Workers prepare Rifle Metro Pool for Memorial Day Weekend opener |

Workers prepare Rifle Metro Pool for Memorial Day Weekend opener

Rifle Parks and Recreation Manager Kendrick Robinson polishes the play structure at Rifle Metro Pool on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Intensifying heat from Western Slope’s typically harsh summers is pretty soon going to make things a bit melty. Might as well stay cool with a sweet dip in the local pool.

Rifle’s public pool is on schedule to open Memorial Day Weekend, a city official confirmed Monday. Rifle Metro Pool, at 1718 Railroad Ave., is slated to be open May 27-29.

Following a temporary closure to allow summer break for local students, the pool opens for good June 2, with the season typically ending after Labor Day Weekend.

The family whirlpool at Rifle Metro Pool gets worked on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Following Labor Day 2022, Rifle Metro Pool had sold 21,734 tickets and garnered $226,995 in total revenue. This year, the city has a total revenue goal of nabbing $145,000 in admissions, $50,000 in swim lessons and about $45,000-$50,000 in concessions, Rifle Parks and Recreation Director Austin Rickstrew said.

That’s a revenue goal of up to $245,000.

“It just seems like we keep getting busier and busier, so just trying to plan for the unexpected is always the biggest thing,” Rickstrew said, adding that the city is still successfully getting everything prepared. “We’ve run into a couple bumps, but we’re ready to open and we’re excited to have people back in the pool this summer.”

Rifle Metro Pool, an $8 million facility, first opened in June 2020 after revamping the former Art Dague Pool, originally built in 1969. What was once a cement hole held together by duct tape, the city often jokes, is now a giant, modern-day waterworld. There’s a lap pool with a diving board and rock wall, a zero-entry pool with a play structure and flow channel, a catch pool with a 27-foot water slide and a family whirlpool.

Rifle Recreation Coordinator Taylor Walters works at the Rifle Metro Pool on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

“We offer a really good rate to swim compared to other pools in the area,” Rikstrew said. Swim tickets are $8 for two hours, $10 for four. “It just has a lot of amenities that we didn’t have before.”

But one consistent challenge ever since expanding is hiring enough lifeguards for the season. Rickstrew said the facility ideally needs about 70 lifeguards taking shifts, and it currently has about 50-55 workers signed up with the onboarding still continuing. Lifeguards are typically high school and college students, as well as teachers.

“We’re working on getting lifeguards trained now,” Rickstrew said. “But we’re in the process, and we’re ready to go.”

Amid hiring more lifeguards, there’s more to the “to-do” list to getting the local pool open for the season than the public may think, according to Rifle Parks and Recreation Manager Kendrick Robinson.

“One thing the community doesn’t realize is how much it takes just to get it started,” Robinson said. “I think a lot of people think just because we close in the winter, no one’s here. But we’re always here in the winter, always taking note and making sure everything’s good.”

An above view of the Rifle Metro Pool on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Off season includes taking inventory, ordering muriatic acid — the city ordered more than 400 gallons of it — and scrubbing everything rigorously. Robinson is working at least 32 hours at the pool alone, while additional city workers this spring have used 20 hours out of their 40 per week preparing Rifle Metro pool for the season.

“It’s not just one person running the show,” Robinson said. “It’s all of us pitching in for this amazing pool that we have.”

Rifle Metro Pool offers swim lessons, group parties and rentals, open swim, toddler time and more. For a full schedule or more pool information, visit or call 970-665-6571.

Robinson’s message to the general public leading up to the opening of Rifle Metro pool is to come “have fun” and treat the staff with respect because “they don’t have to be here and we’re lucky to have them.”

The work for the pool might be a year-round responsibility — but it’s worth it, Robinson agrees.

“The most satisfying thing is seeing it during the summer, seeing between the beginning of March to middle of July how nice it looks, how beautiful it looks,” he said. “How everybody compliments on the pool.”

The diving board at the Rifle Metro pool on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent


Saturday, May 27

Lap swim/water walking

  • 7-7:50 a.m.
  • 8-8:50 a.m.

Toddler time

  • 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Open swim

  • Noon-3:50 p.m.
  • 4-5:50 p.m.
  • 6-7:50 p.m.

Sunday, May 28

Lap swim/water walking

  • 10-10:50 a.m.

Open swim

  • 11 a..-2:50 p.m.
  • 3-4:50 p.m.
  • 6-6:50 p.m.

Monday, May 29

Lap swim/water walking

  • 10-10:50 a.m.

Open swim

  • 10-11:50 a.m.
  • Noon-1:50 p.m.
  • 2-3:50 p.m.
  • 4-5:50 p.m.

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