Pool memberships are up in Bexley, but revenue isn't as high as city leaders had hoped.

Pool memberships are up in Bexley, but revenue isn't as high as city leaders had hoped.

"The one nice thing is our memberships are up from last year," said recreation and parks director Michael Price.

Price said as of mid-July, the pool had about 50 more memberships than this time last year. The city has 779 pool memberships compared to 736 at this time last year, Price said.

He said new facilities tend to show a decline in memberships after the first year. The $3.5-million pool on Clifton Avenue opened in May 2007.

"We are far exceeding what the normal trend would be," he said.

Price said pool revenue is down about $15,000 from this time last year, or about 7 percent. Several factors contributed to the decrease in revenue, he said, including families who took advantage of the early-bird special.

Families who join the pool by a certain date are offered a discount. A family of five who joined by April 1 paid $265 compared to $290.

Another drain on the revenue might have been the caregiver pass the city offered this year. Previously, families had to purchase an individual membership for caregivers, Price said.

Baby-sitters may be added to a family membership for $75. An individual membership is $175.

"It is less than purchasing an entire individual membership," Price said.

Weather also might have been a factor in the revenue decline, Price said. While the weather has been nice, it has been a fairly cool summer, he said. It rained Fourth of July weekend, usually a big weekend for pool traffic.

Price said the pool does a large chunk of its business through day passes. A day pass is $9 until 6 p.m. for those 13 and over, and $7 after 6 p.m.

For the first time this year, the recreation department offered a non-resident pool membership. Bexley pool members are able to sponsor one non-resident family.

The department planned to cut off the number of non-resident memberships at 50. About 30 non-resident memberships were sold this year, Price said.

"It has been a benefit to our revenue," he said. "It hasn't been an issue with space."

Price said the recreation board has been tossing around some ideas for increasing revenue next year, including increasing the caregiver membership cost.

A variety of special events have been held to generate revenue, with more planned for the rest of the summer. There will be a movie night Aug. 7, said rec supervisor Natalie Contosta.

"If we have cooler nights it discourages people from coming," she said.

There will be an underwater egg hunt that same weekend, Contosta said.

Residents interested in having a pool membership can purchase an August membership at a discounted rate of roughly half off, rec staff said.