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Opening of Cortez outdoor pool delayed until June 14

Time needed to train new lifeguards
A lifeguard shortage has delayed the opening of the Cortez Outdoor Municipal Pool. (Courtesy of the City of Cortez)

The Cortez Outdoor Municipal Pool has delayed its opening until June 14.

The Cortez Parks and Recreation Department plans to use the additional week to ensure that the facilities have enough lifeguards to safely reopen.

Cortez has been working with Durango to train its new lifeguards. According to Cortez Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist, the indoor and outdoor pools usually require 18 to 20 lifeguards to operate. The city has nine lifeguards now, and nine prospective lifeguards have signed up for training, he said.

“Our biggest concern is safety,” Palmquist said. “We want to make sure we have enough guards working to provide a safe facility.”

Open public swim time will run from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Lap swimmers may make lane reservations, a practice that became popular after lifeguards were laid off when the pool was closed in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reservations are available for Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. or from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reservations begin June 14.

“We want to hopefully get this pool open soon because we know that temperatures are going to be getting warm, and it’s a great facility,” Palmquist said.