Half of Aurora's public outdoor pools closed this hot weekend due to lifeguard shortage

Aqua Vista Pool in Aurora
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 08, 2022

AURORA, Colo. — As we brace for temperatures at or near triple digits this weekend, swimmers at Aurora's Del Mar Pool had the right idea Friday.

"I always come here. It's fun," Ahlem Ouerfelli said.

But getting access to the pool, especially on "Free Admission Friday," was no easy feat.

"If we don't get here within an hour or 45 minutes before they're open, we probably won't be able to get in," Marie Harris said.

When Denver7 stopped by, a crowd of kids and parents was waiting outside as the pool had reached capacity. The lines are expected to last into the weekend, as it's the only public outdoor pool in Aurora open both Saturday and Sunday.

"All the pools are still experiencing some adjusted hours, and some of them have adjusted capacity levels as well," Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space superintendent of marketing and special events Erin Pulliam said.

At the beginning of the month, the department was still 50 lifeguards short of its goal of 300. That means access to pools this hot weekend will be limited.

In addition to Del Mar, Meadow Hills will be open only on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parklane will be open only on Sunday during the same hours. Aqua Vista, Pheasant Run and Village Green are all closed because of a lack of lifeguards.

"If we were to be fully staffed, which we're hoping to do in the next couple of weeks or so, then all of those pools, hypothetically ... would be open to full capacity and full hours," Pulliam said.

Until then, for families eager to get in the water, some planning ahead is required.

"Saturday, [the pool] is open at 10," Ouerfelli said. "I [get] here [at] nine."

For Denver residents, a spokesperson with Denver Parks and Recreation said all of its outdoor pools will remain open this weekend. This was only possible after closing six indoor pools, as the city is also experiencing a lifeguard shortage.