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what people are saying about a1 scuba & travel aquatics center
Also see our Disabled Program Reviews
Thank you so much for the amazing weekend A-1 Scuba made possible for our Camp Riley divers in February of this year. Your team’s overwhelming generosity and impressive expertise made the weekend possible for them. Their diving certification was truly a lifetime achievement.
For individuals with physical disabilities, life can often seem full of obstacles. It was hard for our Riley campers to believe that it would be possible that they could ever scuba dive much less become certified. Those moments of watching them gain confidence and achieve that goal are ones that all of us will always treasure.
All of us at Riley Children’s Foundation are deeply grateful that they and you made this experience possible. We look forward to building our partnership in the years to come.
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Riley Children's Foundation
My husband and I went through the PADI online course and then classes with you at A-1 Scuba for our certification. (We were the class wondering if we'd make it due to the major snowstorm) We completed our class sessions and dives 1 and 2 with you in early March (at the Denver Aquarium). We then went on to complete our open water dives 3 & 4 in South Florida prior to our trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Though we already knew we had received a high quality education in diving with you, it was clearly highlighted by our experiences in South Florida when we completed our open water certification that you went above and beyond the required criteria and even better prepared us to be open water divers. When we joined an existing class of the same level as us for open water dives 3 & 4 in Florida, it was very apparent to us that our education from you far exceeded the people in the class in Florida. Many of the skills that we knew and were drilled into us in the training you provided were still unclear to the other divers that we joined in that location (particularly the dive flexible skills). It was clear to us that our training was far superior to what the class was receiving. (We are NOT trying to undermine or belittle the other dive center's training by any means, they were good to work with as well!). However, when we were the only ones able to answer any diving questions and we (the only few!) were completely comfortable during the dive (and we actually had horrible conditions at sea!--they almost canceled the dive due to rough seas and one gentleman needed to be taken to the hospital after very rough sea conditions), so--we realized how amazing our training was.
I just want to recognize that the we honestly believe the training you provided us with truly prepared us for our diving experiences we have had since. We dove in Fort Lauderdale and the Galapagos Islands and we know that we were well prepared for our diving experiences. In contrast, we feel the other people we joined in certification were not nearly as well prepared as you helped us to be. Because of this, our trip to the Galapagos was amazing became we were already prepared and felt on par with more experienced divers. You truly enhanced our diving experience. Thank you for the preparedness--for one "nervous" diver, your help and training made all the difference. We felt SO incredibly prepared and SAFE--we knew what to do no matter what occurred!!
Thank you for your attention to detail, for a great learning experience, and the confidence to make diving safe and enjoyable. We are actually hoping to take the Nitrox diving class next, so we hope to be able to work with you (Stosh) again.
Thank you for a fabulous learning experience and for preparing us to be SAFE divers. We truly appreciate your attention to details and to safely!
Thank you again for Katja's diving experience today. She was just beaming afterwards and loved the entire experience. She is so excited to complete her remaining dives this summer and is a testament to you and the rest of the A-1 Scuba team.
Thank you again,
I wanted to take a second to let you know what a wonderful job Tammi did in preparing my daughter Morgan. We are in Maui right now and she passed her open water certification with ease. Tell her thank you for being great with Morgan.
Thank you Scott and Carol for all of the time you spent working with us.
Jeff and I came away from your HSA instructor/dive buddy course with our minds going faster than our jet plane coming home! As instructors, we see people grow every day, but this class takes the growth and excitement to a whole new level for someone that wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity of life as WE see it or get back into the life that they once had as previous divers. We never know what life is going to deal us. I once read that "if you haven't LEARNED something new and haven't HELPED someone, your days work isn't finished!"
On that note, thank you again Scott and Carol. We look forward to working with the VA in Portland and will stay in touch.
Jim and Jeff
I am writing to express appreciation on behalf of Riley Children's Foundation for the amazing partnership we enjoyed with the Denver Downtown Aquarium that enabled our Camp Riley students and members of our staff to become certified. During an incredibly busy weekend for the aquarium (President's Day) Dive Safety Officer,Todd, and the A-1 Scuba team handled every detail flawlessly. They ensured that our divers were safe and had the experience of a lifetime.
For individuals with physical disabilities, life can often seem full of obstacles. It was hard for our Riley campers to believe that it would be possible that they could ever scuba dive much less become certified. Those moments of watching them gain confidence and achieve that goal are ones that all of us will always treasure. There were cheers and many tears as we watched them succeed and then gain the confidence to be able to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Denver Aquarium.
