Because it loses about $100,000 per year, city staff has proposed closing the Lido Pool and pavilion for up to six months of the year.
But Lido Key residents oppose that idea and have come up with a plan to keep it open year-round.
“The Lido Pool and pavilion has been a seriously undermarketed asset for the city,” said Carl Shoffstall, a Lido Key Residents Association board member.
As a result of the talk about shutting down the pool, the residents association created a Lido Pool committee, which Shoffstall chairs, to create alternatives to closing.
The committee’s mission is to review, evaluate and recommend viable options for the Lido Pool.
Most of those options have to do with generating revenue.
One of the ideas to increase revenue at the pool is to build cabanas that could be rented.
All the space in the pavilion would be dedicated to income-generating uses, such as a retail shops or stalls, a tiki bar, restaurant and an event room or stage.
A complete marketing plan would also be created and aimed at groups such as swim teams, private swimming-lesson vendors and Realtors and their clients who rent on Lido Key.
Sarasota city commissioners were presented that plan Aug. 15. Although they didn’t express their opinions then, during a budget workshop last month, they did say that the Lido Pool needs to be highlighted.
“We need to start thinking bigger here,” said Commissioner Shannon Snyder. “This could be a destination for this community. We need to start looking at this as a high priority for our city.”
Shoffstall and the residents association agree.
“It’s an asset for the city of Sarasota,” said Shoffstall. “For that thing to not be used is a travesty.”
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