Chair Lifts Coming To Public Pools

RENO, NV - The Justice Department mandate is part of the “Americans with Disabilities Act.”

The deadline for pools to comply was in May.

But with a wave of protests that deadline has moved to next January.

The complaints have nothing to do with access—rather money and practicality.

With temperatures well into the 90s predicted for the Truckee Meadows, its should be no surprise that the pool at the Peppermill Hotel Casino is already busy by mid morning.

Having a good swim and relaxing is afforded to everyone at the Peppermill, which is why a sign is posted, letting those who need help to get into the pool get it.

“We opened the pool with the lift when they weren't mandated. We just knew it was the right thing to do,” says Peppermill Hotel Director, Dave Fuller

Fuller says its not just a good idea, it is the law.

The Justice Department had ordered public pools to be equipped with the special chair lifts two months ago.

But protests from pool owners pushed that date to next January.

A lift was installed here at Traner Pool years ago.

Costs for such a device can start at about $8,000.

You can understand why many small pool operators can't afford such an expense.

And many pool operators who have such a lift tell me they are only used at a maximum two times a year.

Apartment complexes and even motel pools where no lifeguard is on duty to run such a device are at a disadvantage as well.

Ultimately though the mandate reads that those who need the lift shouldn't have to ask for it and can run it themselves.

That means eventually the lift will be ever present pool side, and a remote handy for the swimmer to use at any time.

It's estimated about 300,000 pools nationwide at parks, hotels, and gyms are still not in compliance with the law.

Besides costs, they face another stumbling block.

Even if they can afford the chair, can manufacturers meet the demand by the January deadline.