Reactions to reopening: Barton Springs Pool sees ‘big crowd’ early

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The sights and sounds of splashes, spandex, laughter and laps returned to the waters of Barton Springs Pool.

“Amazing, magical. It’s perfect,” Liz McGuire said, describing the water. She couldn’t sleep waiting to come back.

“I was just like, I’m getting up! I gotta be there!”

Whether you were there to wade or workout, big crowds of swimmers filled the pool Tuesday morning — the first day of reopening in months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For a couple regulars, they’re grateful it’s open.

“I’m a daily swimmer and I missed it a lot,” Kris Asthalter said. She’s lived in Austin since 1970 and has come to swim at Barton Springs almost every morning.

“When I started swimming, I just, ah okay, this is the way it ought to be.”

The timing of the reopening couldn’t have come sooner with dangerous heat and humidity reaching record numbers recently, which could possibly mean more crowds at pools.

The size shocked both McGuire and Asthalter.

“[The water] seemed a little cloudy, probably cause there are so many people here,” Asthalter said. “It’s very crowded. There are a lot more people here than usual around this time.”

“It’s great! There’s a big crowd,” McGuire said. “I think people were dying to get out here, but it felt really safe and people were giving each other space.”

However, McGuire doesn’t want large crowds to ruin the “magic” for the rest of the season.

“I hope people respect it and that they are safe around it and that they are patient because we gotta keep it open. A lot of people depend on it.”

If you’d like to learn more about restrictions, admissions and more, visit the pool’s website.

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