Client: Erik’s Aquatic Care
Happy New Year to all our readers and clients! We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season. Since we live in Florida, we are all lucky to have much warmer weather than most parts of the country year-round. Our team enjoyed some pool time and hope your family did as well. In this first episode, we’re going to cover more pool time in the form of some well-known local Bradenton area pools. Even though a lot of homeowners are also pool owners, not everyone has a pool in their backyard. If you’re lucky, you have family or friends that have pools and can enjoy them. If not, there’s plenty of options. Let’s dive in…
The Major Bradenton-Area Pools
In a recent blog, we mentioned we would be discussing more local pools such as the YMCA, East Bradenton Aquatics Center, G.T. Bray Aquatic Center, and more. As it turns out there are several YMCA locations in and around Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida. In fact, there are 3 major ones in the area: one in Bradenton and two in Sarasota.
#1: The YMCA Bradenton Branch
Located at 3805 59th St. W, Bradenton, FL 34209, this YMCA Bradenton Branch is in the heart of the area. In doing a little research, the branch has changed their pricing schedule effective January 1, 2018. Be sure to view the annuals rates as well, if you are interested in joining. The new monthly rates are broken down and have been taken directly from their website:
- 2 Adults with Children — $75
- 1 Adult with Children — $54
- 1 Adult — $43
- 1 Young Adult (ages 18-29) — $33
- 2 Adults — $66
- 1 Senior Adult (ages 62+) — $41
- 2 Senior Adults — $61
- 1 Full-Time Student — $27
For reference, the Bradenton facility includes the following and its hours are listed below:
- Aerobic Studios
- Fitness Center
- Family Game Room
- Group Cycling
- Indoor Gymnasium
- Indoor Heated Pool
- Kids Zone
- Outdoor Basketball
- Teen Center
- Monday: 5:30am – 9:00pm
- Tuesday: 5:30am – 9:00pm
- Wednesday: 5:30am – 9:00pm
- Thursday: 5:30am – 9:00pm
- Friday: 5:30am – 9:00pm
- Saturday: 7:00am – 5:00pm
- Sunday: Closed
According to Google, their reviews are highly positive—out of 52 total reviews, they weigh in at 4.2 out of 5 stars. As with many reviews, there’s always a few bad ones, because frankly, you can’t please everyone. Some people will always find a negative in a positive situation or lean away from the positive and silver lining.
Cynthia V. said with four stars, “Great place for family. My daughter loves her ballet class. It would be perfect if it was remodeled. Friendly staff.“
David F. added with five stars, “Great place to workout with extensive group fitness options and kids sports programs.“
Kevin C. reviewed it with five stars, “The Y in Bradenton is really what the whole concept of a community YMCA is all about. There are all ages of kids and parents doing camps or other activities; retired folks doing their daily routine; and everyone in between doing what they do. The staff in all areas are friendly, attentive and engaging. We have a condo on Anna Maria Island and every time we’re here, I go to this Y to exercise or yoga. Feels just like the Y at home. Thank you, Bradenton YMCA!“
Lastly, Jen S. said with three stars, “Not as nice as some of the local clubs but still hardcore and the people are friendly.”
#2: The YMCA Sarasota Frank G. Berlin, Senior Branch
The Sarasota Berlin YMCA branch is in the middle of Sarasota County at 1075 S. Euclid Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34237. The hours are pretty standard and geared more towards workouts during the work week:
- Monday-Friday: 5:00am-10:00pm
- Saturday: 7:30am-8:00pm
- Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm
With 50 reviews, the Berlin YMCA branch comes in at 3.9 stars out of 5 stars. The majority of Google reviews are extreme—either 1 stars or 4 and 5 stars.
Jennifer B. said with five stars, “I sent my 8-year-old daughter to the gymnastics summer camp at the Sarasota YMCA and it was fantastic. For a kid visiting from New York who knew nobody there, they were welcoming, friendly, and made sure to integrate her with the other kids. The facility is spacious, clean, well maintained, and the coaches were attentive, encouraging, challenging and fun. Laura, the head coach, is extremely friendly and makes sure that in addition to learning gymnastics, the kids learn good sportsmanship…“
Patricia S. regrettably said with one star, “Very disappointed in the decline of this gym. Not enough weights in season. Inconsistent instructors. Raised membership cost and cut class times. ALL CLASSES are scheduled at the same times of the day. No classes in the afternoon. Way overpriced for this facility. It used to be wonderful.“
Alexander S. added by way of five stars, “This place is wonderful. It’s nice to have showers, a steam room, hot tub and pools to use after a workout. All the classes are included in the gym membership. The staff is very professional and nice as well as most people that use the facility.”
