It may be hard to believe it given the weather outside, but the Verona Pool opens for the season this Saturday, May 28. The Wi-Fi connection is going to be back, as is Lakeside Deli. So is poolside entertainment, with an outdoor concert program that is being expanded: There will be a Beach Boys tribute band on July 27 and a group called Alotta Colada on August 31.
But with the pool entering its 43rd season, MyVeronaNJ thought there might be a few other things that our readers might want and so we asked for your input in a survey last week. We got a lot of responses from a lot of people who have been members of the pool for a very long time: 21% of the respondents have been members for more than 16 years. Some have foregone the community pool over the years for a backyard pool, but most of you are loyal members who go year after year and go often–more than three days a week.
Since this was a Reinventing Verona survey, we asked a few questions about what readers wanted a pool to be in 2011. Overwhelmingly, they wanted a big change to opening hours, with morning time (especially at the kiddie pool) and evening time every day of the week. One respondent suggested an “early bird” swim from 6-8 a.m., which would seem to be a great way to start a summer work day. And not surprisingly, 38% wanted a heated pool. There was support for some more activities, like water aerobics and poolside yoga classes.
Our readers also came up with a few innovations that we hadn’t considered , like a reduced-rate, weekend-only membership and a month by month membership that would accommodate the many Veronans who go away in August.
But now for the bad news: There’s not a lot of support for additional membership fees to support the new amenities. Almost 33% wouldn’t spend a dime more.
Even though it’s called the Verona Community Pool, the pool’s budget is dictated by membership revenue. Which means, folks, that if members want more services and frills, members will have to pony up. Verona’s Family membership is $410 this year, which is still something of a bargain compared to other community pools in our area: A full family membership to the Glen Ridge pool, which is smaller than ours and has a much less interesting water slide, costs $750 for the season. (Montclair’s pools are cheaper than Verona’s, but they are smaller and have zero amenities). But there’s an intriguing wild card: If Verona could convert the pool into a year-round facility without raising taxes, nearly 80% of the survey respondents would buy a year-round membership. (We will be making the full survey available as a $50 download soon. Click here to be notified.)
Now for the nitty gritty:
If you haven’t already picked up your pool badge, you can do so today through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday, May 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You’ll need to bring identification in the form of a valid driver’s license and current PSE&G bill to pick up your badges.
The pool will open Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m. On Sunday, it’s adults only 10-11 a.m., and everybody else from 11-7 p.m. On Monday, the hours are noon to 8 p.m. The pool will be open weekends only until school gets out; full hours begin on Thursday, June 23. If you have registered a child for the Verona Waves swim team, tryouts are June 11 and 12.