We can say with some certainty that hoteliers have a universal disdain for pools. From the ridiculously high cost of construction to the ongoing and ever-increasing maintenance and upkeep cost, the industry-wide irritation is palpable. All of this is magnified by the simple fact that there are a very small percentage of hotel guests that utilize the amenity. Not to mention the ongoing and often joked about size of the now bathtub size “pool” in the industry today. As a Hotel Feasibility Study company, we must recommend or not recommend hotel pools each day, (when not required by a hotel brand) but let’s address some questions to ask yourself when considering a pool. 

Do your competitors have one?
This is a simple aspect in the analysis of to pool or not to pool. If you have three competitor hotels and they all have a pool, will they get the guest that wanted a pool? How far away are these competitors? If you do have competitors that offer a pool, and they are on the same block, will they get the guest that wanted a pool? If your competitors are thirty minutes away, will the guest stay with you anyway? We have also had clients look to offer their guest a local community pool or YMCA as an alternative. In our experience, this is not an alternative for the typical, pool wanting guest. Most of your pool seeking guests will scoff at the idea of leaving the property for an amenity. 

What is the market’s strongest segment?
If your market offers heavy business and/or government, weekday traffic, is a pool necessary to gain the most revenue? As a business traveler I have no interest in whether a hotel offers a pool. As a person in the hotel industry, I have heard many stories of hoteliers that have filled their pool in, replaced them with rooms or even additional amenities like a lounge with great success. If your market’s strongest segment is tourism, sports or other leisure type events, you may need to offer a pool. Much like the business traveler that packs a set of workout clothes, sneakers, insists on staying in a hotel with an expended fitness facility but never uses it, this segment of guest may not use the pool but still want to know they have access to one.

After considering these things, you should have a good idea to pool or not to pool but if you are still on the fence, crunch some numbers. What is the overall cost verses gain for your specific hotel? When looking at the overall picture of whether you should offer a pool or not, you need to look at the cost to build a pool in your new hotel and the costs you will accumulate to maintain it throughout each year. If you take that step back, crunch the numbers and feel it is a worthwhile investment, then you should have a good understanding of if you should put a pool or not in your new hotel. If you still need help, contact us see how we can help you with the process.