There are fewer swimmers making their way to the municipal pool at 401 N. Santa Fe, but more children in swimming lessons at the Newton Recreation Commission these days.
It's an interesting dynamic for which director Brian Bascue does not have real answers.
“In swimming lessons, we have not missed a beat there,” Bascue said.
Bascue is quick to point out that the pool will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. the afternoon of July 4, though there will not be an evening family swim. When those occur, they are from 7 to 9 p.m.
“The numbers are down a little bit, it is a little hard to tell,” Bascue said. “With the cooler weather last week, that has a lot to do with it. Overall, our numbers are down. I am sure our competitor has something to do with it. I know early on when we had nice weather in early June our numbers were down a little.”
The competitor he speaks of is a brand new YMCA on the south side of Newton that features an indoor pool. He doesn't fully credit the opening of the YMCA with an attendance drop at the municipal pool, an outdoor facility. There are, he said, a number of factors that contribute to attendance numbers each year.
“The weather plays a huge role for us,” Bascue said.
Bascue said to open, both the outdoor air temperature and water temperature must be warmer than 75 degrees. A lightning storm forces a closure. There have been days recently when early storms during the day have put all of those markers in jeopardy.
“We hope things move out of here and we can open,” Bascue said.
This June the pool has averaged between 275 and 300 people a day, compared to 350 people one year ago.
“Just keep coming to the pool,” Bascue said.
The pool will be open until mid August when many lifeguards will start going back to school. Until then, it will be open seven days a week.