As many of you may know – especially those travelling for spring break this week – the Federal government’s new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rule mandating lifts for existing hotel swimming pools was supposed to go into effect today. Fortunately, the compliance deadline has been extended. The bad news is that the rule exists at all. Indeed, it may already be impacting Americans with and without disabilities. In particular, as one might expect, some hotels are thinking about shutting down their pools rather than pay the relatively high cost of complying with the rule (according to the article linked to above, that figure is between $3,000 and $6,000).
I’ve been in two different hotels during the last couple of days and one of them had closed its pool due to “circumstances beyond the control of the hotel.” The other, when I asked its life guard about the issue, had no clue what I was talking about. Unfortunately, it was late so I wasn’t able to find anyone who might know something about the rule.
I did catch the tail end of a CNN interview today on the matter with Nick Gillespie of Reason (I’d link to it but haven’t seen the interview on the web yet). He was very good, though Nick (wisely perhaps) eluded a question about the more philosophical issue of whether such laws for the disabled should exist and turned it into a nice point about the unintended consequences of our good intentions.