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Big Blue Swim School Signs Its First Lease in Utah

The growing swim school franchise has partnered with local entrepreneurs Zack and Brittany Groesbeck to bring the brand to Salt Lake City.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 7:07AM 04/14/22

Cottonwood Heights, UTAH (April 14, 2022) - Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, has signed a lease for a new swim school in Utah — the brand’s first in the state.

The prime location at 1340 East Park Centre Drive in Cottonwood Heights, UT, in the Park Centre II shopping areis set to open in June. The new location will be opened and operated by Salt Lake City-based franchise partners Zack and Brittany Groesbeck, who are excited to help children and families achieve the life-changing skill of learning to swim. 

“Big Blue is an industry disruptor,” Brittany said. “People aren’t used to an environment specifically dedicated to high-quality swim lessons. Instead they think of the YMCA, or the gym, or a neighbor’s pool. Big Blue changes the way people perceive swimming - it’s no longer just a hobby but a life-saving skill that happens to be fun.” 

Big Blue’s data-driven real estate selection process incorporates a number of critical criteria during site selection. The franchise puts the customer at the center of its real estate strategy. By making locations easy to find and access, Big Blue makes itself accessible and appealing to parents while also increasing brand awareness.  

“The team has worked hard to seek out locations and create an experience that makes it easy for parents and families to add swim lessons into their schedule,” said Chris DeJong, Big Blue’s founder and president. “We build our schools with comfort and accessibility in mind, and we are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of Salt Lake City children by living up to our company mission of showing them they can do anything by unlocking their full potential in the water.” 

The buildout will be supervised by Big Blue’s in-house construction management team, which has a consistent record of building pools on time and within budget. The approach allows former retail space to be reborn as modern, comfortable facilities, setting Big Blue apart from its competition and adding value to the property.

Big Blue often fills vacancies created as a result of “the Amazon effect,” which finds brick-and-mortar stores closing as customers shift to online shopping. Big Blue’s presence allows landlords to fill large, unused spaces while also bringing customers with purchasing power to their properties. 

“The landlord community likes what we’re bringing to their properties because we're not dependent upon making goods and selling them,” said Big Blue CEO Scott Sanders. “We are a unique service model that can’t be replicated at home or be replaced by technology. What we do simply can’t be delivered on someone’s doorstep.” 

The new Cottonwood Heights lease is just the latest phase of an aggressive growth strategy for the franchise, which has already signed agreements for 211 units in 24 states across the country. In addition to the development of the Cottonwood Heights store, the Groesbecks are developing two additional Salt Lake City-area pools alongside another franchise partner, Austin Smith, who has plans to open six Big Blue locations in Utah.

The new Salt Lake City locations are well suited to accommodate Utah’s large families, which averages the most kids per family than any other state. Additionally, Utah has the youngest population in the U.S., with its 18 and under population growing by nearly 9% each year. Big Blue is poised to become an integral part of families' lives in Salt Lake City.

Big Blue is currently scouting new locations across the country, including multiple locations in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, California, New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina, among other major metropolitan areas. 


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 240 pools sold by the end of 2022. 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