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High Performance: Is it time to close the pool?

July 12, 2022 -  By

If you have been to a hotel recently, you may have noticed that the pool was closed. This is a generalization, of course; not every hotel pool is closed. But a lot of them are, not because of a chemical imbalance, a leak or a mechanical problem, but because of the labor shortage.

(Photo:Credit: 4nadia / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

(Photo: 4nadia / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

The reality is that a hotel pool is an unnecessary amenity. Most people will stay at a hotel whether the pool is open or not. While some guests may be disappointed about it, I doubt that hotel bookings are greatly affected by the status of the pool.


Looking at this from a practical perspective, the decision to close the hotel pool makes sense, doesn’t it? The risk of disappointing an occasional guest is substantially less than the burden of maintaining the pool, the pool area and everything else required to provide a safe and enjoyable pool experience. Just think about the upkeep that goes into keeping a pool ready for hotel guests every single day. 

Let’s face it: hotels have more important responsibilities to worry about, such as efficiently handling check-ins and check-outs, providing clean rooms, ensuring the lobby and dining areas are spotless, fixing things that break and everything related to an overnight guest’s stay. 

If something has to give due to the labor shortage, the pool seems like an obvious choice. Hence, the pool is closed for the foreseeable future. The sign on the door to the pool area may not expressly state that it is closed due to the labor shortage, but let’s not kid ourselves. This is exactly why the pool is closed.  

What is your pool?

Turning your attention to your business now, what is your “pool?” What could you stop doing for the foreseeable future that is not directly related to your core business and where your customers would be forgiving if you ended it? 

Surely, there is something extra in your business offerings that doesn’t need to exist during a labor crisis. What is it? 

The reality is that you will never please everyone. The hotel with the closed pool surely has the occasional unhappy guest who wanted to go for a swim. But just because you provide an amenity today does not mean you need to continue to offer it. If you realize that your customers really don’t care about this amenity or would understand if you temporarily stopped providing it, it would be wise to pull the plug. 

The labor shortage is here to stay. Is it time to close the pool?

Now go forth.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Blog, Expert Insights

About the Author:

Phil Harwood is a Senior Advisor with Tamarisk Business Advisors. Contact him at

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