I'm Jacque Wright, owner of The Swimmery. Every summer has been a joy and adventure to share this local gem with our members the last since I reopened it in 2014. Originally from Louisiana, I have lived and worked in Colorado Springs since 1998. Fun fact: this pool has been around since 1970, and I still have people arrive and say, "Wow, I've been in Colorado Springs my whole life and I never knew this was here!" Welcome to the club. Below is a little history of the pool and the story of how I discovered and built my life around it.
Then & Now
Village 7 Swim Club was built in 1970 as a way to attract families to this brand new, innovative neighborhood in Colorado Springs. The picture above shows the model home (far right) that was strategically positioned so potential home buyers would see the pool and envision their families growing up in Village 7. Rose Rook, a petite, German mom was hired to manage the pool for the HOA. In 1972, ownership of Village 7 Swim Club was transferred from the HOA to Mrs. Rose, who kept it open every summer for over 40 years. As the sole proprietor, she coached swim team; hosted swim meets; taught synchronized swimming; and offered swim lessons, scuba lessons, and life guard training. On top of all that, she was known for watching the pool like a hawk to keep her lifeguards on their toes and make sure kids strictly followed all the rules. By 2011, the beloved matriarch of Village 7 Swim Club, who had spent half of her life running the pool, was in her eighties, and she was ready to retire. When the 2011 summer season came to an end, she announced that she would be closing the pool.
A serendipitous discovery
As a full-time working mom of two young children, I occasionally perused real estate listings out of simple curiosity. I lived in Falcon and had never heard of Village 7 Swim Club. I wasn't looking to invest in a business, but the real estate listing caught my attention. It was so rare to see a pool for sale that I agreed to do a walk through. There it sat, empty and eerily quiet in the dead of winter. Although it needed some TLC, I could tell it had been a special place at one time. Possibly, I thought, as I said goodby to the real estate agent.
For the next week, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I could see families and children there again; I could imagine people gathering there to celebrate birthdays and family reunions; I could see my own children growing up there, with them running the business right alongside me in the summers. As I considered the potential, I rationalized that I could flip the property if I had to, but deep down, I dreamed that I might actually be able to bring it back to life and make it a summertime favorite of locals again.
I made an offer, and that is when I first heard of Mrs. Rose Rook. An astute negotiator and gracious seller, Mrs. Rook had herself a buyer. I met her personally for the first time when we closed on the sale. It felt as if she were passing on a legacy to me.
A new era
The undertaking began in mid-May of 2014 and my hope was to open in July. I poured myself into repairs and improvements at the pool. I remember painting in one of the bathrooms and noticing a blurry figure slowly walking by the frosted privacy window. A little spooked because I thought I was there alone, I tip toed around to see who my unexpected visitor might be. To my surprise and delight, it was Mrs. Rose Rook. She stopped by to see how things were coming along. We connected right away, and she came over several times per week to impart her wisdom and help me problem-solve as I got ready for re-opening. I was eager to learn and developed a deep sense of admiration and respect for her. One day, she and I were sitting near the pool in the afternoon sunshine. She was wistfully gazing over the water and she said to me, "You're going to love this pool." Although I nodded in agreement, I didn't realize the significance of her prediction at the time.
I re-opened Village 7 Swim Club on July 7, 2014 to a handful of members. The first few seasons, Rose would come swim with her great granddaughter, Addie. As she got older, Rose's visits became less frequent, but we always stayed in touch.
In February of 2022, I received a note on my front door from Rose's daughter, Mary. She wanted to let me know in person that Rose, at the age of 93, had passed away. With a heavy heart, I recalled my conversations with Rose; my visits to see her at home; the note cards she sent me and the cards I sent her over the years; her iron-willed determination; her sharp mind even in old age; and her adorable German accent. What a remarkable woman. I was honored to know her and I ached that I didn't get to see her one last time.
As I shared the news with Sarah Scott, a dear pool member, she came up with the brilliant idea of planting a rose garden in Rose's memory. Not only did Rose's family love the idea, but roses were Rose's favorite flower.
Rose's prediction couldn't be more true: I LOVE this pool, more than I ever could have imagined. It's not the pool itself; it's the people who enjoy it; the friends I've made; the gathering spot it has become to mark special life celebrations; and the bright future I see for it. With some careful strategic planning (and lots of dreaming and prayer) on my part, I was able to purchase the home (yes the exact home shown in the picture) when it became available in 2019, and in 2021, I walked out my back door, through the gate to the pool, down the aisle and said "I Do." Friends, neighbors and family gathered around the pool to celebrate and have built my life around The Swimmery. As The Swimmery looks forward to the future, I want to be sure to remember our roots.
On Friday evening, June 10, 2022, a handful of pool members brought potted roses and helped me break ground on Rose's Rose Garden that overlooks the pool. On July 22, 2022, about 75 people who knew and loved Rose came to the pool for a celebration of life as the newly planted roses were starting to bloom.
I also want to encourage all of you to set your sights on your dreams, hopes, prayers, and wishes. That's why we will be lighting water lanterns next Friday night. So don't miss it!! We will be swimming, having s'mores, playing good music, gardening, and closing out the evening when the sun sets by watching the pool light up with your very own, personalized, glowing water lanterns! <3 Jac