Redecorated Orlando Aquatic Center Reopens for Water Sports Events

Feb. 10, 2022

Hotelier Harris Rosen takes over the venue after being named in his honor

Recently, in Orlando a former YMCA Aquatic Center has been refurbished and renamed the Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center in honor of the hotelier, who helped keep the venue alive. Harris Rosen, who owns eight hotels in Orlando, received the former Rosen YMCA Aquatic Centre from the YMCA of Central Florida in order to prevent the venue closure.

In October, the 35-year-old venue moved to Rosen, but later renovations have been completed and the venue is now open again. The venue features a 25-yard teaching pool, a 25-yard diving pool, a 50-meter hydraulically retractable rooftop swimming pool and a 10-meter diving board, as well as one of only seven indoor performance diving rooms in the country.

After visiting local celebrities and organizations in the area, the venue was eventually gifted to the YMCA of Central Florida. Rosen also donated millions to the YMCA before the venue was named in his honor in 2018. After taking ownership of the site last year, Rosen spearheaded recent improvements, which included deep cleaning and multiple renovations. The venue will follow similar safety and health protocols adopted by Rosen Hotels & Resorts.

Actually, Rosen has a long history with the center, first activating the future of the center in 1992 when the then private center was closed by mortgage holders. "I remember arriving at the center one day and finding some Special Olympics athletes wandering around," Rosen said. "One of the young men recognised me as a swimmer there. They asked me if I had done something wrong and shut it down. It broke my heart. I knew I had to do something."

U.S. Special Olympics venue

In 2022, the Rosen Aquatics and Fitness Center will serve as the swimming venue for the 2022 Special Olympics USA, one of several venues around Orlando that will host competition during the event. In March, the venue hosts the National Club Swimming Association National Championships for seniors and age groups.

“Mr. Rosen and Rosen Aquatic Center have been strong supporters of Special Olympics athletes over the years,” said Joe Dzaluk, 2022 Special Olympics USA President and CEO. “It is an honor to host the 2022 USA Games Swimming at such a prestigious facility. We will welcome more than 300 swimmers from 48 U.S. state programs, Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. We are delighted that they will be here at this A special venue to play the game."

Mike Miller, who previously served as director of aquatics, events, programs and operations at the venue, will return to the role. Miller previously served as Director of Aquatics and Operations for SPIRE in Geneva, Ohio.

"Ultimately, our purpose is to be an inspiring fitness center that supports the community and visitors in achieving their wellness goals, while continuing to be a world-class facility where athletes of all ages and levels from around the world come to improve their fitness water sports ability," Rosen said.

Redecorated Orlando Aquatic Center Reopens for Water Sports Events

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