Hero & Zero: The Rise & Fall of the Corte Madera Swim Club

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hero and zero

The account of the Corte Madera Swim Club, which shuttered its doors on December 31 after 50 years, has us celebrating the woman who managed the club and decrying the company that destroyed it.

The fancy name, the Corte Madera Swim Club, denoted people paying an affordable fee for the privilege of using the 75-foot heated pool at the Best Western Corte Madera Inn. Over the years, hundreds of local children learned to swim there, families spent summers together and seniors swam laps or simply treaded water to stay active. Fond memories exist of mustering up the courage to jump off the high dive that once stood over the pool, and meeting movie stars who stayed at the hotel while filming on location in Marin.

Nancy DuBois served as the club manager for the past 30 years and retired last week when the club shuttered its doors. Members will miss her professionalism, enthusiasm and beautiful smile. Joe Meylan of Corte Madera, a longtime member, calls Nancy the “de facto mayor,” and we call her a hero for her decades of devoted service.

On the flip side, the Best Western Corte Madera Inn terminated the swim club with little notice and no explanation. Some suspect that the abrupt closure stemmed from the ownership’s ire over their failure to obtain Corte Madera’s blanket approval on proposed hotel renovations. Retaliation or not, the hotel could have handled the club’s end more considerately and shown care for the seniors who relied on the pool.

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