MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Hotels along the Grand Strand are on edge as the deadline for putting in pool lifts is less than two weeks away. Some hotels are waiting for more information about what is being required by the federal government before they shell out the money to pay for the lifts.
Others have purchased the lifts already because they said the price of not having one was too high. Stacey Cecchini, the General Manager at the Summer Wind Inn & Suites said she forked out $3,000 for a pool lift to make the two pools at the hotel accessible to everyone.
Cecchini said, "I still have it in the crate. The reason I haven't taken it out of the crate is because of the fear of the fact that I might not be able to use a portable one."
Right now there is confusion about the new federal regulations that make the lifts mandatory. Cecchini said she, along with other hotel managers, is trying to figure out how many and what type of lift is required.
Stephen Greene, the President of the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association said, "We haven't gotten any feedback from the federal government as of yet so that May 15 deadline is definitely looming."
Greene said there are major concerns about what those new guidelines will mean for businesses. Greene added, "Ninety-eight percent of our pools do not have lifeguards or other entities that can operate these systems so if you have 12 to 13 bodies of water you can imagine what it does and even from a liability standpoint and a safety standpoint there is a lot of concerns."
Mark Caldwell, the General Manager of Pool Services Corporation said some hotels have been ordering pool lifts, and it is not likely they will make it here before the deadline. Caldwell said, "This isn't just a requirement here in Myrtle Beach. This is a requirement nationwide and from all estimates we're talking about two million plus pools. There is no manufacturer prepared to generate that many lifts."
Cecchini said the money she paid for the lift that might not meet federal guidelines took a chunk out of her bottom line. Cecchini stated, "We were able to do that but it did push us back on budget and not be able to do the things we wanted to come this season now."
Some hotel owners said they are concerned if they do not have these pool lifts they could face fines or lawsuits. They are hoping to get answers soon from the government about what exactly is required.