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How to Market Your Parks and Rec Aquatics Facility Year Round

Written by Jennifer Elliott

Eleven best practices for promoting your indoor aquatics facilities year round.
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Your citizens may naturally think to take advantage of your parks and recreation aquatics offerings during the heat of summer, but as a community that offers indoor aquatics facilities, you want your citizens to be motivated to dive in year round. These tips to market your aquatics classes and facilities will help ensure your citizens—of all ages—benefit from the fitness and social benefits of indoor water sports.

1. Target Summer Season Swimmers

Target the enthusiasm of citizens who enjoyed your summertime swim classes by offering them a discount to extend their learning into the Fall months. Before the final course of the summer season, offer registrants a discount to sign up for the Fall session. Once they realize swimming does not only have to be a summertime pastime, they will be more likely to become year-round aquatic facility patrons.

  1. 2. Promote Swim Classes to Seniors

If your community is located in a cold weather climate, you have thousands of citizens who are likely looking for a safe wintertime activity. The Fall and Winter seasons, when your facilities are less crowded during the day since students are back in school, is a great time to offer senior swim classes. Your senior citizens will benefit from feeling like it’s still summer, and they’ll have a great reason to get out and get active.

3. Encourage Winter Pool Parties

Parents are always looking for fun, engaging, and affordable places to host their children’s birthday parties. Offer discounts to parents who book indoor pool parties during the winter months and fill your pool with party-goers.

 4. Host Winter Swim Camp

Partner with your local school districts to host a week-long winter swim class during your district’s holiday break. A safe indoor instructional opportunity will help working parents and keep kids active while out of school.

 5. Partner with Local Organizations to Offer Off-Season Swim Classes

Contact local day habilitation centers, therapeutic healthcare centers, senior groups, and after-school programs and offer to partner with them in non-summer months to host swim classes for their program participants. They will be grateful for the community partnership opportunity and your co-hosted offering may become an annual event.

6. Hold a Kids Swim Free Promotion

Designate a day and time, such as every Saturday from nine to noon, where kids ten and under swim free. Parents will appreciate the discount, and you’ll benefit from attendance by the whole family.

7.  Promote Your Indoor Facilities Year Round Via All Available Marketing Channels

Make sure your citizens know that their parks and recreation department offers indoor off-season swim opportunities. Promote classes and free swim sessions via social media, your online course brochure, press releases distributed to your local media, your local government website, printed brochures, and all other available marketing channels.

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8. Host a Friends and Family Day

One of the best ways to obtain new regular facility patrons is by encouraging friends and family endorsements. Host an event where registrants can bring a friend or family member along to use your aquatics facilities for free. You may be surprised how many guests end up purchasing a season pass that same day.

  1. 9. Get Innovative in Your Class Offerings

Target new visitors by offering trendy aquatic classes and sports, like water polo, water yoga, and water T’ai Chi. Citizens may be surprised to learn that you provide much more than traditional swim instruction, and many will be excited to learn a new skill or activity.

  1. 10. Hold a Family Fitness Challenge

Many citizens will have fitness on the mind at the start of the New Year. Host a fun, family fitness challenge that encourages indoor pool use. Establish a prize for the family that logs the most active hours, and offer discounts to first-time facility registrants. Not only will you see a boost in pool usage, but you’ll also be doing your part to help citizens get fit and stay fit.

11. Make it Easy for Families to Register

Your citizens will be most likely to take advantage of local parks and rec offerings—no matter the season or course content—if it is easy for them to search, register, and pay online from a desktop computer or mobile device. According to Wil DuCrest, a citizen of Hurricane, UT, athletic league participant, parent, coach, and umpire, the city’s easy-to-use online registration solution makes it easy to get involved and stay involved.

“The City’s online registration offering has made a huge difference,” said DuCrest. “It makes everything easier. It has helped to improve the program as a whole. Participation is up, which means revenue is up, which means the city can invest in better, nicer facilities and fields. In the end, it has been good for everyone.” >>Read More

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No matter the climate or geography of your community, citizens of all ages and skill levels, can take advantage of indoor aquatic facilities. By promoting your aquatics offers year-round, you benefit from greater class and activity registrations and higher revenue potential. Plus, your citizens have one more reason to get out and get fit every day of the week.