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Last splash: Olympic Swim Club will close after '14 season

Owner confirms rumors, urges final 'fun-filled summer' at pool

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THISWEEKNEWS FILE PHOTO
Boys scramble into the Olympic Swim Club's pool during a 2009 event. The club, which opened in 1938, has announced the upcoming season will be its last.

The Olympic Swim Club, known as Olympic Beach when it was built in 1938, will open for the 2014 season at noon May 24.

There won't be a 2015 season.

Current owner and operator Newt Jones and his first cousin, April Zimmerman Katz, last week announced the decision they had arrived at with great reluctance. Rumors had been swirling for some time about the private pool at 3450 Indianola Ave., and Katz and Jones wanted to put those rumors to rest with the truth about the final season.

They are the grandson and granddaughter of Richard Zimmerman. He and his father, Orr Zimmerman, purchased the club from Frank Hauf the same year it was built.

Jones and Katz wanted to assure people there will be "another fun-filled summer," according to a statement they issued through Marcy Fleisher of Fleisher Communications Group.

"Sadly, however, this will be our last," the statement said.

The statement was posted to the pool's website Thursday, April 3.

"The writing's been on the wall for several years," said Jones, who purchased the Olympic Swim Club from his grandfather for $325,000 in 2002.

"At the time when I did buy it, the demographics of Clintonville were changing," Jones said. "Things change. Life changes. What people do in the summer changes."

He said his grandfather had subsidized the operation of the pool until the time of his death Oct. 23, 2002, at age 81.

"Over that time, I always tell people it's a labor of love, working hard to get it open for the community, to provide a safe and clean place for the family to go," Jones said.

"I've tried to continue to operate it, and I have," he added. "Really, what we want people to know is they do have an opportunity to come back and be part of Olympic for one last season. The community that has been members of the pool all these years has been wonderful."

"The decision to cease operations following this season was a very difficult one," the family's statement reads. "We understand the role Olympic has played in the life of the community, but we must run it as a business. Sadly, with the passing of our grandparents, it is no longer a viable one.

"Because we are committed to the Clintonville area, the property will remain in the Zimmerman family. The next chapter for the site has yet to be finalized.

"We can assure you, however, that we will work diligently to ensure that we continue to honor Olympic's legacy and bring vitality to the community. As for the adjacent Olympic Indoor Tennis, it continues to thrive as Columbus' favorite indoor tennis club."

"We are looking forward to working with the city and the Clintonville Area Commission to determine the next highest and best use for the property," Katz said. "Once we determine what that is, we'll be certain to share that information. We'll be open and forthright about our plans once they determine what they will be."

The 2.34-acre parcel is valued at $540,000, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office website.

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