Published on
January 12, 2024 at 11:00:00 AM PST January 12, 2024 at 11:00:00 AM PSTth, January 12, 2024 at 11:00:00 AM PST

Tips From The Pros

Bob Quigley is a recognized professional in the management of multipurpose athletic facilities with over 40 years of progressive experience in facility management. These years included 18 years as General Manager of a very busy 125,000sq ft. facility with upwards of 1,000,000 entrances per year. Bob graduated from university with a degree in sport science and administration and is considered among his colleagues as a specialist in revenue generation and facility cost recovery. He has presented at a number of conferences, including the Athletic Business Conference and Tradeshow in Orlando and San Antonio, numerous regional conferences and even the Bingo World Conference and Trade show in Las Vegas. Bob is also a highly regarded and experienced Certified Pool Operator Instructor. Certified under the Pool and Hot Tub Professionals Assoc. COVERMASTER® has asked Bob to provide our readers with valuable tools and some personal examples of unique situations relating to his years of managing and consulting on multipurpose facilities.


A Word From Bob … Today Let’s Review,

Hello everyone! I would like to thank COVERMASTER® for giving me this opportunity to be with you and write this blog. I hope I can provide you with some good information that will be of use in the management of your multipurpose facility and specifically, for this column, your swimming pool component.

All professionals who manage, operate, program, build, etc. should be trained as a Certified Pool and Spa Operator under the Pool and Hot Tub Professionals Association. As you can see, I have spent a great deal of my life working inside a multipurpose athletic facility and hope I can help you find a couple of things that will make your organization more successful. So…what exactly is a multipurpose facility? The short answer is WHATEVER YOU NEED IT TO BE!! Example: the pool is a pool. Yah, you know swimming lessons, fun swims, fitness, competitive training, rehab, relaxing, and on and on. So what do these activities have in common besides being in a pool? The answer………very little! Why? Because pretty much each activity requires special attention to swimmer comfort and safety. You probably know the drill …. the water to hot to train in, the water is too cold to swim in, the air is too cold for my small children etc. The chlorine is too strong. The lineup takes too long and we are members. There is no parking.

I think you get the point. The comfort begins in the home while getting ready and ends when the customer arrives home. The facility controls the parking lot, front desk, dressing rooms, pool customer service, at least 3 HVAC units, maybe 4 filtration systems, pumps, motors, heat exchangers, automated sensors, maybe 10 staff just in this example.

So, let me ask you as a manager, did you make any money? When you give over your pool to the swim club did you cover your costs? You may not know because a lot of managers do not know how much one lane per hour costs in their pool or how much one hour of ice time costs.

To help with this, a percentage allocation analysis has to be completed on each revenue center. This includes direct costs like pool chemicals for the pool or ice paint for the ice. The more difficult aspect of costing is creating a percentage allocation analysis breakdown for things like power, water, heating fuel for each revenue center assuming you do not have separate meters. So to complete this exercise and make it usable for years to come you will need to make two spreadsheets. The first one is called a percentage allocation as discussed. Revenue centers across the top and expenses down the side like salaries, power, maintenance costs etc. Allocate the percentage needed to each revenue center and at the end of the row it will equal 100%.

The second spread sheet will have the total revenue on the top and make formulas to match your percentage allocation. At the bottom each revenue column will be the total allocated cost for each revenue center. You will have to make some judgement calls on this. Then put in your real numbers and you will have your allocated costs to each revenue center which you will subtract from your allocated revenue and it’s completed

As with most spreadsheets, you will get to know how to get better at using it. Try not to change the percentage allocations unless necessary as it will not show accurate year over year comparisons. Now the power of your hard work will pay off!!!!! When you go to negotiate ice time, gym time, pool time, etc. to rental groups, you will know how much net revenue you are making or you are subsidizing the user group right down to the hour. I know this may seem complicated but I have just given a very powerful tool to use in negotiating or explaining your need for subsidization if your caught in the middle.

Posted January 16, 2024