SACO (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A one of a kind swimming center will be closing it's doors this weekend and that decision is not a popular one within it's community. The Michael Phelps Skill Center opened in Saco 5 years ago. It's a specialized swim training that takes place in an 18 foot spa and uses waves as part of the training. The business is owned by Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian of all time. This skill center was a pilot and is the only one of it's kind in the nation. The 5 year contract is coming to an end and a new lease was not worked out so after Saturday, the place will be closed.
Former General Manager Heidi Pare said, "A community of 18,000 people can draw more than 300 people a week into the facility. The contract was up and the goal was to prove that this model can work and I believe we did that."
Meanwhile, Buddy Whitehouse coached at the facility. "I've got two Iranian girls who come from a culture that does not include a lot of water. I told them they'd be swimming in Sebago Lake by summertime. Now what am I going to do? It's hard."
Representatives from the Michael Phelps Skill Center were not available for comment, but they did send an e-mail out to all of their customers to tell them of the closing earlier this week.