MARPLE — In the 21st century community-based swim clubs are facing a riptide of change and the Marple Newtown Swim Club has not been immune. After faltering membership and increasing costs, the club was forced to close in 2017 but is now being reborn by two local businessmen as the Splash Club LLC.

The club is located on a secluded 13-acre property at the end of the aptly named Sunset Boulevard and was purchased by Marple Township to preserve the open space with hopes of reopening the pool.

“I went to the pool, (as a child) and have some great memories of those times but realized what is needed is something updated to drive membership,” said John McKenzie who, along with Nick Reynolds, signed a lease to run the facility. “We both have four kids and we picked cool ideas to bring here. Our goal is to have the feel of a vacation.”

“A vacation in Broomall, all summer long,” said Reynolds.

"Besides the kids, what makes a parent want to spend day at the pool?” asked McKenzie.

Their answer was facilities that would appeal to adults such as a lounge with TV and music where you can watch the game, either outside on the deck on in air conditioning. Like the glamorous pools of South Beach or the Las Vagas strip, they envisioned cabanas with table service.

Their website calls it “The Hyatt Meets the Hard Rock,” with new amenities unheard of at a traditional community pool. There will be seasonal, daily and weekend rates for the cabanas and a daily towel service for an additional fee.

For the kids they've expanded outdoor activities such as a playground, ping pong and wiffleball court to include an air-conditioned game room and gamer stations with X-box and nintendo consoles.

The men built a 2,000 square-foot pavilion which will look out on the pools from the restaurant, not a snack bar, Reynolds stressed. They’ve built 29 cabanas around the property as well as a sun deck that looks looks down on the club from a hillside. It will host a food truck with snacks such as ice cream and coffee.

They are in negotiations to bring a partner to run the food operations of the restaurant, “not a snack bar.” They will have staff to serve customers in the cabanas.

Another spot they are improving is the Washington lounge fire pit where they hope to turn into a center of evening relaxation.

The club is also planning to host birthday parties, theme nights and special events.

McKenzie said they have invested $750,000 in improving the property from the new pavilion to new concrete ramps and repairing the infrastructure of the three pools.

“We’ll have a ton of lounge chairs,no need to bring your own.” said Nichols.

There will be a new splash feature in the kiddie pool, while the dive and sliding boards will return on the large pool. The club will employ 50 people from life guards to restaurant staff.

The Splash Sharks swim team will compete in the Delco swim league.

Hours 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the pool closing at 8 p.m.

The two have been working on Facebook to draw in their goal of 450 members. There is no bond required and seasonal memberships are comparable to local swim clubs.

For more information see

“The pools have been all redone, we have great plans.” McKenzie said. “First splash is May 25th. Hope to see you there.”

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