By Michelle Talsma Everson
When you talk to Sherry Scott about her new venture, Goldfish Swim School – North Scottsdale, you can hear the excitement in her voice. This month, the state-of-the-art swimming facility dedicated to teaching children as young as four months to swim, opens its doors at the Scottsdale 101 Shopping Center (7000 E. Mayo Boulevard). The school is the first Arizona-based franchise of the popular national chain and Scott, its owner and general manager, is excited to bring the concept to the Valley.
“Instilling confidence in children is such a rewarding experience and we are grateful to have the opportunity to bring such an incredible and necessary business like Goldfish Swim School to the Scottsdale community,” Scott says. “Swimming is a lifesaving skill every child deserves to have access to and Goldfish Swim School has found a way to make it fun and memorable for children.”
At Goldfish, children ages four months to 12 years old sign up for weekly swim lessons. These lessons take place in an indoor, 90-degree pool, that is 70- by 25-feet and holds 8,700 square feet of water. Lessons are provided seven days a week, including evenings and weekends, and are ongoing throughout the year—meaning you don’t need to worry about your child having to re-learn how to swim every summer.
“Each school offers swim lessons and programs using a proprietary philosophy, The Science of SwimPlay, to build life skills both in and out of the water using play-based learning in a fun and safe environment,” according to Goldfish Swim Schools. “Each school’s number one focus and main priority is always the same – educating children on water safety while teaching them how to swim and respect the water.”
Scott shares that Goldfish Swim School operates with busy families in mind. For example, she explains, parents and caregivers can download an app and, if they cannot make a class, they can easily let Goldfish know with the click of a button. The school also allows multiple make up classes, doing its best to accommodate its customers.
Another benefit of Goldfish Swim School to parents of little ones are its “Mommy and Me” style classes where caregivers can get in the water with their littlest swimmers. Scott shares that one unique perk is that, if a young swimmer is able to safely be in the water without a caregiver, then mom and dad don’t need to get in.
In addition to highly qualified swim instructors, all of whom are background checked, the pool has a lifeguard on duty at all times whose sole job it is to watch the water. “Added to the lifeguard, every 30 days, our team will do an in-service training to learn how to handle different water emergencies,” Scott says.
With COVID-19 at the top of everyone’s minds, Scott assures that Goldfish Swim School – North Scottsdale is taking all of the precautions necessary. She notes that all swim instructors will have face shields, all swim lanes will be spaced properly apart, and only one parent or caregiver will be allowed in per student. Of course, all high touch surfaces will be sanitized multiple times per day.
Scott’s journey to owning and managing a Goldfish Swim School location here in the Valley began in 2018. Entrepreneurship is nothing new to the long-time Scottsdale resident as she and her husband own Cute Smiles 4 Kids & Orthodontics, with 17 doctors and four locations in Arizona and Texas.
“I’ve helped grow our dental practices from the ground up, so I am passionate about the health of children and the communities we do business in,” she says. “Goldfish Swim School is my ‘baby’ though and I am so excited to be a part of the franchise.”
Scott shares that she is passionate about the brand because “Goldfish is so much more than just a swim school.” She says the bright colors, friendly atmosphere, and details—even down to the changing rooms—are geared toward their young swimmers.
The school perhaps puts it best: “You feel it the moment you walk in. Something different. It’s more than vibrant colors chosen to inspire kids. More than a curriculum crafted to not only teach kids to swim but also to build their character through guided play. More than a shiver-free pool heated to 90 degrees. There’s something more. Something unexpected. Something beyond typical. It’s passion. Not just a passion for kids or a passion for swimming; it’s a special passion for changing – even saving – lives by teaching kids to swim and be safer in and around the water.”
Goldfish Swim School plans for the North Scottsdale location to be the first of many Arizona-based franchise locales. With 100 locations open and operating across North America and an additional 129 in development, Goldfish Swim School is continuing its rapid franchise development with eyes on Arizona, according to the company.
“The positive business climate and community-focused neighborhoods directly align with the supportive atmosphere of our schools – making the region an ideal expansion market for Goldfish Swim School,” says Dan Israel, vice president of franchising at Goldfish Swim School.
In addition to its swim classes, Goldfish also offers special events like birthday parties. “Members and their party will be able to have the entire pool to themselves, with plenty of room to space out and swim safely,” she explains.
As the space grows, it will offer accelerated Jump Start Clinics and Goldfish Swim Force Team, catered to swimmers who have completed the Goldfish Pro Level.
Since Goldfish Swim School – North Scottsdale is new to the area, Scott says she is offering several new member specials. For example, for those who pay a year in advance for a Charter Membership, they will receive credit for a free party and their child’s handprint on the wall. Those who pre-pay six months in advance for the Golden Membership will receive 50 percent off of a party.
Scott invites curious families to come in once they open their doors on August 5 and take a look around the facility. They will also host community open houses; locals can find the event dates and times on Goldfish Swim School – North Scottsdale’s Facebook page @goldfishnorthscottsdale.
“I’m so passionate about this brand and all it represents and brings to the community,” Scott shares. “I’m honored and excited to share Goldfish Swim School with local families.”
To learn more, visit goldfishswimschool.com/north-scottsdale or call 480-470-8231.