$500k makeover for Mount hot pools

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The Mount Maunganui Hot Pools. Photo/file
The Mount Maunganui Hot Pools. Photo/file

Mount Maunganui's hot pools are set to go under a $500,000 makeover.

The face-lift will get under way next Tuesday.

Bay Venues venues programmes manager Tina Harris-Ririnui said the facility will remain open during much of the refurbishment, with the project broken up into stages to minimise disruption.

The project will primarily involve upgrading the changing rooms, creating additional family changing room space, planting and landscaping around the pools, refurbishing the reception area and some painting work.

This was in line with the findings of extensive customer research conducted by an independent research company, Ms Harris-Ririnui said.

Customer feedback predominantly referred to "cold and basic" changing rooms, insufficient family changing rooms, and the pools' failure to capitalise on their idyllic natural surroundings, Ms Harris-Ririnui said.

The refurbishment planned to address those issues, she said.

"The bones of the pool complex are good and its heart and soul will not be lost.

"Our pools have long been a much-loved facility and a significant part of local history.

The hot pools history is part of its charm but also part of the current problem in that the facility needs to be more modernist. We are simply improving the aesthetic and helping the pools be the best they can - we will essentially be polishing the jewel in our crown," Ms Harris-Ririnui said.

It is expected there will be more people using the pools and more word-of-mouth referrals after the refurbishment.

"Staff are doing a fantastic job of making a tired, out-of-date facility look presentable, however the changing rooms represent the biggest disparity between the image of an up-market facility and the reality. These spaces are less-than-ideal in terms of material and ambience and they diminish the experience of soaking in the pools."

Keeping the complex as it is was not advisable, she said.

While the venue will continue to be a destination due to its hot, salt water qualities, the customer experience will not be enhanced and staff will continue to field complaints regarding the cost of entry versus the overall experience.

She says the refurbishment is an affordable project that carries with it an expected return in investment as increased user numbers are anticipated.

The hot pools' manager Matthew Strange said the landscaping would be carried out in harmony with the surrounding environment. Walls of green, wooden decks and new furniture are all part of the plan.

Mr Strange said display boards would be up at the pools, so the public could view the facelift vision. Regular communications, informing the public of the areas being worked on, will be carried out. That information, plus visuals of what is planned, can be viewed at www.mhp2016.co.nz.

No work will be carried out during the school holidays.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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