Saturday wasn’t just another weekend afternoon for Simon Mertz.
“I got up at 5 in the morning, and it took a lot of begging for my parents to get out of here early,” 11-year-old Simon said of his morning.
For three hours, he sat outside Madison’s Goodman Pool, waiting in anticipation for employees to open its doors for the first time this season. This is the seventh year in a row Simon has been the first in line for Goodman Pool’s Opening Day. He said he’s been waiting outside on the same steps since the pool first opened in 2006.
“Just out of coincidence, I managed to be first in line the first year, and it just kind of kept happening every summer,” Simon said.
Simon may be the first every season to dip his toes into Goodman Pool, but he's not the only regular employees expect to see here this summer.
“At Goodman Pool, we get about 60,000 people will come through in the season, and on any one day we have a capacity of 1000,” Madison Parks spokesperson Laura Whitmore said.
Without last summer’s heat wave, Goodman Pool didn’t hit capacity this Saturday like it has in seasons past, but employees said they aren’t too worried.
“The pool is heated, it’s about 81-82 degrees, so it’s super nice in the pool, and we certainly hope people will come out still,” Madison Community Services Manager Chris Pedretti said.
At least one visitor wasn’t disappointed with Goodman Pool’s Opening Day.
“It feels good to be wet again,” Simon said.