Many resort pool parties are already limited to guests who’ve rented rooms and their friends, like the ones at the Hotel Valley Ho, or to guests who’ve purchased tickets, like the ones at the Clarion Hotel Scottsdale.
- No more drinking or eating in the pool.
- No music stages abutting the pool.
- No open-to-the-public parties, except ones already booked.
- No free entry and oversized crowds.
“In the last two years the scale and grandeur of the parties has picked up, and we are just trying to help the facilities understand the public-health impact before we start focusing on enforcement,” said John Kolman, director of the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
Kolman said inspectors have reminded managers to monitor pool capacity, to double-check that rescue equipment is always visible, to keep lounge chairs, stages and other structures 4 feet from pool edges, and most crucially, to stop inviting the public to their events.
Inspectors will continue to make unannounced checks through September, the traditional end of the pool-party season.
But at the W Scottsdale, general manager Leon Young said he’s seen real revenue losses since he started enforcement. He has, however, seen room sales go up slightly.
His hotel has made a name for itself hosting buzzy daytime bashes and nighttime swim parties, serving pool-friendly drinks such as frozen creamsicle cocktails or bottles of vodka with Gatorade on ice. Now, the second-floor pool will be pen only to those who rent cabanas, daybeds or rooms.
“Certainly, I can understand you don’t want to be floating next to a piece of lunch meat,” Young said. “But if we follow the rules about no glass near the pool, I don’t see why we couldn’t allow some drinks in the pool.”
Young is optimistic the county will be open to revisiting the regulations to create variances that would allow resorts and hotels to pursue party profits.
“We are rooms-focused in spring and peak season, but in summertime, it really is about the events and promotions you can organize to bring people in,” Young said.