The reopening of the Logan Aquatic Center on Memorial Day after a yearlong hiatus couldn’t have come soon enough.
Although Memorial Day itself was relatively cool in Cache Valley, the week ended with four days of record heat, and the center got very close to its visitor limit.
“I don’t think we reached our maximum capacity, around 1,300, but we got awfully close to it,” Logan Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina said. “When it’s hot like this, we sometimes have to put in protocols that would limit the number of people that can enter the pool.”
Jon Meyer with the Utah Climate Center reported the following record temperatures at Logan-Cache Airport weather station: June 2, 89 vs. previous record of 88; June 3, 93 vs. previous record of 89; June 4, 93 vs. previous record of 92. Saturday’s high of 91 tied a previous record.
Meyer went on to note Salt Lake City’s 100-degree reading on Friday, June 4, was the earliest triple-digit temperature ever recorded there. The previous record for earliest triple-digit observation was set June 5, 2020.
With the big crowds hitting the Aquatic Center to beat the heat, Akina offered this message:
“We’d just urge people just look out for each other, whether it’s somebody that they know or they don’t. We have trained lifeguards who are at the top of their game every day, but three months (the outdoor swim season) is a long time. We want our patrons to have a good time but also to look out for each other. That helps to keep everybody safe.”
Last spring, as the coronavirus pandemic raised concerns about swimming pool reopenings around the country, Logan decided it would be a good time to close the Aquatic Center for needed repairs and improvements. The roughly $300,000 project included leak patching, deck and gutter repair, pump replacements, filtration upgrades and restoration of diving board stands, among other things.
“Fortunately, some of these things weren’t major fixes,” Akina said. “We still have some that are going on, so we’re not done yet. One of the things we’re finding out, like most consumers, is that there are delays in delivery of parts partly due to COVID and labor shortages.”
The Logan Aquatic Center operates on an annual budget of approximately $600,000, and Akina said entrance fees from swimmers and events cover only about a third of that. The rest comes from the city’s general funds.
Asked if swimming prices could go up soon, Akina responded, “We’re certainly going to have to have that serious conversation about that with the council this winter, because just the cost of doing business, from hiring part-time personnel at changed hourly rates from where we were two years ago to increased price of chlorine and parts replacement and some of that kind of stuff.”
The Climate Center’s Meyer said the string of record-breaking temperatures appears to be over for the moment, and heat levels should drop to the mid- to upper-80s through the rest of the week.