It's unofficially fall and that means it's time to ask that age old question "What did you do on your summer vacation?" Now I realize for many (most?) aquatics professionals, summer is the last time to take a vacation, but working on Aquatics International, my schedule is a little different. I visited three aquatics facilities last month and got a chance to check out first hand some of the good, and bad things going on in the industry.

My first experience was a day trip to a Southern California waterpark. I won't reveal the name of the park here, but my three adult companions and I all had a great time. The weather was great and in spite of the large crowds we were able to get on almost all the rides. I even had a chance to try the lily pad walk, which I must say was MUCH harder that the kids before me made it look. I didn't personally bring test strips so I can't confirm, but to an informed observer, the water quality seemed good.

Looking back, the only thing that disappointed me was the restrooms. First, there simply wasn't enough of them. Second, both of the facilities I visited did not seem to be well maintained as they could have been. Finally, if I were the operator I would want to protect my guests against recreational water illnesses by adding more signage reminding them of healthy swimming behaviors and good sanitary practices.

About two weeks after I recovered from our waterpark adventure I found myself poolside at a Las Vegas casino resort. It was my first experience at one of the popular Las Vegas "adult" pool parties and everyone, me included, seemed to have a great time. One thing that concerned me was the fact that I didn't see a lifeguard anywhere. The pool was probably only about 4 feet deep, maximum, and there were very few children present (maybe one or two), but we all know how quickly adults can turn into kids when you let them loose in Vegas with a few drinks. What are you're thoughts on this? Should that pool have been guarded?

Finally, my last pool experience was at an indoor hotel pool near the Grand Canyon. Let me start by saying that overall the hotel was very well run and I had a wonderful time. However, the state of the pool was another example of how hotel pools seem to lag behind other segments of industry. The water in both the small pool and the hot tub was turbid and a strong smell of chlorine permeated the room. Unfortunately It was clear that like many hotels/motels, the operators did not have someone with an aquatics background to maintain the pool.

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