Profits are bubbling in Bucharest’s swimming pools

Newsroom 27/07/2009 | 12:00

Public pools create a splash
Recently, Water Park Otopeni, owned by Pro Confort company, which belongs to Ionut and Robert Negoita, saw an investment of EUR 150,000, made to add a toboggan slide and an entertainment area to the existing facilities. According to representatives of the park, the new slide, “Twister”, is 86m long.
Throughout summer, the park is expecting some 250,000 visitors, who will pay RON 30 to enter during the week and RON 50 at the weekend. This would translate to revenue of around EUR 2 million for Water Park before the summer is over.
The park covers 40,000 sqm in the Otopeni area of Bucharest, near the hotel complex Confort Rin Otopeni. It also provides a parking area of 2,500 spaces.
Overall, the park boasts 32 toboggan slides, an artificial grass carpet, nine pools, a food court and different entertainment areas. The Negoita brothers invested EUR 40 million in opening the park in 2004 and, so far, the total investment in this location reaches EUR 43 million, according to Pro Confort's data.
Besides this development, Bucharest has about 10 other pool complexes spread all over town, mostly located within the main city districts and large neighborhoods.
This year, the swimming pool in Tineretului has been partially re-opened, and now delivers a pool of 50 meters in length, the only one open from the five located there. The complex is managed by SC Tineretului SA, which, following demand from several organizations and foundations in Bucharest, will modernize the remaining pools and service areas.
Located in one of the most crowded areas in Bucharest, Drumul Taberei, swimming complex 3 Pools has – as the name suggests – three pools and a sand-covered area, besides the food court and bar. The entrance fee is RON 10 and the site is said to meet decent hygiene standards, unlike many of the grotty pools in the capital.
For residents of Titan, in the eastern area of Bucharest, sports complex Cara consists of five swimming pools and, due to the increasing temperatures suffered by Bucharest in recent years, the administrators have now decided to keep the place open at night. The entrance fee is RON 10, while renting a chaise longue costs another RON 10.
A good popular rating has also been assigned to the swimming complex in the Berceni area of district 4 of Bucharest, which has a more extensive recreation area, comprising two tennis courts, a soccer pitch, a mini-golf course and basketball courts. The complex has three swimming pools and, like similar developments, also tries to provide sand-covered areas.

Posh pools for splashing out
Some might say there is little to choose between the pool facilities at this end of the market. However, if you have the cash to splash, you can splash about in more well-to-do waters.
Radisson hotel in Bucharest has an indoor pool and charges a EUR 35 entrance fee, while entrance to its outdoor pools will set the swimmer back EUR 50 during the week and EUR 60 at weekends. A three-month subscription can reach almost EUR 500.
The Intercontinental hotel in Bucharest offers access to its swimming pool for almost EUR 100.
One of the most exclusive locations for business socializing and entertaining in Bucharest is the Diplomatic Club. Last year, the club saw 150 people swimming there per day while in the weekend the number can reach 200-250.
The club is the destination of many local and foreign diplomats, but 25-30 percent of those who come to the pool are businesspeople, most of them top managers, says Emil Manoiu, manager of the club.
Apart from a swim in the pool, there are other leisure activities on offer such as tennis, golf, soccer and basketball. Entrance to the club is with a membership card which cost RON 1,900 for the year in 2008. There are also corporate cards available.
Another club, World Champions Club, next to Floreasca swimming pool, provides a wide range of fitness and spa services, besides its swimming pools and personal trainers.
For instance, a recreational pool session here costs about RON 150, with the prices increasing, depending on the particular package, up to RON 550 for the “first class” package, including fitness, sauna, pool, massage and buffet. For some of these services, the number attending sessions is limited.
At Daimon club, located in the Parc Tineretului area, the entrance fee is RON 40 during the week
and RON 60 at the weekend, with prices including a towel and chaise longue.
This club also offers a monthly subscription of RON 650, and attracts good feedback from customers.
Meanwhile, World Class Health Academy in the JW Marriott Hotel attracts an average of approximately 100 people to its pool and spa, most of whom are women.

magda.purice@business-review.ro

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