The concession stand at the Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex in Washington reopened this summer after being closed for two years. So far, it’s gotten a good response.
“We’ve received a great response from those who attend the pool,” said Cathy Jinkerson, Washington High School business department chair.
The pool only had vending machines the last two years. The idea to reopen the concession stand was brought up by a local resident to Washington Parks Director Wayne Dunker on one of his first days as director in January.
The city sought out Jinkerson to help run the stand. The concession stand is a student-owned business for 2018-19 high school juniors in the Center for Advance Professional Students (CAPS) Global Business Entrepreneurship program at the Four Rivers Career Center.
Jinkerson, the program instructor, has been mentoring the students as they developed menu items, pricing and determined staffing. She was available to answer questions along the way.
Abbey Jinkerson, a former CAPS student, is in charge of inventory, accounting and managing the students.
The parks department has no part in the stand.
The stand is selling hot dogs, brats, pizza, hot pretzels, nachos, popcorn, chips, candy, ice slushies, ice cream and beverages.
Jinkerson noted that the pretzels have been popular.
“The customers seem very happy with the concession stand and the prices we’ve set,” she said.
While Jinkerson doesn’t think the food items they offer will change anytime soon, she did say the students welcome any feedback the community has to offer.
The Washington Parks Department’s summer camp recently started up and Jinkerson said that will bring roughly 85 children to the pool three days a week.
“I’m anxious to see if they enjoy the concession stand,” she said.
Jinkerson also expects as the temperatures outside rise, the attendance at the pool will grow.
“I think as it gets warmer out, more people will be attending,” she said.
Aside from how well the concession stand has been received, it has already been a great learning opportunity for the students who are running it, Jinkerson said.
Many of the students working there have other commitments with sports or another part-time job so Jinkerson said they’ve been learning how to schedule.
“I see them being hard workers,” she said. “It’s a testament to teenagers that they are hard workers and they want to better our community.”
Jinkerson is hopeful this experience will help prepare the students to manage a school store at the FRCC when they return as seniors in the fall.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season goes,” she said.
There were 195 children and 360 adults that attended the pool the first weekend it was open.
So far, a total of 164 season passes and 150 punch cards have been sold for this season.