To our valued members,

It is with a very heavy heart we announce Cherry Hill Swim Club will not be opening for the 2020 swim season. After fourteen years of restoration and massive efforts to build membership to a point where the club at least breaks even financially, we have finally concluded that to be an impossibility. Add the fact we are both getting to an age where we are unable by ourselves to do the demanding physical work required to prepare a sixty year old facility to open and close each year, the decision to stop operations makes sense. Many of you may have questions and most do not know all of the background regarding the club. We have attempted to answer those questions below. We sincerely hope after reading everything, you will better understand why this decision makes sense at this point in time.

THE ORIGINATIONS:

Cherry Hill Swim Club began operations June 30th 1961. The membership came exclusively from Cherry Hill subdivision which at that time consisted of Maple Tree, Cherry Tree, Peach Tree to the pool entrance only, Cypress Court and Mimosa. Literally 75% of all the families living on those streets belonged to the swim club. The club was the center of activity for the people of Cherry Hill. The boy scouts and girl scouts met in the clubhouse upstairs, there were two opposing civic clubs that also met there and there was a very active swim club association board that worked exclusively to support and maintain the pool. With the majority of the families in the neighborhood supporting the club, it thrived. Massive luaus were held each July for the adults and numerous events for the kids were organized by the civic associations and held at the pool. Elections had to be held each year to elect a new pool board association group of leaders. Subdivision leaders competed to be able to lead the efforts. Names like Brownfield, Bains, Browne, Dressman, Pleasants, Jansen, Ober, Zeh, Walker, Bunch, Kleymeier and Hainley all actively participated in leadership at one point or another. It was a wonderful time and a ideal environment for a kid to grown up in. Living on Maple Tree at the time, I was one of those kids.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE POOL:

Things remained pretty much the same throughout the seventies and eighties but by the nineties, the subdivision had evolved and American lifestyles had changed and the swim club fell on hard times. Membership numbers struggled and needed repairs and maintenance began to build up. Then in 1999 the longtime builder and owner of the pool, Gordon Martin, decided to finally sell the facility. By this time, the bond holders were too few and there was no money available to buy it. Mr. Martin offered it to the Catholic diocese but the bishop did not want the liability. Finally the facility was donated to the Greater Cincinnati YMCA Association. They invested around $150,000.00 to install the stainless steel gutters and surge tank and other improvements in the filter room. Their plan to turn it into a day pool for inner city youth was a disaster. The remaining members did not renew their membership and the pool closed after the 2003 season. From 2003 until Spring of 2006 it sat vacant with trees coming up through the concrete, raccoons living in the clubhouse and kids shooting paint balls at the building and skateboarding in the pool. It became an attractive nuisance.

OUR INVOLVEMENT:

In the Fall of 2005, my wife Vicky and I bought the facility from the YMCA. Our business plan was to invest additional monies into upgrades and repairs and re-open as a family membership facility the summer of 2006. The plan called for operating at a loss for the first three years and then hitting break even via increased membership. We concluded that break even would occur at 140 family memberships at full price, no discounts and no required bonds. The first summer we had 60 members. Our peak occurred in 2007 after Triple “E” closed when we hit 127 members. From 2008 through 2018, no matter what we did or tried we never averaged over 90 members. In 2019, our membership total dropped to 80. This compares with Bluegrass, Beechwood, Fort Thomas, Taylor Mill and Brookwood who all average 400 to 500 members. After operating at a loss for the last fourteen years, not to mention both of us working the pool each summer for no wages, we find we have now personally invested way too much monies that we will never get back out of it. Our only benefit has been some tax loss credits and the personal satisfaction of knowing we saved the pool from demolition for the enjoyment of hundreds of kids for another fourteen years.

SUMMARY:

Vicky and I are extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with the restoration and resurrection of Cherry Hill Swim Club. To have the opportunity to initially save and then restore a place of my youth that was such a huge source of my childhood memories has been a privilege. To know we were able to provide similar memories for scores of kids that swam here from 2006 through 2019 warms our heart. Our only regret is that this wonderful place has to close. All good things must end and so too must the pool. We feel confident we gave it fourteen good years of effort to succeed but in the end, as I said before, you just can never go back. Although it is true we failed financially, I feel we succeeded greatly in saving a grand old lady from the wreaking ball and in being able to provide thousands of hours of pleasure to many kids and providing them with memories that will last a lifetime. We will miss many of you and we wish you all the best now and in the future.

Sincerely,

Brian & Vicky Collins