Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tom McGow: The Lake Worth municipal pool at the BEACH! is the City's biggest white elephant

This is an image from Tom McGow's blog from OVER FIVE YEARS AGO. His blog posts back then about the Lake Worth pool still hold water today [pardon the pun].
[Blog traffic for this post is off the charts. One of the most viewed Lake Worth posts in several years. The reason why so many people are interested in what Tom McGow had to say FIVE YEARS AGO is the debate about the pool is nothing new. If you moved to Lake Worth ten years ago, two years ago, or a month ago you might be thinking this a new topic: it's not

Five years ago it was the same hysterical mantras about change and how everything has to stay just the way it is. The only difference now is some of the faces have changed and the way the message is delivered has changed a bit also.

Without further ado, the original blog post that has so many people pulling their hair out:

WARNING: If you are shocked by new ideas then please go back to what you were doing.
Synchronized swimmers: Left side (top to bottom), former Commissioner Cara Jennings, former City Manager Susan Stanton, and former Commissioner JoAnn Golden. Right side (top to bottom), former Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, former Mayor René Varela, and stud/synchronized swimmer coach/speedo wearing and CURRENT Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. [Image from "Tom's Page", Tom McGow's Lake Worth blog.]
The following words are from blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow in March, 2010. Five years later and the argument continues in Lake Worth (Jane DeCoursey, with all due respect, this will explain why the "fitness" approach will not work):
     There has been a lot of talk about turning Lake Worth’s liabilities back into assets, and the Golf Course is an example of doing just that. However when it comes to the City Swimming Pool at the beach the Commissioners need to take a hard look at the economic realities of our pool and the national trend towards municipal aquatic parks.
     Stand alone “rectangular pools” are a thing of the past and even our pool’s location by the beach is not enough of an attraction to draw people on a regular basis or attract swim meets. Across the nation older municipal pools are being shut down, often replaced by aquatic parks that cater to whole families. No amount of “out of the box marketing” can succeed in bringing people to a facility that is no longer viable in today’s recreation market.
     Swimming lessons and water aerobics can still be held in a smaller pool, and the other features will be attractive to summer camps, handicapped organizations and others to rent. A quick internet search reveals that even public facilities that retain olympic sized pools are installing more family friendly features to cater to a larger customer base and increase revenue.
     With the Casino redesign at hand, now is the time to cast aside the sentimental clamor to patch up our city’s biggest white elephant and plan for a water park that will provide families with what they want and attract enough users to make it self-sustaining. 
You can read more ridiculous notions about the underutilized Lake Worth pool and how our City should emulate other city's municipal pools for ideas on what to do going forward; cities like Ft. Lauderdale, for instance:
Charming, isn't it?