Professional Diving Instructor and CPA Woody Alpern Makes One of the Largest Investments in the History of the Aquatics Industry With Big Blue Swim School

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Alpern’s 6-state, 37-unit development deal will bring the leading swim school franchise to cities in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, is making a massive development push with its biggest franchise signing yet.

Professional diving instructor and CPA Woody Alpern has partnered with Big Blue Swim School to bring 37 new swim schools to cities in six states across the Southeast, including seven schools in Atlanta, Georgia; five in Charlotte, North Carolina; four in Jacksonville, Florida; three in Tampa, Florida; eleven in Miami, Florida; three in Louisville, Kentucky; four in Nashville, Tennessee; and one in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

As a professional diving instructor and entrepreneur, Alpern looks forward to making Big Blue a premier name in the $3 billion swim school industry.

“My dream with the business is to make Big Blue Swim School the strongest player in the fragmented swim world,” said Alpern. “We are a country driven by brand names, and we want Big Blue to be the premier swim school that positively impacts the lives of children as it relates to teaching them a vital life skill. I believe the love of water is life changing. It’s pure, serene and provides me with a feeling of calm and energy I have simply never been able to feel anywhere else. We look forward to creating many big moments for children in the years to come.”

Alpern, an avid swimmer and diver, says he made the decision to partner with Big Blue Swim School after learning about the brand’s best-in-class consumer offering, which he identified as a uniquely lucrative investment opportunity.

“Throughout my 30 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve always been aware of the franchise space and always liked the idea of being a part of a tried and true system that would allow me to build on the business model and grow strategically,” said Alpern. “When researching concepts, Big Blue instantly appealed to me, and they were quick to reach out. The Big Blue team is a hands-on franchisor. They invited me to take a look at the facility, introduced me to the brand and stayed involved throughout the whole discovery period. The life-skill of swim instruction will never become outdated, replaced by technology, irrelevant or less vital over time, and the opportunity to grow this brand in the Southeast was too incredible to pass up.”

Touting the highest level of diving certifications, Alpern will leverage his 45-plus years of diving experience to make a difference in children’s lives across the Southeast as they learn how to swim.

The new partnership is the latest step in an impressive growth streak for Big Blue, which has now signed 131 pools in 21 states.

“This is the biggest financial commitment in the history of Big Blue Swim School, as well as one of the biggest in the entire aquatics industry,” said Chris DeJong, Big Blue’s founder and president. “Big Blue is the perfect fit for engaged and motivated entrepreneurs, and with Woody’s unparalleled passion for the water, we know he will dive in and make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

Big Blue Swim School franchise opportunities are still available in key markets across the country. To learn more, 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. In 2020, the brand expanded its presence to Atlanta. Big Blue is currently growing through franchising with plans to have a minimum of 150 pools sold by the end of 2021. 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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Lauren Turner
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