Champaign Park District General Manager Bobbie Herakovich said income at Sholem and Spalding swimming pools is down $40,000 from a year ago.
"Most of it was due to the early cool weather," Herakovich said. "If the weather doesn't stay warm during the evenings, it hurts pool usage, especially in the weekends.
"This will put a strain on our recreation budget because we'll have to make up those dollars in other ways during the year." she said.
But Champaign wasn't alone in seeing swimming pool income taking a dip.
Urbana, Rantoul, Danville, Monticello and Tuscola also reported decreased income for their pools in the wake of this summer's weather.
"It was obviously an abnormal year," said Rantoul Village Administrator Gary Adams. "Pool attendance thrives on hot weather, and, unfortunately, the hot weather got here later than usual this year."
Urbana Park District Executive Director Robin Hall said June's weather affected sales of season pool passes.
"When you have a hot May and first couple of weeks of June, you will always sell more pool passes. That didn't happen this year," he said.
Urbana Park District Aquatic Manager Nikki Johnson said she doesn't have income statistics for this year for the Crystal Lake pool, but she said it was unlikely that Urbana's new indoor pool benefited from the cool weather.
"If people want to swim outdoors, they generally want to get some sun," Johnson said. "This summer our indoor pool was generally reserved during the day for private rentals and parties."
With Rantoul's $3.5 million family aquatic center open for its first full summer of operations, Recreation Department Director Rich Thomas had been looking forward to increased revenue.
Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate.
Cool, rainy weather during the first part of June and downpours throughout Labor Day weekend forced the village to close the new water park for 25 days out of the 95-day summer season, and reduced revenue on some of the weekends the facility was open.
"The summer started cold and rainy; it was a terrible start," Thomas said. "Memorial Day is usually our biggest weekend of the year. We typically get $10,000 that weekend, but this year we only took in $700."
Then this weekend's heavy rains forced the aquatic center to close for the Labor Day holiday.
"Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day are traditionally our biggest days at the gate, and we basically lost two of those three holidays to rain and cold weather," Thomas said.
Rantoul budget analyst Don Early projects the water park will lose about $43,000 this year.
Monticello Superintendent of City Services Floyd Allsop said attendance at his community's pool dropped from 19,322 in 2002 to 17,322. Overall revenue decreased from $50,875 to $40,925.
"We attribute the decrease in revenue and attendance to the cool, wet weather at the beginning of the season," Allsop said. "It's tough for us, since utility, maintenance and upkeep costs continue at the pool whether there are swimmers there or not."
Tuscola City Administrator Drew Hoel said that community's municipal pool typically brings in $65,000 of income. This year's income was $55,000.
"We offered a half-off deal on season's passes after July 4 to try to raise more money, but it wasn't enough to offset what we lost due to the weather, " Hoel said.
Danville City Recreation Manager Cindy Parson said weather forced the pool there to remain closed for 21 days out of 85 days the facility was scheduled to be open this summer.
After drawing 8,264 swimmers in 2001 and 8,027 swimmers in 2002, attendance in Danville dropped to 4,180 this year, Parson said. She said she won't have revenue figures for a few more weeks.
"It was just terrible for us," Parson said. "We have to spend money to put the same amount of chemicals in the pool no matter what the weather. Our staff worked very hard to improve the pool, but the weather didn't cooperate."
You can reach Tim Mitchell at (217) 351-5366 or via e-mail at email@example.com.