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Swimming pool attendance down this summer

Brian Roebke and Tom Collins

Many people were happy that outdoor swimming pools in Kaukauna and Little Chute opened this summer, but attendance at both pools is down dramatically from past years, likely because of the threat of the COVID-19 virus.

Kaukauna Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Malloy reported at the city’s July 21 common council meeting that the swimming pool has a daily attendance average of 167 people compared to the daily average of 500 users over the previous three seasons.

Total season passes are 213 this year compared to 622 in 2019. He said there are 501 people in the single seven week round of swimming lessons. He said there were two five-week sessions in 2019 with a total of 1,700 registered for those lessons.

Little Chute closed its pool twice this summer as a precautionary measure when employees felt sick and were tested for the virus, but both tests came back negative and the pool reopened.

Little Chute pool manager Emily Slater said attendance hasn’t gone over 50 in recent weeks.

“We hit 100 a couple times the first weeks we were open but haven’t hit it lately,” she said.

She thinks it may be weather related but the number of swimmers didn’t hit the maximum of 100 during the week of 90-degree temperatures.

“Lately we’ve been sending guards home and having less and less patrons,” Slater said. “It’s definitely low and slow for us this year.”