Maitland residents have taken to the city’s new indoor 25-metre pool like ducks to water with record visitation and learn to swim attendance this season.
More than 147,000 entries were made to Maitland Aquatic Centre after the $9.7 million indoor pool opened in July – up from 100,000 in the 2016/17 outdoor season.
About 2600 kids also attended learn to swim lessons, almost double the 1398 in the previous season.
It comes as Maitland Council prepares to close the outdoor pool for winter this Sunday for the first time since the opening of the indoor facility, which remains accessible year round.
Maitland Council recreation planning coordinator Kate Harris said there were several factors that contributed to the boosted visitation, including a hot summer. But she said the indoor pool and associated services including yoga and fitness classes were a major drawcard.
“We’ve been getting good feedback from groups wanting to use it,” she said. “There has been a broader range of visitors than ever before.”
But visitation began increasing long before the indoor pool existed. Ms Harris said there were roughly 68,000 attendances in the 2006/07 season, which had gradually built since.
She said the next step for the centre was to increase the amount of equipment and learn to swim instructors. Councillor Nicole Penfold also raised a successful notice of motion last week for council to investigate installing a disabled hoist and adjustable change table in the pool change rooms.