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City outdoor pool closes for the season

The Grande Prairie Outdoor Pool is now closed for the season. Officials with the City of Grande Prairie say they are excited about the traffic seen at the facility, despite setbacks from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Grande Prairie Guest Services Supervisor Bobbi Way says the team was excited to open the facility for a significantly fuller season.

“I think we got maybe three weeks last summer and so to be able to open up for a much fuller season, it set us up for what we’re looking forward to being a great season next year.”

The pool opened on July 4th with limited operations, following directions from AHS and maintaining provincial health guidelines. With such limitations in place, the facility still saw 411 bookings over the course of its season, with an average of 25 people per booking. The City estimates just over 10,000 visitors passed through the doors this summer.

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Way adds the city is confident after the success of the season and is ready to adjust to a potentially ongoing pandemic situation next year.

“Noone gets a handbook for how to deal with a pandemic and so there are things that we could learn for sure,” she says.

“We obviously don’t know what situation we’ll be in next summer as to how we will either manage bookings or whether it will be back into a public swim style situation.”

A partnership with Big Brothers & Big Sisters enabled the pool to provide free swimming timeslots for youth twice a day, four days a week. Over the eight-week duration, an estimated 1,600 local youths were able to participate. The partnership was made possible through funding from the Don Gillies Legacy Fund.

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