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Do hotels need to make their swimming pools ADA-compliant?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | ADA |

Business is booming in your California hotel—your guests appear happy with the amenities and services you offer, even those with disabilities. 

However, a disabled guest recently complained that your swimming pool lacked proper accessibility. They even threatened to target your hotel in a lawsuit.

Must all pools be compliant?

The ADA mandates that all new and existing hotel pools be made accessible to guests with disabilities.

If your pool was installed prior to March 15, 2012, it might be exempt from the latest ADA mandates (2010). However, under Title III of the ADA, you should remove barriers (no grab bars, handrails, etc.) that may keep disabled individuals from accessing your pool.

What are your pool accessibility options?

Generally, hotel owners can ensure accessibility in several ways. The installation of pool lifts will accommodate even those with severe disabilities, ensuring all guests can enjoy your swimming pool.

Here are other pool access options to consider:

  • Transfer walls
  • Sloped entries
  • Accessible pool stairs
  • Stepped transfer systems

The ADA requires that large pools with 300 or more feet of pool wall have a lift and a sloped entry installed. Additional accessible entry points at different places around the pool are encouraged.

What should you do after a threat of litigation?

Of course, your first step is ensuring that the person placing the threat does not have grounds to sue by inspecting your pool for non-compliance issues. A good proactive step is seeking legal guidance that’s specific to your situation. They can explain your options and probably give you a general idea of whether the person has cause to sue your hotel.

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