Sunset Pools and Spas

Chicago's Willis Tower's Skydeck is infamous for the Ledge, a glass box that extends out about 4 feet from the building's 103rd floor.

Visitors to the Ledge—or at least those who have the guts—have the opportunity to walk out onto it and hover more than 1,300 feet above ground with nothing but glass between their feet and the air.

Now imagine what it would be like to have a similar experience, only in a swimming pool.

Although not quite as high off the ground as Chicago's Ledge, Houston's sky pool in Market Square Tower is also giving visitors a thrill with it's 42-story-high glass sky pool. Another small difference: The pool was built for residents, not for tourists. 

More about the Houston-based sky pool can be found here in an article from Time, but according to the report, the pool "has a glass platform that extends 10 feet out from the main pool enclosure, allowing it to look (and feel) like you're literally walking on air above the street 500 feet below."

This isn't the first residential sky pool to draw media attention in recent years. London is also set to open a residential glass-bottom pool that will float between two buildings, in 2019.

Swimming pools like these continue to make headlines across the globe. I've said it once before, and I'll say it again: These types of swimming pool designs truly demonstrate how the sky is literally the limit when dreaming up the ultimate poolscape.

Chinese University Sets New Swimming Standards


Tsinghua University in Beijing, China is adding one more item to its list of graduation requirements for incoming students—passing a swimming test.

Any new students starting school at the university in the fall of 2017 or after must prove that they can swim at least 50 meters before collecting their diplomas.

According to several article sources, this initiative supports the university’s effort to promote both physical fitness and safety. However, the decision has not gone without scrutiny, such as comments over the relevancy of the test for the community and its potential impact on enrollment, the BBC reported.

Of course, as swimming pool proponents and contractors, we are always in favor of any movement to promote safety in the water. Knowing how to swim or tread water can save lives, and it also provides an excellent source of exercise with cardiovascular benefits and minimal joint pressure. Overall, this movement from Tsinghua University encouraging and requiring young adults to swim may, in the long run, have positive long-term benefits for many in the years to come.


Encouraging Safer Swimming

Think back to your last vacation. If you went to a tropical destination, I’m guessing you can recall the feeling of sunshine on your face, the time spent lounging by the pool, and splashing around in the water with your significant other or kids.

Now concentrate even more. Can you remember seeing a lifeguard on duty?

If not, it’s quite possible one wasn’t even there.

While many vacation spots do have regular lifeguards on duty, other hotels and cruise ships don't have lifeguards on board to watch over the pools, leaving guests to swim at their own risk.

Leading by Example

Royal Caribbean International is one hospitality company looking to change and improve how it views swimming safety, according to an article by Travel Agent Central. By the end of June 2017, every Royal Caribbean cruise ship will have certified lifeguards on board overseeing all pools during hours of operation.

The hiring move is an important step in the hospitality industry, and part of a broader program to encourage swimming safety in the pool and while out at sea. This includes “swim vests for children 4 – 12 years old, a water safety presentation in the Adventure Ocean kids program as well as a teen 411 session on water safety.”

The Significance of Better Safety

On average, more than 3,500 people unintentionally drown each year in the United States, according to the most recent statistics provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—a truly horrific and unbelievable statistic.

Those of us in the swimming industry have an undeniable responsibility to help reduce these numbers by encouraging safe swimming practices. Royal Caribbean is on the right track. We must remember to applaud efforts that highlight the importance of swimming safety, and follow these examples for the safety of both our clients and our loved ones.