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Scuba company takes over Vienna dive shop, plans to build new swim center

A rendering of Diventures’ planned swim and scuba center (courtesy Diventures)

A Vienna dive shop has been subsumed into Diventures, a swimming and scuba franchise from Nebraska that hopes to build a new aquatics facility to serve the D.C. area.

The company announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it has expanded into Virginia with the acquisition of the local scuba shop Nautilus Aquatics, which has two locations in Vienna (510 Mill Street NE) and Sterling (1007A Ruitan Circle).

“We are excited to expand into Virginia and bring the Diventures experience to the northern Virginia and metro Washington, D.C. area, as well as bringing their unique experiences to our other 15 locations across the U.S.,” Diventures founder and owner Dean Hollis said in the press release.

In addition to operating the two stores, Diventures says it is actively looking for land in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area to build a 8,000-square-foot swim and scuba center.

The facility would have an indoor, heated pool with a depth of up to 12 feet, a retail store, classrooms, a “diamond-level” scuba service center, a swim program, and a concierge travel center where patrons can book U.S. and international diving trips, according to the press release.

Diventures Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Van Gundy confirmed that an exact location for the center hasn’t been identified.

“We have not purchased land yet and are currently looking for that,” she told FFXnow, noting that the site would need to be at least 1.6 acres in size.

Nautilus sells scuba gear and offers dive certifications, summer camps and other diving-related services. The company formed in 2015 out of a merger between Sterling Silver Scuba and Adventures Scuba Company, which started in Chantilly in 1978 before relocating to Vienna.

Nautilus founders Jason Davis and Melissa Miles purchased the Sterling shop in 2008 and Adventures Scuba in Vienna in 2015. In 2016, they bought the assets to The Dive Shop in Merrifield, which was the oldest dive shop in the D.C. area when it closed in 2015.

Diventures leaders said acquiring Nautilus will help the company expand its family programming while introducing a “safety-focused swim program, travel calendar and state-of-the-art aquatics training facilities to Northern Virginia.”

“Melissa and I are excited for the future and the opportunity to continue to support the scuba community through innovation, education and, as always, a customer-first focus,” Davis said. “We cannot thank our customers and team of top-notch dive professionals enough for bringing Nautilus Aquatics to where it is today.”

The acquisition is official, but Diventures will initially co-brand with Nautilus “to maintain that ‘local dive shop’ feel and familiarity with customers,” Van Gundy said by email.

In the long term, the company plans to retain the “Nautilus” name for a scuba club that will be offered at the stores.

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