Pool Information

April 2018

To our appreciated supporter:

We would first like to thank all our members, guests, and community for the continued
support over the years. As we plan for the upcoming season ahead, it has been with great
thought and deep consideration how we move forward with the Inn Pool. With our
sincerest respect and admiration for the history and sentimental value the pool has with its
patrons, the decision has been made not to move forward with using the space as a public
swimming pool.

We would like to express our gratitude for the outpouring of support we received over the
last month. We have read, listened to, and discussed every comment, story, and phone call
we received from supporters both near and far. We would like to reiterate our respect for
the sentimental value that remains deep with many of our patrons. The weight of this
factor has been a large consideration of how to move forward. Ultimately, there are many
opposing conflicts that have overwhelmed the pool over the years that must be addressed.
When we first took ownership of the property in 2014 our strategic plan was to allow four
years to determine how to move forward with the pool. Knowing it operated at a loss, we
kept the pool as a service to the community while we tried to implement several new ideas,
programs, and excitement into the swimming pool in an effort to turn it around. We
encouraged local families to join and gained many new members and families who didn’t
previously have access to the pool for their summer plans. Our goals were to promote a
stronger community presence as well as drastically improve the food and beverage
experience. We made numerous improvements to the concession stand, equipment,
surrounding area, and also painted the pool annually (required) to entice interest and
promote a fun, safe, and clean environment for everyone to enjoy.

As we now enter our fifth year, we have had to re-assess our progress and the future ahead.
After discussing our growth as well as the challenges at hand and in the foreseeable future,
we have to take a logical approach to the prospect of a private entity operating a public
swimming pool. Taking into consideration the substantial annual costs as well as the
significant upgrades required each year, we cannot continue to operate in the red and
continue to devote funds to these challenges. We understand there have been many
suggestions for reaching out to the community for fundraising opportunities from a couple
groups of people both in town and around the country who have fond memories at the
pool. Although the offer has been gracious, we don’t feel it to be appropriate to accept any
donations. Out of respect to our supporter’s resources, we don’t feel comfortable being
involved in raising tens of thousands of dollars to “save the pool” in order to open this
season, just to see a new code in place the following year that would revert those efforts
back into the same situation. Utilizing our best business sense, knowledge of the history of
the pool, and experience over the past several years, we don’t feel this is an investible
operation. In good conscience we cannot collect funds from our neighbors to support a
failing business.

There are several significant facts that had to be considered in our decision making
process. We understand the quaint history of the pool and the memories had by many over
the years dating back to the Inn days. The old charm of the pool is ultimately the cause of
its current failing conditions. We are left with the reality that the pool was built in the
1930s, making it very outdated for modern codes and safety requirements. Everything now
needs to be completely replaced (filter system, pool concrete, plumbing, electrical, etc), and
no longer meets current codes and requirements, also making it very inefficient to run and
maintain. Over the years the culture has also changed. The pool season historically
operated from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend (90-95 days), and is now
strictly driven by school vacation, leaving approximately 65 – 70 days. After deducting
inclement weather days, the season becomes more of a 60 – 65 day operation. Breaking
even with such high costs at hand creates an additional challenge for the short season in
New England. In today’s world of codes, requirements, and also notably liability, it makes it
difficult for a private entity such as our small family-owned business to own and operate a
public swimming pool for the short summer it can be offered.

We understand the community’s desire to have access to a pool and the willingness to raise
funding to establish one. We would encourage these groups to approach the town of
Northfield and present a plan whereas the two parties, possibly in collaboration with the
Recreation Committee, could work together and design a plan for a new community pool
for all to use and enjoy.

We hope everyone will understand this was not an easy decision for us to make. We do
believe this is the best business decision to make for the property and the community. We
hope the energy that was shown for fundraising toward a pool can be utilized toward a
new swimming area supported by the town. We will do all we can to help move this
forward to the town if there is a group who decides to move in that direction.

In closing, we hope going forward that we will keep the concession stand open on a daily
basis for all to utilize throughout the summer months. We will continue to have the shuffle
board courts, horseshoe pits, and picnic area available and hope the space will remain a
great gathering place for friends, family, and the community.

Thank you for your support and understanding of this difficult and sensitive decision.