Hotels, rec centers try to slow pool access regs
Owners and managers of swimming pools at hotels, city recreation centers and public parks are scrambling to install mechanical chair lifts to comply with new federal requirements that all public pools be accessible to disabled swimmers.
Some hotels fear the cost of the equipment or fines for noncompliance could put them out of business, and an industry lobbyist says others may close their pools this summer if they can’t upgrade in time, though the government can offer more time to those having trouble paying for it. Swimmers with disabilities say the changes are overdue.
“I couldn’t get into the pool without it,” said Karen Kitchen of Savannah, who has multiple sclerosis and relies on a poolside chair lift at the Chatham County Aquatic Center for her physical therapy workouts up to four times a week.