The new Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center opened this week in Orlando. Formerly known as The Rosen Aquatic Center, the facility was gifted to Harris Rosen, owner of Rosen Hotels last year by the YMCA of Central Florida. It has been closed for renovations since last fall and just reopened this week as The Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center. The Center is a 35-year-old facility located on International Drive that has served as a swimming facility for many local children and families, as well as competitive swimmers, divers and water-polo players.
Why gift the facility to Harris Rosen you might ask. Well, Rosen has a history with the property. Almost 30 years ago the facility was shut down by its mortgage holder. Rosen campaigned to reopen the center partnering with celebrities, organizations and the county to save the swimming center. The facility was eventually gifted to the YMCA of Central Florida. In 2018 the facility was renamed after Rosen in honor of his efforts and contributions to the aquatic center.
One can only imagine the operating costs of such a facility and in 2020, the center was in danger of closing again. Just like years prior, Rosen decided to step up to the plate and take on the task of saving the aquatic center. According to Rosen, “Did I ever envision owning a facility like this? Not in my wildest dreams. These are not necessarily the times when one would take on such a project. However, I came to realize that perhaps these are just the times when we need to preserve any normalcy that we can and any opportunity to maintain our health. Hearing from so many in the community who would be devastated by its closing, I felt compelled to help keep the doors open and appreciate the partnership of the YMCA of Central Florida in allowing me to do this through their generous gift.”
The new Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center is definitely an impressive building. It is one the largest competitive swimming facilities in the Southeast. It is also one of only seven indoor performance diving rooms in the country. It has a 10-meter dive tower and a 50-meter competition pool which transitions for indoor to outdoor with a hydraulic retractable roof.
Next year, the center is set to host the National Special Olympics swimming competitors and will continue to serve as the host training facility for the local Man-O-War Special Olympics swim team.
The Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center is not just for special events and team practices, it also plans to serve the local populace. Memberships are now available to local individuals and families with discounted rates being offered for hospitality industry employees. Membership includes use of the swimming pool, as well as workout equipment, facilities and programs. Out-of-towners are also able to use the center with special hourly, daily and multi-day drop-in rates offered for them.
The official ribbon cutting event for the Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center will be held on April 13, 2021.
While the Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center is not a new addition to the Orlando area, it is definitely a welcome fixture.
photo courtesy of Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center
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