I would like also to acknowledge Todd and Shane. Their diving expertise was complemented by their commitment to these young people's experience. Again, it was a weekend crowded with many activities, but Todd and Shane and the rest of the A-1 and Aquarium staff always made sure our group received their full attention and had the highest quality of experience. They were great for me to work with in advance and during the weekend.
All of us at Riley Children's Foundation are deeply grateful that they and you made this experience possible. We have been singing the praises of Denver Aquarium and A1 Scuba to everyone as we have shared stories from this event. We look forward to building our partnership in the years to come.
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Riley Children's Foundation
30 South Meridian, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Drive and Dive in the mile high city...by Cody Unser
You know that feeling you get when you see yourself in others? When something you've dreamt about finally comes true? Well, I've been talking to Scott Taylor, owner of A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center, for years about my Adaptive SCUBA Program and the Dive Team I started, Operation Deep Down, and how The Cody Unser First Step Foundation has been helping Indianapolis based Riley Children's Foundation, serve disabled kids. We've been providing SCUBA Introductions to Riley Kids at Bradford Woods for the past several years; our program has created some incredible opportunities for young adults and their desire for adventure. Anyways, there I was in Denver watching the Riley Kids follow my dream, to get SCUBA Certified.
We began their training 6 months ago, and now here we were in a three-way partnership with A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center and the Denver Downtown Aquarium, finishing up their PADI Scuba Diver certification amongst reef fishes, moray eels, and sea turtles. Watching from behind the glass I got that feeling again, of accomplishing something I've wanted for a long time. The kids are full of fortitude, you can tell they want this, and you see it when they begin to feel the "sweet spot" in their new found buoyancy. To celebrate, the Riley Kids and A-1 crew did a "bonus dive" in the "Dive With The Fish" site and my family gathered to get ready for our "Dive With The Sharks" experience….. all compliments of A-1 Scuba and the Downtown Aquarium. My cousin Johnny Unser, my brother Joe, and I don our gear and here we go, one for all and all for one (except my Dad, Al Unser Jr., who was watching topside). The Shark dive was exhilarating. I look forward to an annual trek to Denver to collaborate with our partners!
I really loved that Scott, Lynn, Shane and Wendie took the time to come stand on the gas at the Unser Racing and Entertainment Center Friday night, for our Oil&Water go-Kart challenge, to represent the hammerhead side of our Drive & Dive weekend. I also want to thank the Denver Downtown Aquarium for allowing us to park my dad's IROC race car and Cufsf new adaptive go-kart in front of the aquarium. It showed the public yet another way to include us motorheads with physical challenges.
As always Big fish Kisses to A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center and the Denver Downtown Aquarium. It was a very special weekend for me and the Unser family...XOXO
Dear Lynn and Scott,
My wife and I just came back from a trip to Anthony's Key Resort followed by several days in Honduras visiting Mayan ruins and a wonderful bird park in Copan. We had a great time!
Gwen Wells of your travel agency made all the arrangements. We wanted to let you know that we appreciate her efforts and want to extend our thank for all her hard work.
Thanks again Gwen,
Albert and Donna
You, your team and your facilities are World Class!
Richard Franklin (father of Missy Franklin)
Dear A1 Scuba,
We had an amazing trip. The property was like paradise and the guidance and attention to detail that we got from Katie made our vacation unforgettable.
We will look forward to our next adventure with A1 Scuba and Travel. Thanks for everything!
We are really looking forward to another A-1 group trip because we have always had a great time. The group leaders as well as your travel staff have made these trips a true vacation, everything is taken care at all ends from start to finish.
Ruth & Pete
Gerry here from this summer's IDC. I hope that you enjoy reading this note as much as I am writing and sending it. You'd mentioned that you welcomed input regarding teaching related items, and I felt I had to send this note to thank you for your time and effort. I'd come down there originally wanting to shore up teaching techniques and wanting to learn to be a more effective instructor. Implementing the things we'd talked about has had positive results to say the least. I also realize how self-evident much of this is, and all I can really say is "duh" and give you a free pass for a headslap the next time you see me for not figuring much of this out on my own.
I've always believed that instructors with their hearts in the right place take some pride in being able to help students to get past problems and issues in their skills development. The part I was missing is that if as an instructor, I spend more time analyzing my presentation results and introducing better presentation techniques, the students won't have many of the problems and issues to begin with.
Hence the "DUH".
I'm finding that the presentations, if done to a higher standard and with demonstrations that involve more fun under water communication, are far more effective. That being said, I realize that your own trip down the road to Damascus probably happened long ago, and none of this is really news to you.
