DENVER (CBS4)– As summer approaches, community pools remain closed under public health orders to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Matt Lane is the CEO of Streamline Brands, an Englewood-based swim school company with nine locations in the Denver metro area and 250 locations nationwide.READ MORE: Glenwood Canyon Mudslides Cancel Amtrak's California Zephyr Train Through Colorado Rockies
He understands why community pools are closed, but argues his business, offering swim lessons, is an essential public service.
“What this is all about is saving lives,” said Lane. “It really is one of the first skills that they have to learn on their own away from parents.”
On average, two children under the age of 14 drown each day in the United States according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“In the interest of public safety, and saving kids’ lives from the epidemic of drowning, the best thing for us to do is open our doors,” said Lane.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Monsoon Storms Become More Numerous Monday And Tuesday
Lane says his franchisees are ready to open in a limited capacity, with instructors wearing special masks, limiting the amount of people in the building to 10 at any time and taking the temperature of anyone walking in the door.
A message he’s trying to get to public health officials, but instead of a response, he says he gets the runaround.
“What we’re hearing back in response is, ‘You know, you need to call that guy,’ and then we call that guy and that guy says, ‘You need to call that guy,’ and it just kind of goes around and around,” he lamented.
And if he doesn’t get a response soon, Lane says, there may be no business left to reopen.
“I would say across the industry, the industry can’t last much longer,” said Lane.MORE NEWS: Highway 125 In Grand County Closed For Mudslide
He says 70-80% of his customers are ready to resume swim lessons right away and they’d be ready to open as early as Monday if given the green light.