November 9, 2017


Carson Valley Swim Center

The Carson Valley Swim Center is an integral part of the Carson Valley community and offers recreation, training, and entertainment to thousands each year.  Through various programs, the Swim Center is closely linked to the county’s school district, the senior community, and its public safety departments.

Training and Exercise

The Swim Center conducts many types of training and exercise programs throughout the year:

  • The Center has over twenty lifeguards who provide swim lessons to kids that include teaching the fundamentals of aquatic skills as well as advanced swimming techniques, and the lessons are offered year-round.  
  • Water aerobics classes are offered seven days a week year-round and are taught by six instructors trained to meet the participants’ health and fitness objectives through safe and effective water exercise. Class sizes vary from fifteen to fifty participants and the majority are senior citizens.
  • The Swim Center offers Adult Learn-to-Swim classes (ALTS) taught by a certified US Swimming Masters Instructor.  The class targets adults at all swim levels from those having a fear of water, to those who want instruction with stroke refinement, and to those learning to swim for fitness.
  • Every summer a two-week Junior Lifeguard Program is held for kids between the ages of eleven and fifteen.  The course includes basic water safety, CPR and first-aid, and lifeguard training.  Douglas County Search & Rescue provides instruction on rafting and boat safety, and representatives from the Sheriff’s Office and the East Fork Fire Department are guest speakers.
  • Several times a year, the Swim Center’s certified instructors conduct Lifeguard/CPR training for the public and annually provides Certified Pool Operator Training (CPO) for the staff and the public.  Most recently, the Center’s instructors certified over twenty Douglas County School District coaches in CPR.  
  • Douglas County Search & Rescue (SAR) facilitates “Safety Day” during the summer lesson program that educates students on how to avoid dangerous situations when in and around water, and the facility provides space for water skills training for SAR members.
  • The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office’s (DCSO) boat patrol officers use the facility for aquatics training.   
  • Military personnel serving in the Marines, Army National Guard, and the Navy use the facility for water rescue training and for fitness.

School and Community Groups

The Swim Center hosts and co-teaches two Douglas High School aquatics classes each semester with an average class size of twenty-five to twenty-eight students.  In the spring of each year, the Swim Center hires twenty-five to thirty students as lifeguards for the summer.  With the combination of lifeguards and cashiers, the Swim Center is one of the largest teen employers in Douglas County.  Not only are the Center’s lifeguards certified in shallow and deep-water lifeguarding, but also have certifications for CPR, first aid, AED (automated external defibrillator), and the administration of oxygen.  Many have pursued careers as firefighters, paramedics, and nurses, and in law enforcement and the military.

Groups of kids participating in organized events such as school field trips visit the Swim Center throughout the year and come from Northern Nevada elementary and middle schools, Douglas County’s Adventure Camp, Northern Nevada based Boys & Girls Clubs, and from privately owned daycare centers.  Three rural schools from California bus students to our facility for group swim lessons and for water safety instruction.  

Kids from the local schools come to the Swim Center after school to be picked up by their parents or guardians after work.  The Center’s mezzanine provides a safe place for them to do their homework and to socialize.

Swim Teams and Swim Meets

The Swim Center hosts four swim teams:

  • The Douglas High School Swim and Dive Team has over seventy athletes that train at the Swim Center and that compete against multiple Northern Nevada teams over a three-month season.  The girls have over eighty consecutive wins with five regional titles, and the boys have over seventy consecutive wins with four regional titles.  In alternating years, the Center has been chosen to host the State Dive Competition in Northern Nevada.
  • The Douglas Dolfins Swim Team is a private, non-profit swim club established in 1964.  The team has an average of eighty young athletes that train year-around at the Swim Center.  The Dolfins host three invitational meets a year bringing over 250 swimmers and their families for each swim meet into our community.  Teams come from many of the western states which helps to support our local businesses.
  • For two years, the Killer Whales Special Olympics Team has had over twenty athletes on the team practicing weekly and competing every spring against other Northern Nevada athletes.  
  • US Masters Swimming members use the facility several times a week throughout the year with some training to compete and others for fitness.

Physical Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy offices such as the Great Basin Physical Therapy & Performance Center, Rehab Wave, and from the Carson Valley Medical Center and the Carson Tahoe Hospital treat over seventy-five patients a month in the Swim Center’s 93-degree therapy pool.  Because motion and exercise in water cause less stress and injury to backs, joints, and muscles, it is often the first step in providing treatment to many of their patients with injuries and other physical limitations before treating them in the clinic.  For other patients, water exercise is the only form available to them because of water activity’s low stress.  The Center also provides a water-walking lane during all open hours for those seeking rehabilitation or an alternative to lap swimming.


  • The Swim Center was voted the “Best Place to Take Your Kids” for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 in the Record-Courier’s annual Best of Carson Valley survey.
  • Nevada Recreation and Parks Association’s Elmer H. Anderson Parks Excellence Award.
  • National Recreation and Parks Association’s Excellence in Aquatics Award.


The Swim Center has approximately 147,000 user visits per year.
Usage StatisticsVisitor Demographics
    • 74,000 Drop-In
    • 38,000 Membership
    • 20,000 Swim Team/Aquatics Class
    • 7,900 Swim Lessons
    • 32% Youth
    • 30% Senior
    • 24% Adult
    • 14% Other