UPDATE: DOJ extends pool act at least 60 days

Posted on: March 19 2012 | Posted in: ADA Issues
UPDATED 8 p.m., 15 March:

On the day it was to go into effect, the White House issued a 60-day extension that will push the compliance date for the pool lift requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act to 15 May, according to a news release from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

DOJ will also publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements.

This major shift in response is a result of work by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and hoteliers that contacted members of Congress seeking redress.

AH&LA engaged in an extensive media campaign, with national coverage expected during CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

While AH&LA has sought a common-sense solution to the pool lift issue, it must be stressed that the lodging industry is extremely supportive of the numerous other provisions of the ADA that take effect today. AH&LA has extensive ADA resources for hotelier, including AH&LA’s new 2012 ADA Guide.

Next Steps for Hoteliers:

AH&LA will follow up with the extraordinary number of Congressional offices that have reached out on behalf of the lodging industry, as well as the White House.

Hoteliers should proceed forward in complying with the pool lift requirement under the ADA, albeit with a more realistic implementation schedule. Properties featuring pools and spas will still need a means of entry, and AH&LA will meet with the White House next week to discuss the original interpretation of the 2010 ADA Standards.

UPDATED 10:30 a.m., 14 March:

The U.S. Department of Justice said it will not extend the 15 March deadline for all swimming pools to have permanently affixed lifts if readily available.

In a statement, the American Hotel & Lodging Association said it is "extremely disappointed in the decision."

"(The Department of Justice) has stated that hoteliers, at the very least, need to demonstrate that they have shown due diligence in attempting to install a permanently affixed pool lift in advance of the March 15, 2012 deadline. While AH&LA is still pursuing remedies for hoteliers related to the deadline and need for a permanently affixed lift, DOJ is not currently backing down on these requirements," the AH&LA said.