Days Inn and Suites in Traverse City Creates Pool Access for ALL Guests
By Judy King
DID YOU KNOW?
Legislation changed last July when amended rules under Title II and Title III required all public swimming pools to install permanent handicapped-accessible sloped ramps or lifts effective 3/15/12. Some hotels and other organizations had attempted to meet deadlines with portable lifts and had little time to install permanent lifts, which cost over $10,000 for equipment and installation. Every “water element” area available to the general public (including spas) must be accessible. Non-compliance could mean hefty fines–and some establishments have even considered closing their pools. The deadline has now been extended until 5/15/12.
On February 21, Michael Hall, General Manager of Days Inn and Suites in Traverse City, graciously invited Matt Moritz and me to tour their pool area that was upgraded October 11, 2011. Matt was an eager participant to try out the pool–with 82 degree water temp and the 105 degree hot tub.
Mike explained that the lift was purchased through Aquatic Access, which is available through local authorized dealer Larry’s Pool and Patio. Accolades should be given to Larry’s installation crew along with Day’s Inn Maintenance Department who created this easy, accessible entry for their overnight guests. The two lifts are controlled by water pressure, not battery operated, so there is no worry of a guest “being stranded.” Neither lift was cumbersome to install. And they both easily fitted into the small space next to the hot tub.
Matt was very impressed with the smooth operation of the lift, just two levers and a seatbelt involved to allow guests independence, mobility, and access. He expressed, “People with disabilities should have the opportunity to participate in society as fully and equally as those without disabilities.”
Kudos to Day’s Inn & Suites, a front runner in Northern Michigan, who tackled the challenge of breaking down barriers and creating access to ALL of their guests!