If you’ve ever been out travelling to a nice hotel or resort, it can be very refreshing to take a fresh dip in the pool during the hot days, but can be a challenge if you’re in a wheelchair. These days, only some hotels are equipped with portable pool lifts to help disabled guests into and out of the pools. Even the hotels who are equipped with pool lifts has staff members that are not fully trained to operate the devices, which causes even more problems. The department of justice has simply stated that this is unacceptable.
Come March 15, all hotels with pools and spas will be required by law to install fixed pool lifts that must be in place and operational, as long as the pool facility is open to hotel guests. The hotel industry is up in arms right now, scrambling to extend the deadline due to financial restraint and vague guidelines. Pool lifts can cost into the thousands of dollars, not including installation costs, which would required alterations to the pool structure itself to accommodate a bolted-in pool lift.
The requirement is among a set of new regulations approved in 2010 under the Americans with Disabilities Act that affect most public places, such as banks, stores, movie theaters, state and local government entities, public swimming pools and hotels. Within the hospitality industry, the recent pool lift regulation has attracted the most attention.