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The Hilton Washington used to be a pool-crasher’s dream. Lax security, a poolside bar, and multitudes of lounge chairs inspired more than a few people to pose as guests, rather than paying a pool-and-sports-club membership fee. But since our tutorial on pool crashing (“Crash Course,” 8/11/06), reports indicate the hotel has cracked down on unauthorized visitors.

“They posted a big sign on the cabana stating a stricter pool admission policy,” says David G., 28, a frequent pool crasher who asked us not to print his last name. What’s more, poolside guards now require hotel guests to sign in and show identification, information they check against the guest registry, the Hilton crasher reports. During a recent visit, the hotel had also increased the number of employees stationed around the pool entryway.

A few weeks ago, David attempted to crash anyway. He signed in under his cat’s name and claimed a chair, he says. But before he could work on his tan, he noticed the guard making faces at him and pointing another employee in his direction. Fearing he was about to be kicked out, David left, and he hasn’t tried to crash since.

“Getting caught pool crashing when you’re older than 12 is probably embarrassing,” he says.

The Hilton declined to comment on their pool security, but pool and fitness-club manager Laurie Alstrom did have this to say to a reporter: “I think you are really irresponsible, advocating theft.” One cabana guard also declined to comment.

David wasn’t a fan of the article, either. “The new security policy makes it pretty much impossible to crash their pool, and I’m blaming it on you.”

While sneaking into the Hinckley Hilton pool may be harder, it’s not impossible. On Aug. 31, this pool-crasher walked right through the phalanx of employees and the new check-in station.CP