Big Blue Swim School Announces Expansion Into North Carolina

Courtesy of Big Blue Swim School, a SwimSwam partner.

CHICAGO (August 15, 2022) — Big Blue Swim School, one of the country’s fastest-growing franchises in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry, announces plans to open three swim schools in North Carolina in 2023. Franchise partners Woody Alpern and Gerry Benjamin signed leases to open two schools in Charlotte and one in Raleigh. The nationally expanding brand provides swim lessons for families with children ages three months to 12 years old.

The Charlotte-area locations will open in Q2 in Concord and Pineville, NC, while the Raleigh-area location will open in Q3 in Apex, NC. The North Carolina locations are part of Southeast Swim’s plans to open 36 Big Blue Swim Schools across the southeast. Alpern is a former CPA and entrepreneur with more than 45 years of scuba diving experience, with much of that time as a professional diving instructor. Benjamin is a lifetime franchisee with decades of experience in the industry, most notably as a material Blockbuster Video franchisee in the southeast.

“Big Blue Swim School allows me to combine my passion for water and my business acumen while also bringing positivity to the community,” says Alpern, Big Blue franchise partner. “Everything Big Blue’s team does is at the highest level – from the real estate selection to the development of the parent-facing mobile app – and we look forward to sharing our love of swimming with residents in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.”

Big Blue Swim School offers weekly swim lessons for families with children ages three months to 12 years old, making it easy for parents to schedule lessons for kids across multiple age groups simultaneously. In addition, the swim school selects locations that make it easy for parents and caregivers to incorporate swim lessons into their life and schedule. Each location will feature Big Blue’s stress-free facilities, offering warm 90-degree water, showers and changing rooms, a parent viewing area with complimentary WiFi and its fall-resistant anti-microbial carpet.

“We’re excited to introduce Big Blue to the family-oriented communities in Charlotte and Raleigh,” says Chris DeJong, Big Blue’s founder and president. “Swim lessons are important from an early age, and they can’t be taught virtually; because of this, we’re dedicated to offering busy families a convenient and positive experience to teach their children this important skill. In addition to the importance of swim safety, we are passionate about showing kids that they can do anything by unlocking their full potential in the water.”

The Charlotte locations will be located at 8591 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC, 28207 and 7625 Pineville-Matthews Rd., Charlotte, NC 28226, in the Carmel Commons shopping mall. The Raleigh location will be located at 1041 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Apex, NC 27502, in the Beaver Creek Crossing shopping center.

Alpern and Benjamin currently own Big Blue Swim Schools in Pembroke Pines, FL and Atlanta, GA, and have plans to open a total of 36 units across metro Atlanta, South Florida, Nashville, Louisville, and in addition to the two locations set to open in 2023 in Charlotte as well as the one in Raleigh-Durham. For more information, 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

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