Aquatic Center makes profit after two years of losses

By Greg Smart -

HUBER HEIGHTS — In spite of a lot of cool and rainy days early this summer, the Kroger Aquatic Center made approximately an $18,000 net profit this summer based on preliminary figures. Total revenues were over $382,000 and expenditures were over $364,000 according to Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer.

Attendance exceeded 45,000 with 158 season passes sold. The center was closed for 15 days due to weather resulting in a 93 day season in which there were three days above 90 degrees.

In 2014, there was an approximate loss of $64,000 with an attendance of 28,000 as the Aquatic Center was closed 20 days and there were no days over 90 degrees with a 91 day season. This compared to an approximate loss of $35,000 in 2013 with 29,000 in attendance. The Aquatic Center was closed that summer 20 days due to weather with a 96 day season and nine days above 90 degrees.

“So, this year, we’re happy to see a profit,” said Schommer.

In the first year of operation in 2012, the Aquatic Center had a profit of $173,000 as there were 37 days that summer that were above 90 degrees and a 96 day season. Schommer said that when it’s hot, people like to swim.

“We saw numbers in 2012 due to the weather that was just phenomenal,” said Schommer, concerning the 87,000 attendance numbers.

The net four-year profit is $92,000, according to Schommer.

Schommer said the city’s approach to managing the Aquatic Center this year was different.

“I and the rest of staff are managing the contract and the relationship with our operator, the YMCA, differently than what we have in years past,” said Schommer. “We took an approach that our goal was to maximize the amount of people that we could get through the gates.”

Schommer said the city offered discounts along with special promotional days.

“I think we’ve yielded great results because the most important figure of success is we had 45,000 people come and enjoy our facility this year,” said Schommer. “It’s excellent that we had a profit, but more importantly, we almost doubled the amount of people that were here last year and that was very important.”

Mark Campbell, chair of the Administration Committee, said the city better managed the relationship with the YMCA, the pool management company. He also said he believes the YMCA has learned and are better pool managers. He said this combined with different advertising and marketing, allowed the city to do better.

Campbell said the city has 38,000 residents with 45,000 people attending the Aquatic Center.

“So, it’s being very well utilized,” he said. “…Most communities pay to offer quality of life stuff like recreation and we have mastered a way of not only offering it in very top notched fashion, we’re able to make a small profit off of it.”

The Administrative Committee will discuss the Aquatic Center on Oct. 6 and see if there are any recommended changes for next seas0n

By Greg Smart

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter