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Graydon Likely to Break Even, Possibly Make Money in 2012

The hot summer has kept badge sales high, according to Parks and Recreation Department head Tim Cronin.

Just past the summer mid-point, officials say there's good reason to believe will move the decimal point in the right direction, perhaps even making money in 2012.

The in recent years, the village's municipal sand-bottom pool has cleared $328,270 in badge sale revenue as of July 9, according to Parks & Recreation Director Tim Cronin.

"The pool season is about half over, I feel we will most certainly break even or better this year," Cronin said Friday.

If counting money received from the , the pool has generated $343,270, according to officials. Graydon's operating budget for the current year is $347,000.

Records show the pool hasn't been in the black with consistency for years, often losing more than $100,000 annually.

With   – from 6,000 in 1999 down to around 4,000 in 2006, dropping by 1,300 more in the following year, Patch reported in 2010) – a to Graydon's natural look, pushing for an RFP.

The  on the request for proposals, citing a weak stomach in bonding a $10 million or more project with few certainties. In short, an assumed annual "loss" associated with the pool of $100,000 to $200,000 carried less risk in the minds of the council than a concrete pool that may very well have brought more people, but could have been a financial anvil if badge sales didn't rise dramatically.

The 2012 badge sale statistics undoubtedly represent a positive development for the village. Two years ago, Village Manager Ken Gabbert predicted that with such a strong 2010 season he saw a possibility that the pool could make money in 2012.

But with the violent and rainy summer that battered the pool's infrastructure and revenue stream in 2011 –  – Gabbert's prediction looked something of a long shot. Now, he just may be right.

"Graydon is back," said a confident Marcia Ringel, co-chair of grassroots group Preserve Graydon Coalition (PGC). "We see an upswing in use as people escape the heat by cooling off and relaxing at the beach in our back yard. The more badges and day and guest passes sold, the more revenue for Graydon."

The blistering heatwave that has pushed thermometers into triple digits has been a boon to a cash-starved village in 2012.

"With the unusually hot summer we have been experiencing (I hope it continues), we hope revenue will continue above last summer," Cronin remarked. "There have been past years when the pool showed profit, it is a business that is heavily dependent on the weather..."

Water quality has been high this year, according to pool-goers and officials.

Parks & Rec staff have recorded no complaints this year of water quality issues, Cronin said. Algae has a tendency to spread quickly during bouts of hot weather, but Ringel said it has remained at bay this season.

Ringel said she's hoping officials will take advantage of the good fortune and strong sales by next year considering a reduction in the price of badges and guest passes, creating a family cap for the first time, mulling a student and nanny rate, re-instituting the late-season reduced price badge, while getting better at marketing the pool at various events.

"A push to encourage badge purchases next year would maintain the momentum," she said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

JAFO July 24, 2012 at 01:09 AM
James, can you do some research and see how the nearby town pools (i.e Paramus, Glen Rock) membership and revenue has trended the last 5-10 years? Glen Rock doesn't accept out of town memberships, but it would be interesting to see if they are trending up/down based on the comments about more families having their own pools or joining clubs.
Carrie Fitz July 24, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Yeah you seem bitter.....in that out of control displaced anger sort of a way. I'm not nostalgic about Graydon but I go there most everyday with my 3 girls because they love it! I have made some great friend through that "sandpit" so you say. My kids wake up excited to go there. Here's a new phrase for you....you've probably heard it a lot......if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. I'm with Jamie....let's celebrate!!!!!
James Kleimann July 24, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Hey JAFO, Yep, that was one of the things I planned to do this summer. Thanks for the comment!
Frustrated with Graydon July 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM
How much of Graydon's membership this year is from out of towners. Graydons membership was in such bad shape they had to open it up to other towns. I have driven by there many times and with the exception of when the camp in in session the place is relatively empty. It is a shame that we don't have a pool that the majority of the town wants to belong to. Take a look at Woodcliff lake pool, Graydon could be turned into a pool like that and maybe we could make everyone happy
Fan of Ridgewood July 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM
When my tax dollars are subsidizing Graydon, along with a multi-million dollar lawsuit because of a drowned boy who couldnt be found by divers for almost an hour. When i have to go to an out of town pool, like so many of my neighbors. I'll definitley have something to say that isnt nice.
jp1 July 24, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Most towns open there memberships to anyone who wants to join. News Man who has lived in town forever was the pool that poor when you and your family went?
Marcia Ringel July 24, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Building a pool like the one in Woodcliff Lake would in fact not make everyone happy. Those who prefer a beach and lake setting--that is, the vast majority of those who go to Graydon regularly--would not join. Increased fees would be only one factor. The Preserve Graydon Coalition held free public meetings for all to attend and presented findings to the council at public meetings. We hired an attorney because that is the only way to get anything done around here. Nonresidents represent a tiny proportion of badge holders. Unlike residents, they are not allowed to come just for the day. Many town pools welcome everyone. The same number of patrons enjoying Graydon on a slow day would pack a concrete pool. Currently all ages can enjoy the water in their own way at the same time: no "adult swim" and so on. (continued)
Marcia Ringel July 24, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Without the center rafts on which to congregate and play the traditional raft games, much of the joy of the pool would be removed for the younger set who have passed the deep-water test. The rafts represent the essence of the experience. A concrete pool would be unsightly out of season. Pools in most towns are more hidden away. This spot is the epicenter of town. Graydon is essentially a wetlands in a flood hazard zone with natural springs below. The motors, filters, and complex mechanics of a concrete pool would be destroyed by the springs and in any future severe flooding like the hurricane last August, Floyd, etc. In contrast, the natural setting bounces back quickly and inexpensively.
Marcia Ringel July 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Regarding our willingness to sit at the table, our group's co-founder attended every meeting of the committee appointed by the Village Council to discuss Graydon and participated in all discussions. Not every member of the committee attended all the meetings.
News Man July 24, 2012 at 05:17 PM
A pond that has as its water supply the two constantly running artesian wells, has serious problems to be concerned with. Constant replacing of sand and pool preparation man-hours just keep adding to the costs. A summary of the original Pool Project committee and an advisory design submited suggested was a good start. Many suggestions were contributed and considered for the project. We still need a bonifide professional RFP requested with alternatives. The pool in the early days was chlorine treated and required to be "shocked" and closed for two or three days often two times by algae growth. A careless drain control that mixed water flowed back into the brook and killed many of the fish. The Village was fined at that time about $21,000 I believe, records available. Multiple pools can be more efficiently emptied and cleaned if contaminated by children waste and adult illnisses. Pool maintenance and testings need to be done more frequently. In brief, off the cuff advice and legal threats are useless to a solution. In fact, I would welcome such a legal confrontation. In the meantime, it's the Village Council's turn to move ahead with a RFP with varied financial and design alternatives.
Fan of Ridgewood July 24, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Not true. The last meeting i attended, about 2 years ago, The village council asked why Preserve Graydon would not join in meetings. Their attorney responded that they would entertain doing so in the future. I believe this was the last public meeting on the subject.
Marcia Ringel July 24, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Subsequent to the September 2009 council meeting that you are probably referring to, a committee was named by the council to study the Graydon situation. That committee met through the following spring. Please do me the favor of not calling me a liar.
