Aquatic Center Update

The Crestwood Aquatic Center at Whitecliff opened this year on June 15. At the July 21 Park Board Meeting, Manager of Recreation Eilien Ramirez provided an update on the first month of operation.

With strict guidelines and some facility modifications we were able to open unlike many area pools. We began with 25% capacity, which was 420 patrons.

On June 29, St. Louis County modified the capacity to 50% of our bather load. This allows us to have 900 patrons and gave us the ability to allow guests. - Ramirez

Her report provided additional details on COVID changes implemented and statistics on attendance.

  • There are now two daily swim sessions: 11:00 – 2:45 and 3:15 – 7:00
  • Social Distancing mapping - designated walkways are in place and the lazy river has separate entrance and exit locations
  • Tubes from the lazy river are sanitized after each use. Many area pools that have opened, kept their lazy rivers closed, but Crestwood was able to open ours with minor changes
  • No Cash - all transactions are via credit card
  • Concession stand has fewer workers in the small work area, and thus also has a more limited menu
  • No deck chairs are provided, but patrons can bring their own. This seems to be working well
  • A COVID Waiver is required from each visitor, along with contact information for possible contact tracing.

Over the past five years, the average daily attendance has been about 385 people. During the first month of operation this year, the average daily attendance was 321 - slightly below normal, but within range. Since there are two swim sessions this year, the average attendance per session is about 160. The highest daily attendance was 642 and the highest attendance during a single swim session was 372. So it's still an active place to be, but with lots of room for visitors to safely enjoy the facility.

This year required a lot of work for staff to quickly implement County guidelines to open on the first possible day, and takes much more work each day to operate.  The feedback from visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. It's been a gift to our community to have some amount of "normal" this summer while also providing a fun diversion from everything else.