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Revenue from pools down 40% at Billings Parks and Recreation in June



Billings, Montana – The city of Billings saw its third wettest month on record in June, which had an impact on everything from pool use to park upkeep.

Despite the fact that Rose Park Pool was crowded on Wednesday, it wasn’t in June.

“It’s been a little tough. During the month of June, we had all that weather and that certainly hurt our revenue, hurt our attendance,” said Dawn-Marie Kaufman, the city’s aquatics director, on Wednesday.

During six inches of rain fell in Billings during the course of 20 days in June. Less people attended the pools as a result.

“We saw about a 39 to 40% reduction in attendance, and it’s strictly weather related,” said Kory Thomson, the recreation superintendent for Billings Parks and Recreation.

Employees at the pools also felt the impact of a 40% drop in attendance because it represented a 40% drop in revenue for the city.

“With all the rain and everything, we weren’t able to do anything. I know a lot of us guards, a lot of us are lucky to be in high school and have parents support us. But we have some, and even our pool managers that do some of this for a living and need the money for it,” said Billings lifeguard Christopher Piccioni.

Because the pools were closed, lifeguards like Piccioni lost nearly a month’s worth of pay. Some people got new employment. For them and other pool users like Ali Tezak and her son, 10, it was disappointing.

“He has been asking from the day went out, can we go to Rose Park, can we go to Rose Park, can we go to Rose Park,” said Tezak.

The Tezaks, along with swimmer Daisy Kind, are making up for not being able to attend in June.

“It was a bummer, but I’m just glad we’re making up for it now, ‘cuz I love the pool,” Kind said.

Even if the rain may have derailed poolgoers’ plans, there is a bright spot for the city. They didn’t need to water due to the abundance of rain.

“Normally we try to get all of our irrigation systems up and running before the end of May. We just know that’s what we need to do. We had systems that we hadn’t turn on yet until the middle of June,” said the director of Billings Parks and Recreation, Mike Pigg.

Everyone anticipates that park visitation will increase now that the weather has improved.

“Take advantage of being able to come out with the weather being good. It’s a hot summer so far, so yay,” Tezak said.


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