Prices at the Stade Nautique Rainier III swimming pool in Monaco’s Port Hercule have risen significantly by 60% for non-residents, angering workers and those from the surrounding region.
Not long after Monaco Mayor Georges Marsan was re-elected in March, the municipal council set to work on several price increases at public facilities around the Principality. One was a 60% hike for non-residents at the Stade Nautique Rainer III swimming pool, a popular spot for locals and those from neighbouring villages.
The admission price went from €7.50 to €12 per session for adults. Many of those who do not live in Monaco, but work or once worked in the Principality, and regularly use the facilities are more than a little put out.
The townhall has justified the act by saying that energy costs are high and the cost of running such a facility has also increased, but also because the swimming pool gets overly crowded in the high season, making for a less-than-pleasant experience for locals.
More than 51,000 sessions each season
“Each year, the swimming pool is a great success with more than 51,000 entries from April to October, forcing the staff to stop access on certain days,” said Marsan. “This year, the municipal council has therefore decided to revise the rates upwards for people from outside the Principality in order to favour the Monegasque population, some of whom deplored this overcrowding.”
Fuel has been added to the fire by a decision to lower the entry fee for over 60s and residents.
One upset user from Beausoleil told Monaco Matin, “I am very unhappy. For my part, on a day off, I spend the whole day here with my children to enjoy this pleasant swimming pool… It’s lamentable and it sends a bad image. It’s a meaningless decision. 20% more and a local worker rate would have been wiser.”
Cheaper alternatives in neighbouring towns and cities
Fortunately, there are alternatives. There are lovely facilities in nearby communes, whose entry fees may be more favourable to those not willing or able to pay Monaco prices.
Menton’s pool has a €3.50 fee for adults and €3 for children 10 to 17, and only €1 for kids three to 10. Younger than that and they enter for free.
In La Turbie, the price is €5 for adults and €2.50 for children.
The pool in Roquebrune Cap Martin, the Bains du Cap, has priced entry at €7.50 for adults not residing in the town, and €6 for residents. For resident children aged 3 to 12, the entrance ticket is €5, and €6.50 for non-residents.
In Nice, depending on the sites, admission to local swimming pools for adults and children is between €3 and €10.10.
Photo by Monaco Life