My wife and I are fairly new to Pittsburgh, having moved here from Ohio early last year. We bought our house in Forest Hills last April.
The 2013 admission price schedule for the Forest Hills pool was published in the latest Tree City Times, and I was surprised because the daily admission prices and the season pass rates seemed considerably higher than anywhere else I've lived. Today I spent a little too much time poking around online, and confirmed my initial impression.
I called Recreation Director Cindy Simm, and she insisted that the pricing at Forest Hills Pool is lower than four or five nearby pools, but the only one she named was the Edgewood Club, which is private.
Comparing Forest Hills Pool's rates to every other publicly owned pool I could find in Allegheny County (listed below) that posts rate information online:
- Forest Hills Pool has the highest fee for a resident family season pass ($295), which is 17 percent higher than the next-most-expensive (Mt. Lebanon) and 96 percent higher than the average ($150.71).
- Forest Hills Pool has the highest fee for a resident individual season pass ($165), which is 43 percent higher than the next most expensive (Hampton Township) and 146 perent higher than the average ($67).
- Forest Hills Pool has the highest fee for a resident senior citizen season pass ($95), which is 27 percent higher than the next most expensive (Rosslyn Farms Borough) and 170 percent more than the average ($35.13).
- Forest Hills has the highest fee for resident daily admission ($7), 17 percent higher than the next most expensive (several pools charge $6) and 39 percent higher than the average ($5.03)
- Two other pools charge more than Forest Hills for youth daily admission because they do not offer special rates for younger swimmers. Nevertheless, the Forest Hills Pool daily admission rate for children under ten is 14 percent higher than the average of $4.40.
- Forest Hills Pool has the highest ratio of individual season pass cost to daily admission rate. In other communities, a resident adult must use the pool an average of 14 times for a season pass to make sense. In Forest Hills, a resident adult must use the pool 24 times for a season pass to make sense.
These numbers are based on the most recent price schedules available—some from 2013, most from 2012 and a few from 2011—for these Allegheny County publicly owned community pools.*
As I said above, I am new to the area and am still getting my bearings here. Forest Hills may have some legitimate reasons for structuring its pool fees this way, but I am doubtful that it serves the community well.
* Above figures are based on the most recent available rate schedules found online, a few dated 2013, mostly 2012 and a few more from 2011: Allegheny County Parks Swimming & Wave Pools, Borough of Avalon Pool, Baldwin Borough Swimming Pool, Bellevue Borough Pool, Borough of Etna Swimming Pool, Brentwood Borough Pool, Crafton Borough Pool, Forest Hills Pool, Green Tree Swimming Pool at Wilson Park, Hampton Township Community Pool, Monroeville's Bel-Aire Pool, Mt. Lebanon Outdoor Swim Center, Pittsburgh Citiparks pools, Rosslyn Farms Borough, Scott Township Pool, Shaler Township's Crawford Swimming Pool and White Oak Borough pool.
Do you agree about the pool prices? Do you think the prices are fair? Tell us in the comments section below.