Thursday, March 15, 2012

The End Of Hotel Pools?

Walter Olson points to one of those "government out of control" regulations that is likely to make hotel pools--at least at the sort of hotels that ordinary people stay at--disappear.  A 2010 regulation passed under Americans with Disabilities Act authority requires hotel pools and whirlpools to have a lift installed to allow the disabled to get in and out:
As Conn Carroll at the Washington Examiner explains, the mandate has taken an even more irrational form than might have been expected. Because the elevator lifts are space-consuming, unsightly, potential hazards to curious children, and unlikely to be used very often, many pool operators assumed it would be enough to purchase a portable lift that could be wheeled over to poolside on user request and stored when not in use. No such luck: the Obama administration has announced that the lifts must not only be of permanent construction, but must apply to each separate “water feature”, so that a pool with adjoining spa would need two of them. “Each lift costs between $3,000 and $10,000 and installation can add $5,000 to $10,000 to the total.” Many budget hostelries are expected to simply shutter their pools until further notice rather than take the risk that entrepreneurial fast-buck artists will begin filing complaints against them for cash settlements, as in California’s notorious ADA filing mills. 
I feel bad for people in wheelchairs that can't get in and out of the pool.  But how many want to do so?  My guess is that relatively few, for the following reasons:

1. A lot of those who are wheelchair bound are older, and splashing in the pool tends to be a young person's thing.

2. Some of those who are paralyzed have lost control of, being polite, lower body functions, and are not going to be using the pool for that reason.

The net effect of this regulation would seem to mean that no one gets to use the pool.  Liberalism strikes again!

UPDATE: The March 15, 2012 Washington Times reports that "Pool-mageddon" has been delayed at least sixty days by the Obama Administration issuing a stay on the new regulations.

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