When a hotel guest wants to unwind after a long day of meetings, a few laps in the pool is often the perfect place to retreat. However, this isn’t always an option for guests with disabilities. It’s worth evaluating your pool’s accessibility — as well as your company’s risk factors for litigation and its current liability insurance coverage.
Newly constructed pools must adhere to the latest ADA compliance regulations, but existing pools can be altered to meet these requirements, too. A pool lift, the mechanical seat anchored to the side of the pool or spa, creates accessibility for those who have difficulty entering and exiting the pool. These can be purchased and installed for around $5000.
While existing pools are not required by law to be retrofitted with pool lifts, some companies may want to be proactive, not only so all hotel guests have equal access, but in light of recent lawsuits.
According to a July 13, 2016 article in The Desert Sun, more than 3,000 hotels in California were faced with demand letters and complaints in 2014. And recently, 180 hotels in California, many in the Coachella area, and 150 in Arizona were faced with litigation for not having handicap-access pools or spas. While these particular cases in CA and AZ were filed by a single person, the ramification is that many hotels are settling out court for upwards of $10,000 as well as agreeing to comply with ADA regulations.
Lawsuits like these can come out of the blue sometimes, so it’s important to make sure your business has sufficient liability insurance in place through a partner who is well versed in the hospitality business. For more information on umbrella liability for hotels, go to: https://distinguished.com/site/programs/hospitality-and-restaurants/luxury-full-service-hotels-and-resorts/.