Big Government: Hotels Shutting Down Pools Thanks To Onerous New Regulations


The federal government has instituted new regulations to increase access for disabled people, including access to pools open to the public. While that’s a noble intention, as a practical matter these regulations are going to mean fewer amenities for everyone. Hotels, rather than make expensive modifications or risk costly fines/lawsuits, are opting to get rid of their pools.

Hoteliers must have pool lifts to provide disabled people equal access to pools and whirlpools, or at least have a plan in place to acquire a lift. If they don’t, they face possible civil penalties of as much as $55,000.

There are about 51,000 hotels, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and most have pools.
The lifts are required by regulations made in 2010 stemming from the Americans With Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that bans discrimination based on disability.

With just days before the deadline, some hotels are considering shutting their pools or whirlpools to avoid penalties or possible lawsuits.

As usual, government regulation makes everything worse.

I, personally, am very supportive of efforts to make pretty much everything more accessible for the disabled. But the government telling private businesses and property owners what level of access they must provide, to the extent of forcing some of these business/property owners to shut down parts of their venues as a result, strikes me as overreach.

While trying to make pools more accessible, the government has actually made them less accessible for everyone.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Proof

    My understanding was that many of the hotels had portable lifts, that could be used on one or more of their pools as necessary, which were deemed insufficient by the feds, (see: unelected bureaucrats) who wanted every pool to have its own permanent lift. Sounds to me like the hoteliers were trying to accommodate the needs of their customers and even anticipate the inscrutable wants of the federal government, but did not think intrusively enough. 

  • mikemc1970

    Empty pools to go along with the smoke free empty hotel bars. Why are the progressives declaring war on hotels owners?

    • ellinas1

      Because we don’t want you loitering around pools.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Ellinasty puts the “P” in Pool…..

        • ellinas1


          • two_amber_lamps


          • ellinas1

            Heh! That’s funny.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Next we will need legislation of safety rubber bumpers on all walls in public places to protect Joe Biden from himself

  • melissapaulik

    Once the lift is installed, I wonder what kind of liability insurance it requires.

  • suitepotato

    How long till they insist that all cars come with seats that automatically swivel to the side, tip, and lower you out for handicapped people? How long till they insist every car has a bumper carrier for scooters, given that federal medical funding covers them in most cases at our expense? Who knows, but there’s nothing in the constitution against these measures and the public has spent decades voting for people precisely because they will impose whatever on someone else. It’s a bit late for the pebbles to vote now that the avalanche is in swing.

  • Willis Forster

    Many of our vets have lost legs from IEDs, but most are fitted with prosthesis. I have traveled a lot every year for the last 20 and can not recall ever seeing another guest in a wheel chair. Did anybody actually do a real survey of all the wheel chair bound people and how often they stayed at a hotel each year. This sounds like rules based on good intentions with no cost benefit analysis.

  • banjo kid

    We should view government regulations as the plague, the black plague The one carried by rats , only these rats scamper all over the white house and the halls of Congress and the Senate  . I will bet I will get accused of being racist because of my use of the word black . I will bet ya! It is a code word for a presence of all colors .