Dear Palisades Members,
As we eagerly anticipate Palisades Opening Day Friday, May 21st, we want to take this opportunity to warmly welcome all of our new and returning members as well as share important information regarding our upcoming summer season.
Similar to last year, we expect changes to some of our policies and procedures throughout the 2021 season based on pool usage and directives from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (MCDHHS). We will continue to post information on the Palisades website as well as send updates to our members via email. To stay up-to-date, please sign up for our “Newsletter” email here.
Member Conduct and Expectations
Last summer, the Board of Directors spent an inordinate amount of time addressing incidents of member misconduct and abusive behavior directed at our staff and fellow Palisades members. In response to these troubling events, the Board updated sections of our bylaws pertaining to member suspension and expulsion. The revised bylaws outline conditions in which a member may be suspended or expelled and were approved by the Membership at our annual meeting in January. The bylaws can be found on our website.
The Board of Directors takes our responsibility to provide a safe and pleasant environment for all of our members seriously. Therefore, we will not tolerate misconduct that violates conditions addressed in our bylaws, particularly abusive behavior by a member directed at pool staff, other members, and/or guests.
2021 Pool Dates and Hours
Palisades will operate from Friday, May 21 through Sunday, October 10. Our regular season (June 17 through August 29) operating hours will be 10am-8pm. The pool will open later in the day than usual on a few Saturday mornings to accommodate Swim Team meets. We will communicate specifics once the meet schedule has been set by the Montgomery County Swim League.
Preseason (May 21 through June 16th) and postseason (August 30 through October 10) hours are based on staffing availability and are still pending. We will provide this information as opening day approaches.
2021 Operations, Reservations, and Guest Policies
We are currently awaiting directives from the MCDHHS that will directly impact our pool capacity and operations. As we learned last summer, these directives are often announced at the last minute and can change frequently, which makes planning extremely difficult. Similar to last summer, the Board of Directors will continuously monitor changes to directives and adapt our operations accordingly. We will also monitor pool usage on a daily basis and make necessary changes to best accommodate the needs of all of our members, including increasing capacity as county regulations allow.
Although the Board of Directors encourages all eligible individuals to get fully vaccinated, members will not be required to do so in order to visit Palisades. However, we will enforce social distancing practices and masks per MCDHHS directives. Additionally, Palisades will continue using a full-time professional cleaning service to ensure the safety of our members.
In addition to county directives, we are also awaiting an upgraded pool reservation system from Member Splash, our website platform. At this time, we anticipate opening the season under a reservation policy similar to the end of last season due to capacity restrictions. We will also continue our no guest policy which we hope to ease as the season progresses. We will communicate information regarding directives, capacity limits, and our reservation process as soon as it is made available to us.
Palisades Swim and Dive Teams
The Swim and Dive Teams are much-loved institutions at Palisades and the heart and soul of our pool. Many of our Porpoises are second and even third generation members. We are thrilled that it appears we will be able to offer a full and nearly normal Swim and Dive Team season. Due to Palisades’ size compared to other area pools, we will most likely host all five swim meets this summer. The timing of these meets on Saturday mornings, as well as practices weekday afternoons, will impact our pool hours and allotted capacity. Dive meets will be held on Sundays (either mornings or 4 pm) and will alternate between Palisades and other pools. We appreciate your patience and support of our teams as we welcome back our veteran Porpoises and usher in the next generation. For more information regarding our Swim and Dive Teams, please visit our website and click on the “Teams” tab. Registration for the Swim Team and the Dive Team opens later this month.
The current tennis reservation system will be retired once Member Splash rolls out the new reservation system, hopefully in May. The new system will be similar to the one used last year to make swimming reservations. For more information on our tennis programs, please visit our website and click on the “Tennis” tab. To join our tennis email distribution list, click here.
Early Bird Swim (EBS)
Because of our delayed opening last season, as well as the availability of dedicated lifeguards, Palisades offered EBS seven days a week last year at no additional charge to our members, in a departure from how EBS has been administered in past seasons.
This year, Palisades must return to a more traditional EBS program. Prior to 2020, EBS was offered three mornings a week from 6:30-8:00 during our regular season (June 17-early August) for a flat fee. This summer, EBS will be available weekday mornings by reservation, with two sessions each morning (6:15 – 7am and 7:15 – 8am). We cannot initially offer a third session from 8:15-9am due to swim team practice. At this time, MCDHHS is permitting two swimmers per lane. Exact EBS start and end dates will be determined based on staffing availability and communicated to membership.
Palisades will charge for EBS this summer but the rates and mechanisms are yet to be determined. Due to high demand, a flat fee system may not be fair to our members who are unable to make a reservation as often as they would like. We are looking into a “pay per swim” option and invite all members interested in our EBS program to fill out this survey. Based on information from the survey, as well as the latest lap swimming directives from MCDHHS, we hope to devise a sustainable and fair EBS model for our interested members.
Deep Water Aerobics
Deep Water Aerobics will be offered again this season. Although not finalized, we anticipate that two back to back morning classes would start June 21 and run Monday-Wednesday-Friday. In addition, we plan to offer Saturday morning classes which may be intermittent until mid July, depending on the swim meet schedule. The Aquatics Programs tab on the pool website will be updated regularly.
The Palisades Board of Directors is delighted to announce that The Market on the Boulevard will operate The Porpoise Café again this year. The Café will open for the season on Saturday, May 22 at 11:00 am. The Porpoise Café operates under Covid-19 restrictions. There will be hand sanitizer available at the café counter, and all social distancing rules remain in place with respect to waiting in line. Members have the option to text orders to Kelly Lee at (703) 975-0219. Kelly will send you a text once your order is ready, and you can pick it up on the table in front of the café. Please visit our website and click on the “Porpoise Café” tab to check out the menu and the account/payment policy.
Managing Palisades during a global pandemic has presented numerous challenges. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to a great 2021 season, and we continue to appreciate the patience, encouragement, and support from our membership. Thank you.
Your Palisades Volunteer Board of Directors