More swimmers mean more demand. More demand means growth for our industry and products.

How can we make this happen in our family, neighborhood, and country?

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