Greensboro Aquatic Center celebrates one year anniversary

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro Aquatic Center is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week, and the employees said they are making a big splash in the local economy.

The Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau projects that the Greensboro Aquatic Center had a local impact of $41,948,694 in the facility’s first year of operation.

"Having hosted over 37 meets and a hundred event dates, we've been busier than we even anticipated this first year," said GAC Director Susan Braman.

Swimmer and GAC member Jamie Miller said he looks and feels much different than we he first started swimming.

"I was up to weighing 260 pounds, and I really had problems just trying to lose weight," Miller said.

Miller said he has now lost more than 70 pounds. He and other competitive swimmers said they were having a hard time securing spots to practice for long course meets.

"You had nowhere to practice here in Greensboro. The Aquatic Center has given us that capability to do 50 meter swimming and more," he said.

Braman said the grandstands have 2,500 seats with backs, which separates the facility from the majority of aquatic centers in the country.

Funding for the center originally made waves after construction cost about seven million dollars more than voters originally planned for.

Miller said the economic impact in this first year alone makes the $18 million price tag well worth it.

"I actually feel the pool should have been here five or six years ago, but we had to go through all the right procedures," Miller said. "Great things are happening here. This is going to put Greensboro on the map."

Braman said the average citizen is welcome to use this facility, too, either as a visitor or a member.

Memberships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center start at $33 per month for students and $39 per month for adults. Seniors, couples and families can sign up for discounted monthly and yearly memberships. Daily passes are $5.

The CVB estimates the future economic impact of events already on GAC's books through 2016 tops $76 million.

The Aquatic Center has 39 swim meets booked for 2013. Braman says they are also winning bids for other major swimming and diving events throughout the year.