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City Pools Surpass Attendance Records for the Sixth Consecutive Year

11/12/2013
For the sixth consecutive year, the City of Gainesville’s three municipal swimming pools exceeded attendance goals, once again shattering attendance records! For the 2013 aquatic season, which ended Oct. 31, 123,704 patron visits were recorded at all three pools, up 10 percent from 2012 (112,512 patron visits).

For each individual pool, the greatest increase came from Andrew R. Mickle Pool, which had a 17.5 percent increase over 2012, due in large part to the installation of a new aquatic climbing wall, expanded marketing promotions and expanded programming and operating hours. This was followed by H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool with a 13.3 percent increase, and Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool with a 5.6 percent increase.

Northeast Pool - heated and open year-round - had the highest attendance in 2013 with 58,033 patron visits, followed by Westside Pool with 54,928 patron visits and Mickle Pool with 10,743 visits. Both Northeast and Westside Pools are large Olympic-size pools, while Mickle Pool is a smaller neighborhood pool, which explains the smaller number of patron visits there.

Attendance has tripled since 2007, when the pools had 40,206 patron visits. “Staff has worked very hard over the past six years to make the city pools the destination choice in north central Florida for aquatic programming,” states Recreation Supervisor Jeff Moffitt. “Beginning in 2006, the city began renovations on all three pools to improve their aesthetics, efficiency and operations, and the investments made in the pools the past six years are really paying dividends now!” says Moffitt.

While the city has invested in the improvement of the pools, other factors have played a part as well, including the economic downturn that began in 2008. Families had to tighten the belt on trips and vacations and, instead of travelling, spent more time visiting local destinations, such as municipal swimming pools. “It’s a classic example of the staycation,” says Moffitt.
Moffitt also adds, “Seizing on the opportunities presented with the staycation trend, staff put a renewed emphasis on customer service, expanded and improved programming, expanded hours, community partnerships and increased marketing. The efforts really paid off, as the numbers demonstrate.”

Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool is located at 1100 NE 14th St., and is open year-round. H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool is located at 1001 NW 31st Dr., and is open May through October each year. Andrew R. Mickle Pool is located at 1717 SE 15th St., and is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend each year.

For more information, please contact Jeff Moffitt, recreation supervisor, at 352-393-8732 or moffittjc@cityofgainesville.org. For other inquiries, please contact our Administrative Office at 352-334-5067.

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