Wave pool

Area children swim during the wave pool’s opening day on Saturday at the Seguin Aquatic Center.

In recent years, the Wave Pool has seen a dip in visitors and revenue, city officials said.

This has them floating the idea of increasing the rates to help recoup losses.

But it’s not just the aquatic center that will see an increase in usage costs. Seguin Parks and Recreation Director Jack Jones recommended increasing fees at the Wave Pool as well as at the Midway Hall at the Seguin Event’s Complex during the recent Seguin City Council meeting on Tuesday.

The Wave Pool

Seguin City Council voted unanimously to increase the Wave Pool’s entry fees by $1 Tuesday night after discovering that they are losing profit after they assessed existing fees as part of the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget process.

“We have looked at the Wave Pool really hard this year. The Wave Pool has been losing money over the last couple of years because of the Splash Pad, which is a good problem and bad problem,” Jones said. “We’re trying to figure out more ways to generate more revenue at the Wave Pool and one thing is to raise the fee by $1 per person out there.”

The new fees would bring the 4 to 11-year-olds fee to $5; 12 to 59-year-olds to $6 as well as 60 years and older to $5.

It’s been about 10 years since changes were made to the gate fees, Jones said.

“It’s been a win-win, but we’re still trying to break even,” he said.

To try to attract more customers, staff started allowing people in bring in their own snacks, Jones said.

“We did this year start allowing people to bring in their own concessions and that’s really been positive this year,” Jones said. “We’ve lost revenue in the concession operation, but we’ve made up more of what we’ve lost in gate revenue.”

They also plan to start offering specials during the regular season such as half price on Father’s Day, Jones said.

The additional hourly rental rate for the Wave Pool for private parties is also expected to see an increase. 

For private parties, the three-hour rental fee is $475 with the additional hourly rate of $100, however, that will change to $150, Jones said.

In 2017, the Wave Pool lost about $3,500 while in 2018 it lost $2,600 in revenue.

During the meeting, Mayor Don Keil and Councilman Chris Rangel questioned whether raising the fees would attract more customers.

“Do you think raising the prices will bring more people to the Wave Pool? I’m looking at more improvements like shade, seating and stuff like that. I think that would bring more people,” Rangel said.”

Jones added that improvements have been made in the past, but they’ve seen nothing from it.

“We’ve done stuff like that over the past five or six years with more shade, more seating, but there is a cost to that,” Jones said. “We have never recouped any capital expenditures out there. For the bond election, we spent $60,000 on sand filters. We spent more money two years ago on the blower motors, $40,000 or so. That money you don’t get back so it’s almost like a service.”

Midway Hall

Additionally, prices at the Seguin Events Complex are expected to increase as well.

“We do currently charge $150 for Midway Hall. It’s an all-day rental out there and we compared it to some others like TLU’s (Dunn Hall) and the Silver Center they’ve got an event center at the Silver Center,” Jones said. “Our fees are comparable to those and probably cheaper than those. We’re looking to generate revenue at the Seguin Events Complex to recoup some of our costs.”

The funds generated from the coliseum and fairgrounds are barely enough to cover the utilities at the complex, he said.

The new fees were approved on first reading following a motion by Councilman Mark Herbold and Councilwoman Jet Crabb.

If they are approved on second reading in the next city council meeting, then they go into effect Oct. 1, 2019.

Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com .

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