Tag Archives: Lake Michigan

Friday Morning Swim Club canceled for upcoming season!

Chicago’s popular Friday Morning Swim Club has been called off, after organizers were unable to reach an agreement with the Chicago Park District on arrangements for the permits needed for it to continue.

Founders Andrew Glatt and Nicole Novotny announced in an Instagram video Thursday that the Friday Morning Swim Club will not be back at its Montrose Harbor site in 2024. Glatt and Novotny listed multiple reasons why they had decided to discontinue the event, taking issue in particular with the Chicago Park District.

The event founders said the cost for a permit this year would have amounted to $108,000 for the space alone – with another $40,000 needed for permits lifeguards, and more needed for the cost of transportation and maintenance plans and for portable toilets for the one-hour event. Altogether, the cost of the permit would be a minimum of $150,000 to $175,000 for this year, Glatt said in the video.

The club’s out-of-pocket costs for staffing, legal fees, coffee for participants to drink, and insurance would total $268,000, he said in the video.

Altogether, the cost to run Friday Morning Swim Club in the summer would be $250,000 to $300,000 for the summer, he said. While Glatt said in the video that there was no concern about raising money through corporate sponsors, he and Novotny do not want the free event to cost such an exorbitant amount to put on.

“It’s not going to turn into a money-making machine for anybody,” Glatt said in the video.

Park District officials defended their stance on Friday Morning Swim Club, noting the area where the event has taken place is clearly designated a “no swimming area,” and confirming that the group’s flotation devices are not permitted at city beaches.

Glatt and Novotny told participants that while they can no longer host organized swims, they’d like people to keep coming out and swimming on their own.

Glatt and Novotny started Friday Morning Swim Club back in 2021. Only eight people came to the first event, but hundreds and later thousands began to take part.