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Barton Springs Pool will do away with reservation system by end of June

Eric Webb
Austin 360

Think back to that dark day in May, when Austinites found out that they would need a reservation to swim at Barton Springs Pool.

The policy to require two-hour reservation time slots made ahead of any visit to the city's crown aquatic jewel was put in place to help the pool "manage capacity for the safety of staff and guests," according to the city's website as of May 12. It was met with dismay by many on social media. A sample comment from one Austin360 Instagram follower: "Whoever came up with this idea, I hope you hit your foot on the hardest edge of your bed tomorrow morning."

Well, there will be no more reservations, if you wait just a couple weeks.

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The city's Aquatics Division announced on Thursday that it "plans to discontinue Barton Springs Pool reservations, and will begin accepting in-person sales by the end of June," according to a news release. Additionally, the pool will have expanded reservations available for the rest of this month.

An aerial view of Barton Springs Pool looking north toward downtown Austin as seen on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

The city attributed the end of the reservation system to an increase in hiring and training of lifeguards. Many public pools in Austin remain closed due to a lifeguard shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Friday, Barton Springs Pool (2131 William Barton Dr.) will be open from 5 to  8 a.m. daily for swim-at-your-own-risk hours, with no admission or reservations required. Guarded swim hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; reservations during those hours will be required through June.

News about the reservations came as the city announced Thursday that Barton Springs Pool would reopen after closures caused by flooding last week.

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