We have just come through a significant weather event, and probably no one is more thankful that their business was spared this time than Angelo and Vincent Azzarello, owners of Sunset Swim Club. One of the more memorable local stories from the historic 2011 tornadoes was the utter destruction of the Club, which is located just off Hwy 72, heading south on Mooresville Road. The only thing left was the pump and filter, and there was even a car teetering on the edge of the pool, ready to fall in. The twister completely mowed down the buildings, and transformed the ladders to get in and out of the pool into pretzels. It took a year to rebuild. They reopened in 2013, had a great season, and as I went in for this year’s interview, I was reminded of the fact that unless the aftermath of “the big one” had been caught on camera, no one would ever know what this place and its owners had been through.
The club, which boasts a million gallon pool, will be ready Memorial Day Weekend. That is the traditional time of the first “big splash,” which lasts through Labor Day. The Azzarellos are anticipating a successful 2014 season, and want you to know why they are the best swimming value in the Valley.
Sunset Swim Club boasts a pool that is 200 feet long and 80 feet wide, and is the largest outdoor rectangular pool in the state of Alabama. That is just the beginning of a long list of amenities. There are two one-meter boards off of which to dive, a baby pool, a basketball court, and you can play volleyball, water basketball, horseshoes, and ping pong. There are first come, first serve grills for cookouts. You just need to bring your charcoal, lighter fluid and meat. For an extra fee, you can have a birthday party for your kids.
Something I also especially liked when visiting was the secure area that is set aside for members to bring and store their pool toys, air mattresses, etc, so they wouldn’t need to haul them back and forth all summer. They offer free swimming lessons to club members, and classes are for everyone from little ones who need to get comfortable with blowing bubbles, to beginners learning kicks and strokes, to intermediate swimmers. Offering free swimming lessons is a smart move all the way around, because it makes to the Club a safer place for families to enjoy swimming.
So, what are the benefits of a family membership? Angelo told me it’s the easiest way “to provide a family friendly atmosphere.” He also added, “When you open it up to just one time users, it’s much harder to supervise because you don’t know the people, and through having a Club membership there’s a better chance for you and your family to meet new people and make new friends.” Since they are open until 8pm, you can come after work for a relaxing swim and spend quality time with your family. The lifeguards are excellent, and very vigilant. “Families can come and do something together rather than just watch TV. We also clean the pool every morning, and stay completely on top of taking care of the chemicals,” Angelo stated. “A mother who has a family membership told me that one of the things she especially likes is the cleanliness of the water, which we pride ourselves in,” he added. Sunset Swim Club routinely scores a 100 or 99 on their health inspections.
There are concessions available, but families are welcome to bring in their own food if they choose. This is especially nice for large families who prefer to bring in their own coolers with snacks and drinks for the day, and are on a tight budget. So, from the baby pool to the high dive, Sunset Swim Club is just the place for you and family to enjoy swimming, playing, picnicking, lounging and building wonderful memories for the summer and beyond.
There is a reason that families come back year after year, and you need to come and experience it for yourself. Call or stop by to find out about a season membership. Then, jump on in, the water for you and your family will be just fine!
Sunset Swim Club
14128 Mooresville Rd
Athens, AL 35613
Facebook: Sunset Swim Club
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner