Rapid City pools see major increase in swimmers compared to 2019

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — As temperatures rise, so does attendance at Rapid City pools. It’s a big change from last summer when pools were closed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are making a splash at the city pools this summer. Danielle Rhoads and her daughter are regulars here at the Jimmy Hilton Pool.

“I definitely have noticed more and more people out and I think it’s just because everyone got cabin fever last year. So to be able to have things open again this year, I think everyone is taking full advantage of because it’s nice and it’s an inexpensive way to get out in the afternoon,” Rhodes said.

Lifeguard Miles Johnson says the crowd usually consists of daycares, families, and people just trying to cool off.

“You can tell the pools are always pretty packed and we’ve had lines all the way around the sidewalk so you can tell it’s a lot busier than 2019,” Johnson said.

Here at the Jimmy Hilton Pool near Sioux Park, the number of swimmers have nearly doubled from May to date compared to 2019 during that time.

Other pools in town have seen similar increases.

“So I think the combo of not being open last summer, now we’re open, plus it’s been crazy hot out every day has definitely helped our attendance numbers,” Carstensen said.

City recreation specialist Emily Carstensen expects to see even more swimmers in the coming weeks.

“It’s just a fun activity, you’re not inside, you’re outside doing something hanging out with your friends. It’s safe all of our lifeguards are trained,” Emily Carstensen said.

“The kids definitely enjoy it and they always ask to go to the dinosaur slide,” Rhodes said.

The Rapid City outdoor pools will close in mid-August with the exception of the Roosevelt Swim Center.

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