Many privately-owned hotels in Hawaii are struggling to keep afloat a new national mandate taking effect today. It requires that public swimming pools (300 feet or longer) provide two ways a person with disabilities may enter and exit the water. This also applies to government and community pools.

Hotel swimming may be put on hold until pools meet new regulations.

The Department of Justice listed four options for access: a ramp, steps with handrails, a transfer platform or a hydraulic lift. Hawaii hotels have been wading in high expense and limited supplies when trying to meet national standards. A lift can cost in the thousands, and before hotels can even think about the price, they must wait on backordered parts from pool equipment companies.

That’s why hotels have been asking for some relief from Congress as they work to equip their pools. Once equipment has been received, hotels must go through a lengthy process to complete installation, which includes hiring consultants and engineers and obtaining necessary permits. In the meantime, experts warn they may receive complaints or lawsuits until they’re in compliance.

Until hotels meet the national pool standards, people staying at private hotels may be effected by the work. Check with management regarding possible pool closures or other temporary inconveniences. Luckily, if you’re on a Hawaii vacation, you can always immerse yourself in saltwater and sand, as most hotels border some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

Photo Credit: Bruce Fisher


  1. have you seen the one at the Hale Koa adult pool?
    I don’t even know if it works but it’s the only one I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure how I feel about this regulation, but I know that when I hurt my hip so badly last summer, I would have been glad to use one to be able to swim.

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