Turns out, SCUBA stories and fish stories have a lot in common. But this one is no tall tale.
Xplore Scuba is moving and expanding. The business, now in Regent Town Center, will head back toward the Tega Cay area at 170 Grant Farm Road, behind the former Sonic drive-in.
“We will be within a mile of our original location,” said Randy Evans, with Xplore Scuba since it opened in 2007 in the now Planet Fitness shopping center. “It will be a swim center. Our main focus will be on children, swim lessons and infant rescue.”
The swim center will be 7,500 square feet, its pool 75 by 30 feet. It will have 15 to 20 part-time swim instructors, along with SCUBA instructors.
“We have a lot of instructors who teach our SCUBA for us,” said instructor Shane Spitzer.
The pool won’t be an open to members, lap swim type place. It’ll mostly be used to teach infants and young children safety in and around the water. Evans said there are too many drownings and other incidents around water that simply don’t need to happen.
“We want to prevent that by teaching them to roll over,” Evans said. “There are too many accidents that happen.”
His center will teach with no more than four children per instructor, a difference in what it will offer compared to larger recreation centers. Spitzer said when he moved to Lake Wylie, one of the first places he looked for was somewhere to teach his infant daughter to swim.
“It was a safety thing mainly, because we were on the water,” he said.
The new center will do birthday parties, but otherwise stick to more serious lessons. The business also has a lighter side that includes several international and domestic diving trips each year with SCUBA enthusiasts from near and far. It’s a growing community, with Evans having taught more than 1,000 people the past decade. It’s also a loyal group.
“It’s nice and interesting,” he said, “and it’s always different people.”
The new center should open by the end of this year or early 2018. It will have an area away from the pool where parents can watch lessons on a television screen. It will keep the large retail element customers know from the store now. Trips still will be planned, like the recent one to the Red Sea in Egypt and the coming one to Curacao.
“This is kind of family for us,” Evans said. “They’re all like-minded. They all want to do the same thing.”
Even if that activity can take on a life of its own in the retelling.
“Everybody has that fish story,” Evans said. “Everybody has that dive story. If you don’t have a picture of it, it doesn’t count.”
They don’t yet have pictures of the new facility, but they have big plans for it. The see it as an economic plus, bringing new jobs. It should help their retail business. But most, they say, it could teach children skills to save their lives.