Area pools prepare to open for Memorial Day amidst efforts to hire more lifeguards

Memorial Day Weekend ushers in the official kick-off to summer and the opening of swimming pools.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - In a few days, dozens of public pools will open for the summer. Memorial Day Weekend ushers in the official kick-off to summer and the opening of swimming pools.

At The Cove at St. Peters, lifeguards are training, and crews are working to clean up the pool ahead of Saturday’s season opener.

“We are blessed to be fully staffed for the summer, so we’re very proud of that,” said James Boyd, the recreation superintendent in St. Peters.

That hasn’t been the case for many pools in recent years. The pandemic led to a lifeguard shortage that resulted in pools shortening hours or closing some locations last summer.

One way pools are combating the shortage is with raises. St. Peters now pays $14.50. Midwest Pool Management, which hires lifeguards for St. Louis County Pools and other municipalities, is paying $15 this summer. Their spokesperson said that has led to good staffing ahead of the summer season. But they are still hiring.

But the City of St. Louis has one of the highest wages at $15.45 an hour and yet they are still struggling to hire.

As of Monday, a spokesperson for the City of St. Louis said they plan to open pools this Memorial Day weekend, but hours might be modified due to staffing. They hope to release more information in the coming days. Marquette Pool in South St. Louis City was empty of water just days before opening weekend.

Even fully staffed pools like St. Peters say applications are still open for more lifeguards.

Area Pools with plans to open on Saturday, May 27:

  • St. Charles City: Blanchette and Walperhorst Pool. (McNair Pool is now permanently closed.)
  • Wentzville Splash Station
  • St. Louis County Pools
  • Kirkwood
  • Maryland Heights Aquaport
  • Webster Groves
  • Ellisville The Edge
  • Manchester Aquatic Center
  • Sunset Hills
  • The Lodge in Des Peres
  • Crestwood
  • The Timbers of Eureka
  • North Pointe Aquatic Center in Ballwin

University City’s Heman Pool will not be ready by Memorial Day weekend.