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Pools reopen for start of summer season

H2O’Brien Pool in Parker opens Saturday, after a shorted pool season in 2020.

PARKER, Colo. — The H2O’Brien Pool in Parker looks forward to their first normal opening weekend in years. 

Back in 2019, snow blanketed the pool deck at the start of Memorial Day weekend. 

Then followed by 2020, a global pandemic and renovation job meant the pool had a shortened, 5-week season, and a lot of COVID-guidelines for guests and staff.

The 2021 season kicks off this weekend, and staff members hope Mother Nature will cooperate.

“We always hope for warm weather, this weekend doesn’t look so hot,” laughed Parker Aquatics Supervisor, Bryan Gentilini.

But swimmers are definitely ready.

“Every day we’re out here, people are looking through the fences and asking about the opening and restrictions so – the community is extremely excited and so are we.”

H2O’Brien opens Saturday morning with full capacity (about 500 people) and no COVID restrictions this year. The pool first debuted a renovated building and new aquatics playground during its shortened 2020 season but hopes guests will get a full summer to enjoy the new features this year.

And while pool operations will look mostly normal, Gentilini said there is another new challenge facing most pools this year - staffing.

“The biggest concern for all pools throughout nation right now is just lifeguards,” he said. “We’re slowly but surely getting applications and getting staff trained, but the number one issue were going to have for at least the first month here is staffing.”

Gentilini said most of his young staffers eventually age out of the job as they go onto college internships or full-time jobs. Usually, he replaces 5-15 positions a year, but this year he had to fill 30 jobs. They’re still hiring and training new lifeguards now, and if need be, Gentilini said they will pull help from the indoor pool to keep the outdoor pool operating at full capacity.

After a few strange “starts” to the season, H2O’Brien’s team is ready for a little more “normal” in 2021.

“In coming weeks we expect to be pretty full every day,” Gentilini said.

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