Taking into consideration the fact that Lee Graham is within walking distance of her Falls Church home and that she would be able to resell the membership one day (as the current owner was), Way determined that her magic number would be $1,000. “Somebody else could come up with a round number like $1,000, but I wanted to outbid them,” she says. “So I added $50.”
When all the bids were in, Way had the top bid — by 50 bucks.
Although many pool clubs have bidding wars for memberships and multiyear waiting lists, it’s not too late to find places to swim this summer. Whether you are looking for a family pool, a party pool or lanes for swimming laps, the promise of escaping the D.C. summer heat can still be yours.
Like many of their suburban neighbors, the Ways — Sheila, Jim, 43, and their kids Phoebe, 8, and Alex, 6 — belong to the kind of summer pool club where the family can barbecue dinners at night and spend the days splashing around with friends, and where the kids can even compete on a swim team. Scattered through neighborhoods across the Washington area, some clubs are easier to join than others.
Two clubs that are still accepting members this summer are the Woodley Pool, tucked away in a wooded neighborhood in Falls Church, and Seven Locks Swim & Tennis Club in Bethesda, which has recently undergone a ton of renovations.
If your dream club is full, there might still be hope. Some clubs offer August-only memberships, but they don’t always advertise them.
Of course, there are also fun public places to take the family. For a day of swimming and sliding in Northern Virginia, check out the Great Waves Waterparkin Alexandria or the Ocean Dunes Waterparkin Arlington. In Maryland, visit Gaithersburg’s Water Park at Bohrer Park.
For those who prefer an adults-only environment with poolside food and beverage service, towels provided and even synchronized swimmers at holiday celebrations, the Penthouse Pool Club on the roof of Vida Fitness U Street is your place. “It’s kind of like an oasis. It’s a getaway,” says member Scott Thureen, 45.
Memberships are still available for this summer, but they are going fast. There’s good news for those who don’t live close to U Street: A second Penthouse Pool Club will be opening at the Yards development along the Capitol Riverfront next summer, club owner David von Storch says. Memberships will go on sale beginning February 2014.
For party people
In Washington, the words “pool party” are synonymous with the Capitol Skyline Hotel. You can buy a summer membership starting at $325 for individuals or a day pass (Monday-Saturday $15, Sunday $20). During the week the pool is more family-friendly, but when the weekend rolls around, it’s time for bars, grills and local celeb DJ Ghost.