Big Blue Swim School Announces Plans to Open Up to 70 Locations in California

Published : Thursday, June 23, 2022, 10:31 am
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Continuing a rapid growth trajectory, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim schools is ready to dive into the Golden State, starting in Southern California and working its way up the coast

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Big Blue Swim School, one of the country’s fastest-growing franchises in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry, sets its sights on California for its next wave of expansion, projecting nearly 70 new schools to open in the state over the next five years.

The brand recently signed leases for its first two Golden State locations in Huntington Beach and Tustin. Franchise partner L5 Swim is developing the locations, which are the first of their plans to open 20 locations in California, initially focusing on Orange County and Los Angeles County, and part of a larger deal to open 43 Big Blue Swim schools across the country.

“California is the perfect home for us,” said Chris Kenny, chairman of the board of L5 Swim. “With the number of pools and beaches in the state, parents in California know the importance of water safety. Unfortunately, the reality is that drowning is the leading cause of death for toddlers 1-4 years old in California. Our mission is to show kids they can do anything by unlocking their full potential in the water, and we are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of families across California.”

Also contributing to the brand’s growth in California, Big Blue has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement to open eight stores in San Diego with Blue Marlin Ventures, LLC and a three-unit deal with local Bay Area residents, Sean Alexis and Aldona Clottey. Eventually, Big Blue plans to expand north across San Jose and Sacramento.

Big Blue’s numerous differentiators make it a leader as a franchise opportunity in the learn-to-swim space. The brand provides franchise partners with a proprietary enterprise system, allowing owners to manage the business remotely. Known as LessonBuddy™, it also makes life easier for parents, offering the ultimate flexibility in scheduling lessons online, or through the brand’s mobile app. In addition, Big Blue’s real estate team uses a data-driven strategy to find suitable sites for families, making Big Blue’s locations and its offerings easy to find and access. The brand opens thoughtfully designed facilities, with warm 90-degree water, fall-proof, anti-microbial carpet, a comfortable parent viewing area, and individual changing rooms.

“Since we build our pools to provide for capacity, all of our locations have room for progress move-ups immediately when kids are ready, and families can schedule multiple kids of various levels and ages to swim all at the same time,” said Chris DeJong, Big Blue’s founder and president.

Founded in 2009, Big Blue Swim School is one of the fastest-growing swim school franchises in the industry. The brand has signed commitments for 227 schools in 25 states and is aiming for 240 pools sold by the end of 2022.

The brand is actively looking for qualified franchise partners to develop additional California territories, including Ventura County, San Bernadino County, Sacramento and San Jose. In addition to California, several other key markets are available across the country such as Kansas City, Cleveland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay.

To learn more about franchising with Big Blue Swim School, 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 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


Elisa Suri
404-214-0722 ext. 119

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