As its inter-local parks agreement with Sarasota County comes into effect, the City of Sarasota is actively exploring its funding options for the Lido Pool and pavilion.
Once funded by the county, the Lido Pool and pavilion now face possible closure if the city cannot find a revenue source for the facility.
At Monday’s city commission meeting, Carl Shoffstall of the Lido Key Residents Association gave an update to the commission about what residents of Lido wished to see happen at the site. Shoffstall and other Lido Key residents created an ad hoc committee focused on uses for the pool.
“The mission of the ad hoc Lido Pool Committee is to review, evaluate and recommend a viable option to the Lido Key Residents Association for keeping the pool open to the public,” Shoffstall said.
He said the short-term goal for the committee is to keep the pool open for a year "as-is" so that the committee can get a true picture of the operating costs and income. “It is vital to track Lido Pool as one property, one cost center to determine the actual financial bottom line,” Shoffstall said. “[The pool] has been an under-marketed asset of the city. It is a gem out there and hasn’t been taken care of. We think it can be financially sustainable.”
The long-term goals, he said, includes creating a master plan for the site that provides for increased revenues.
Shoffstall offered several improvement suggestions for the Lido Pool and pavilion:
- A tiki bar
- Retail shops
- Enhanced food services
- Hiring a manager for the facility
- A playground
- An event room for community events, weddings, etc.
The commission was not required to take action on the report.
Shoffstall said he would present this report to the Lido residents in November for their first “in season” meeting. After that discussion, the committee will put together a final report to present to the city commission.