#3: The YMCA Sarasota Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch
The Evalyn Sadlier branch is located in southern Sarasota County at 8301 Potter Park Drive, Sarasota, FL 34238. The hours are fairly standard as well:
- Monday-Friday: 5:30am-10:00pm
- Saturday: 7:00am-6:00pm
- Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Out of all three YMCAs mentioned in this blog, this particular location is lagging in terms of reviews. With thirty-five (35) reviews total, the average rating came to 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Be sure to read the rest of the Google reviews and visit their website for more information.
Chris W. stated with two stars, “Not the cleanest or friendliest and any broken equipment can take weeks if not months to be fixed.“
Suzi M. wasn’t impressed with the childcare. She posted a four-star review with “The swim team is great, the gym is great, I will say that there have been a few times though I was NOT impressed with the childcare… Sometimes phenomenal, other times, seems like the staff could care less, specifically the same group of young women… there are some great ones, and some not so great…“
Leif K. was happy with the facility and said with five stars, “Staff is very helpful and positive. Undergoing growth and some refurbishing, moving in the right direction. Great value for the cost.“
As always, do your homework and read as many reviews as you can. Use this blog and our future blog as a reference to point you in the right direction. Stay tuned for next week’s part two of the local Bradenton area pools with more reviews and overviews!
Last week, we blogged to you about popular YMCA branches in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. There were so many details, mainly based on reviews, we had to break up the blog into two parts. Here is part two, in which we will cover two more big aquatic centers in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. While not YMCA branches, there are other options for people looking to join a health club or a local Bradenton area pool for exercise. For reference, in last week’s blog, we covered firstly, the YMCA Bradenton Branch, the YMCA Sarasota Frank G. Berlin, Senior Branch and the YMCA Sarasota Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch. And now, we’ll pick up with the last few.
#4: The East Bradenton Aquatics Center
The East Bradenton Aquatic Center is located at 1119 13th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208, right off Route 41. This is an official public pool under the jurisdiction of Manatee County. While we haven’t been there personally, a quick glance at Google Maps shows it has a water park for children. The pool is plenty long enough for laps, complete with a diving board. What do the Google Reviews say?
Denise H. added photos with her review and five stars, “Love this place. I take my grandkids as often as I can. We always have fun. Lifeguards are great. Kids pool is covered. No sunburns. Socially there’s a lot of diversity, which I love. Just a great time. Summer free lunch bus comes at 1:00pm. Makes up for $2.00 cover charge. A nice place.“
Mike Z. gave a reminiscent five-star review and said, “I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons here for years before the pool facility got the major overhaul you see today. The community, the smiles, the rapid progress so many kids made from being strangers around water to being fast, strong competitive swimmers was simply incredible. When we learned some kids were skipping buying food so they had enough pocket change to swim each day, we risked being fired for letting them in for free. Ah, the good old days.“
According to research and reviews, a few years ago, the facility was in need of an overhaul or a revamp, if you will. Since then, the reviews have improved as a result of those upgrades. Out of 7 reviews (after all, it is a public pool), the East Bradenton Aquatics Center receives 3.9 stars out of 5 stars.
#5: The G.T. Bray Aquatic Center
Wow, at another glance, this entire complex is quite big for a public center. It’s located at 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West
Bradenton, FL 34209—not too far from the Bradenton YMCA branch, as a matter of fact.
(Pictured left is a Google maps overview of the area). G.T. Bray has both an indoor and outdoor pool (with two lengths of lanes) on top of a secondary outdoor diving pool. Tennis courts surround the pools. Even baseball fields are on the north side of the buildings. For a full list of facility amenities, we’ve included them below from their website:
- 8 lane, 25-yard x 6 lane 50-meter pool
- 18 x 18-yard dive pool (closed for the season)
- One 1-meter diving board
- One 3-meter diving board
- 12 foot, 2 flume water slide
- 2-foot wading pool
- 4,000 sq.ft. splash area (closed for the season)
- Handicap access available
- Complete locker room facilities
The 4.8 stars out of 5 stars speak loudly for this public facility. Even with only 11 reviews, it’s clear this is a place worth visiting for exercise or with the family on a hot Florida day.
According to the Google reviews, Chris A. said, “Great public rec department workout center, tennis courts, swimming pools, and playgrounds. One of the best you’ll find anywhere” with five stars.
Another five-star review came from Kathryn B, “Great pool, lots of excellent classes. One of the few public pools that still has a dive well.“
As always, do your homework and read as many reviews as you can. Use this blog to point you in the right direction.