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Options for Lido Pool Presented

Residents say the pool has been an “under-marketed asset of the city" and a "gem" that hasn't been taken care of.

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. 

Helen Rittenberg August 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Lido pool is a wonderful resource that many visitors don't know about: increase publicity, target condo complexes and winter rentals without pools. Improve and monitor the changing facilities and bathrooms, provide oversight (manager).
Catherine Seress August 18, 2011 at 12:49 AM
I only discovered Lido public pool this summer! Oh, please! Let's find a way to keep it open!!!
Lois A Levin August 18, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Lido Pool is one of Sarasota's mpst valuable public recreational resources. The ideas for expanded services being considered are all worth considering. The city needs to reach out more to residents so that they will utilize this facility more. Consider raising the fee slightly, if that would help to cover operating costs. There is ample room for a solar installation there to heat the pool. The payback time might seem long, but heating the pool would eventually be sustainable.
Lois A Levin August 18, 2011 at 02:03 AM
Lido Pool is one of Sarasota's most valuable public recreational resources. The ideas for expanded services mentioned in the article are all worth considering. The city needs to reach out to residents so that they will utilize this facility more. Consider raising the fee slightly, if that would help to cover operating costs. There is ample room for a solar installation there to heat the pool. The payback time might seem long, but heating the pool would eventually be sustainable.

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