Grand Forks, East Grand Forks pool season saved by heat waveSummer swimming pool attendance is all about the weather. The hotter the temperatures are, the bigger the crowds are. This year was no exception, as an August heat wave salvaged a pool season that was otherwise cooler than normal.
By: Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald
Summer swimming pool attendance is all about the weather. The hotter the temperatures are, the bigger the crowds are.
This year was no exception, as an August heat wave salvaged a pool season that was otherwise cooler than normal.
In East Grand Forks, pools opened a week later than normal because of cool temperatures, but also stayed open for a week longer than originally planned because of the soaring thermometer.
“My only wish is that we could have stayed open three extra weeks rather than one extra week at the end,” said Dave Aker, park and recreation superintendent. “We had more than 1,000 people the last week we were open and it has been just as hot the last two weeks.
“But, we couldn’t stay open because most of our staffers were gone.”
The late rally brought the attendance for East Grand Forks’ one pool to 9,853, close to its annual average of 10,000, Aker said. He said the pool’s record year had about 12,000 swimmers.
In Grand Forks, attendance also rebounded late when Riverside Pool’s days were extended because of the hot spell. After Elks Pool shut down on Aug. 17, the extra 10 days at Riverside Pool drew almost 3,000 swimmers, said Bill Palmiscno, Park District director.
The combined attendance of Riverside and Elks pools this summer was 31,784, approximately 6,000 less than in 2012.
“Because of the hot summer, 2012 was the best attendance year we have had since 1988,” Palmiscno said. “That was an exceptional year. This year was an average year.”