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Hotel Lawyer: Clarification on the DOJ's Amendment
to the Pool Lift Extension



By Jim Butler of the Global Hospitality Group®
Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
May 22, 2012

Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it is extending the ADA pool lift deadline from May 21, 2012 to January 31, 2013.

Amendment to ADA regulations

 
The DOJ formally published an "Amendment of the Americans with Disabilities Act Title II and III Regulations to Extend Compliance Date for Certain Requirements Related to Existing Pools and Spas Provided by State and Local Governments and by Public Accommodations" (ADAAG Sections 242 and 1009 Standards for Accessible Design).

The new pool lift Compliance Date is January 31, 2013. The Amendment acknowledges that the DOJ's January 31, 2012 technical advisory caused "significant concerns and misunderstandings among a substantial number of pool owners and operators" with respect to the new technical requirements pool lift must.

Background to the extension

The DOJ recently received and carefully considered comments from pool owners, operators and various industry groups and clarified a number of popular misconceptions about the new requirements. At the end of the day, the DOJ seems to have heard the public outcry, in part.

In its Technical Advisory Document of January 31, 2012, the DOJ sent tsunami-sized waves through the hospitality and pool and spa industries when it announced, for the first time, its interpretation that pool and spa lifts are required to be "fixed" (as opposed to portable) next to the pool or spa at all times the facility is open, unless it is not "readily achievable," and they cannot be shared between water elements.

Fixed versus portable pool lifts

A fixed pool lift must be attached to the pool or spa deck. Since September 15, 2010 when the DOJ adopted the 2010 Standards, which included the first requirement for pool lifts which made no reference to "fixed" pool lifts, pool and spa equipment manufacturers began to scale portable pool lifts to meet the anticipated demand. Hotel owners and operators generally intended to purchase a single pool lift to be shared between water elements.
 
The DOJ sent the industry off the deep end when it announced on January 31, 2012 that portable pool lifts brought out upon a guest's request would not generally be permitted and that the fixed pool lifts could not be shared between pools and spas. A single pool lift may be used for a "cluster" of spas.

For now, anyway, the bad news is that fixed pool lifts still appear to be required.

Except for pool lifts, the 2010 ADA Standards are in effect now

One of the most important take always for hotel owners and operators, is that while the DOJ has extended the compliance date for Sections 242 and 1009 (pool lifts) all other provisions of the 2010 ADA Standards became mandatory March 15, 2012.

While the pool lift extension is very significant for the industry, you cannot lose sight of the fact that your properties, policies, practices and procedures must comply with the 2010 Standards unless you are protected by the "safe harbor."

Jim Butler
Chairman, Global Hospitality Group®
jbutler@jmbm.com
(310) 201-3526

Marty Orlick
Senior Member, Global Hospitality Group®
Chairman, ADA Defense Team
morlick@jmbm.com
(415) 984-9667

Other ADA defense and compliance resources

You can access the full library of ADA materials on Hotel Law Blog by going to the home page, selecting the tab at the top that says "HOTEL LAW TOPICS", and then clicking on "ADA Defense & Compliance" in the drop down menu . . . or by clicking here.

DOJ turnabout: Pool lift compliance deadline extended to May 15

ADA defense and compliance lawyer: More clarification or confusion on March 15 ADA standards?

GlobeSt.com interviews JMBM's ADA Defense and Compliance Lawyers

ADA ALERT - A call to action before the March 15, 2012 ADA deadline

DOJ clarifies March 15, 2012 mandatory pool lift requirement! (Uh-oh!)

New ADA compliance standards for golf courses. What do they mean to you?

Quick! Can you pass this 3-question ADA pop quiz?

New ADA regulations kick in soon. Say goodbye to "grandfathering" under the ADA.

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ADA defense lawyer: Implications of the latest ADA enforcement "sweeps" against hotels in Portland and San Francisco.

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When disabled hotel guests' needs go beyond the norm for typical guests, what do hotel owners and managers have to do?

ADA Compliance is no longer an option. There is a "new sheriff" in town, and problem prevention costs a fraction of defense and compliance under a microscope.

ADA Sweeps by U.S. Department of Justice -- Coming to a theater district or Hotel near you soon? How to get ready before it's too late.

Defending ADA lawsuits. How your hotel website can make you a target for ADA lawsuits

_______________________

This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer, signing off. We've done more than $60 billion of hotel transactions and have developed innovative solutions to help investors be successful in bidding for hotel acquisitions, and helping investors and lenders to unlock value from troubled hotel transactions. Who's your hotel lawyer?
_______________________


Martin H. Orlick is one of the top ADA defense lawyers in the country, having helped clients with more almost 500 ADA cases for hotels and other businesses. He is also is a senior member of the law firm's Global Hospitality Group®, a partner in the real estate department, and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL). For more information about ADA compliance and defense, contact Marty Orlick at morlick@jmbm.com or +1 (415) 984-9667.
_______________________

Our Perspective.
We represent hotel lenders, owners and investors. We have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $60 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,300 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at jbutler@jmbm.com or +1 (310) 201-3526.


Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM, and Chairman of its Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group™. Jim is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE "hotel lawyer" and you will see why.

Jim and his team are more than "just" great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.



JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®
The hotel lawyers in the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell (JMBM) comprise the premier hospitality practice in a full-service law firm and are the authors of the Hotel Law Blog. We represent hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders and have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $60 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,300 properties worldwide. For more information about the Global Hospitality Group®, go to www.HotelLawBlog.com. For more information about full range of legal services provided by JMBM, go to www.JMBM.com.
.
Contact:

Jim Butler

jbutler@jmbm.com
310.201.3526

 

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