Fan of Ridgewood July 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I did not call you a liar. I said your statement was not true. I think you know the distinction, but chose to frame it as name calling. That is just the sort of conduct i witnessed at the public meeting from Preserve Graydon members. My observation still stands and is accurate. Also, the last speaker of citizens claimed that renovations were being looked at, "because somebody is buddies with the people on the council." I'm sure the comment is a matter of public record.
Fan of Ridgewood July 24, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Idid not call you a liar. I said your statement was not true. I think you know the distinction, but chose to frame it as name calling. That is just the sort of conduct i witnessed at the public meeting from Preserve Graydon members. My observation still stands and is accurate. Also, the last speaker of citizens claimed that renovations were being looked at, "because somebody is buddies with the people on the council." I'm sure the comment is a matter of public record.
Concerned Ridgewood Dad July 25, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Mrs. Ringel I read in todays Villadom Times that you're unhappy with the mention of cancer by Valley Hospital at Graydon. Let me get this straight - a local hospital promoting sun safety at your precious "pool" is "subliminal advertising" and must be stopped, but your dogged insistence on calling Graydon a "pool" is A-OK? WTF? Graydon water meets state water standards for Lake/Pond water (NOT POOL WATER) but you know darn well that that won't be good for Graydon's image. SHAME ON YOU! Clearly you are all too aware that peoples perceptions can make real world impact, in the case of the water quality at Graydon, calling it a pond or lake could cause already low membership to drop further. A boy drown and could not be found in the murky Graydon water for over half an hour. I wonder if you consider that FACT when you flap your gums about "subliminal advertising"... probably not.
News Man July 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Graydon water today will still be too cold for my old senior bones. Maybe the heated discussions now will warm things up a bit more and get the Village Council to move forward and solve the problem NOW. Perhaps, two more NEW Council members can help move for a RFP and not just sit back and watch the show go by.
News Man July 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Getting the Biggest Splashes for Your Bucks in aquatic designs click here; http://www.recmanagement.com/feature_print.php?fid=200301fe03 Read and share
News Man July 25, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Thanks Patch for clearing this LINK to be shared. It's was done by professional designers and educators in the Community Recreation and Management field. Readers take your time to read and digest the well written Topic.
News Man July 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Have a productive Summer, plan to study modern trends in Aquatic Design and programming. Click the above Link again. This time do your own google of this topic.
News Man July 26, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Schedule a "First Saturday" meeting withe Mayor to discuss a RFP Graydon solution in more detail, please. The Status Quo is unacceptable.
RdgwdGRock July 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Graydon "Is There a 'There' There?"
Patti July 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I took my kids to Graydon everyday in the summer during the 80's and 90's. They loved it, they did not get sick from it nor did I. I a great community resource and I like the sand bottom. I don't think the water is dirty even now. People compare it to towns that have cement pools - and say look how clean that water is you can see to the bottom - well ok it's cement - dah.
RdgwdGRock July 26, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Newsman - I'm am paraphrasing a quote made by Gertrude Stein
News Man July 26, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Don't expect the Waldwick Aquamasters synchronized swimmers from Waldwick to practice in Graydon anytime soon. Their performers are planning for the next Olympics. Ridgewood Graydon's conditions are not appropriate for swimmers of similar interest. Clear and safe waters are needed.
Paul July 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Hey News Man, Relax!! Love ya baby, but please don't get so worked Up! Get a stroke then Iwill have nothing to read and missplell to you. Tthat lake has been there for a long time and like I think you said " The water is to cold for my old bones" So have a nice summer!
Paul July 26, 2012 at 07:09 PM
NEWS MAN, Gradon water today will still be too cold for my old senior bones. Your words! Ever think about the Ridgewood YWCA ?? Hello I know your old but, there is a time to move indoors. Think about it! So again have a nice summer!
News Man July 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Paul, thanks for your advice but, I just arranged for FOUR more memberships at the Paramus Pool. Its waters are clean and the warmer temperatures are great!
News Man August 20, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Corrected end of year money maker for Annual Dog Pool Swim Link connection you should enjoy: http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=516357
News Man September 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
What plans do we have for the future, more of the same status quo discussion?
RdgwdGRock September 03, 2012 at 05:47 PM
James - as soon as you can, can you provide an overview story as to attendance/dollars generated for graydon this year vs last year (now that the summer season is wrapping up)? Thanks!

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