Big Blue Swim School Signs First Lease in the Sunshine State

Courtesy of Big Blue Swim School, a SwimSwam partner.

CHICAGO – Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, has signed a lease for its first Florida location. The new Pembroke Pines pool also represents the first lease in a 37-unit, six-state deal between the brand and Atlanta-based entrepreneur, CPA, and professional dive instructor, Woody Alpern.

“My dream with the business is to make Big Blue Swim School the strongest player in the fragmented swim world,” Alpern said. “Throughout my 30 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve always been aware of the franchise space and always liked the idea of being a part of a tried and true system, allowing me to build on the business model and grow strategically,” he said.

Currently, Alpern is scouting additional locations in markets across Florida, including Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, and he plans to open multiple Big Blue Swim Schools in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

The partnership with Alpern is just the latest phase of an aggressive growth plan for the franchise, which has already signed agreements for 155 units in 22 states across the country. With a goal of reaching 170 units committed by the end of 2021, the brand is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry.

“We are excited to bring our swim school to Florida,” said Chris DeJong, Big Blue’s founder and president. “What makes Big Blue so special is that we are teaching children a vital life skill, and with Woody’s passion and knowledge for the sport, we know he will dive in and make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children and their parents.”

The Pembroke Pines location, a former Pier 1 located in the Pembroke Lakes Mall at 11401 Pines Blvd, Suite 546, aligns perfectly with the brand’s overall real estate selection strategy, which targets the vacancies created as traditional brick-and-mortar retail brands increasingly move their businesses online.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the existing trend toward online commerce, which has caused a greater number of traditional retailers to pull back on brick-and-mortar investments as they look to fill their spaces with experience-based, ‘Amazon-resistant’ brands,” said Scott Sanders, CEO of Big Blue. “This has enabled Big Blue to source opportunities for space, which simply did not previously exist, and has created the ability to grow the brand more quickly across the U.S. while creating a mutually beneficial opportunity between landlord and tenant.”

“The life-skill of swim instruction will never become outdated, replaced by technology, irrelevant or less vital over time,” Alpern said. “It’s something Amazon will not be able to deliver, so the opportunity to grow this brand in the Southeast, while fulfilling the important mission of teaching water safety skills to kids, was too incredible to pass up.”

Big Blue Swim School franchise opportunities are still available in key markets across the country. To learn more, visit


Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand, and pools are now open in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver and Northern Virginia. Big Blue is currently growing through franchising with plans to have a minimum of 170 pools sold by the end of 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit

Big Blue Swim School is a SwimSwam Partner. 

Originally posted on Click here to Read More.

Scroll to Top