Thanks for taking the time to get some of these things across to me. As I said, I wanted to become a more effective instructor, and I think if I continue on the path I'm on that I will no doubt accomplish that goal. The results are already starting to show. Managing larger groups is easier. Numbers of students who don't seem to get it are dropping. Students seem more relaxed, and they seem to have more fun. And they seem to show a higher mastery of skills in a shorter overall time frame, leaving some pool time for games, fun and buoyancy skills.
I will be back in touch in the not too distant future. I would like to audit an IDC start to finish again. They are a lot of work for everyone concerned, it's true, but the net result is that open water and more advanced students end up with a whole lot more than they would otherwise get, and I believe ultimately that is what we're here for.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the IE, as well as the IDC. It is an amazing program you have developed. I am blown away more than ever at how well prepared A-1 candidates are in comparison with those from other shops. This, (of course!), creates many more questions in my mind!!! HA!
I appreciate all of the effort you put into everything you do!
I think you are an amazing person and a tremendous asset to the diving community. For the past nine years I have been a customer of A-1, have taken all my certification classes through A-1 (except a few specialty classes taken while on dive trips) and have enjoyed friendship with the A-1 family. It was an honor and pleasure to get to know you better and to be your IC student. I am excited and look forward to working as an assistant and, eventually, an instructor with you and the team.
I saw a difference in the level of instruction and preparation that Jen, Jim and I had received compared to the rest of the IC candidates. And, while we were nervous as hell, I felt like we could pull off whatever was put before us because of your guidance and preparation.
Beyond that, I commented to Jim last last night that your commitment and involvement in the IE process was exceptional. Thanks to you and Lynn for all the time and effort that went into organizing and hosting the two-day event -- for the constant encouragement, hosting the food, and attention to the little things - like the Olympic medals which were a fun touch. We recognized and appreciated that you gave up your entire weekend for this event and, even though you are probably sitting there thinking it would be expected, we were grateful you were there and we are grateful for all the things you did to make it special.
You said that the PADI Examiner, LeRoy, has a calming effect as much as any examiner can have. I agree, but I was actually calmer when I would look back from what we were doing and could see my teacher, Scott, sitting right there. Scott, I am proud of YOU and A-1 and I am so glad to be a part of your group!
Thank you for the opportunities!
One of the students in our Leadership program and his family were certified through your shop. He speaks so highly of his experience at A-1 & I concur!! Your operation is top-notch. I've felt this way for many years & I think it's time to tell you how richly you, A-1, & the sport of diving have blessed our lives on so many levels.
Thank you & God bless!
Thanks so much Storm!!
Your tips and the gear you sold us have led to an awesome time snorkeling here in Kauai!! It's all worked perfectly and couldn't have been a better experience.
Thank you again for all your help!
Albert and Rachel
I just wanted to thank you personally for a great class. I went into the class to support Emma's adventure and you really made me feel at ease, the nicest thing of all was even on the last day you went out of your way to see how I was doing.
You also were so kind to Emma making sure she understood your explanations and taking the time to repeat certain skills with her, I really appreciated you time and attention to her safety.
You are a FANTASTIC instructor, easy to follow, supportive and encourage question for deeper learning. It is apparent that you love teaching scuba diving --- you were great!
Thanks for all the support!
From winner's of a Grand prize at the 2011 A-1 May Scuba Event
March 8, 2012
Dear Lynn and Scott,
What a wonderful experience Dave and I enjoyed this past week. The trip to Atlantis Resorts, Dumaguete, was truly a visit to paradise. We arrived on Saturday, February 25 and cannot believe how quickly the week flew by. From the moment of our arrival to the time of departure the beautiful surroundings and friendly staff made sure that this would be a memory of a lifetime. Each staff person encounter took the time to say hello and ask about our visit. The manager, Richard, was seen everywhere helping guests and overseeing staff. The Dive Masters were knowledgeable, friendly and fun to be around. Dave mentioned he was looking forward to seeing certain fish, and by the end of the day, they had found about half of them. Jess and Weng took pity on Dave, and made sure that I had a hand to hold and was safe while Dave was photographing our adventure under the water.
The Restaurant sat on the beach, so wave watching was as relaxing as enjoying the wonderful meals. The ladies who worked in Toko's were sweet and the service was excellent. Each meal was delicious. Our complements to the Chef!
Even the gardener is to be commended for his customer service. He saw me admiring the Star Flower Tree each morning and took the time to tell me about it and some of the other plantings. He was forever busy sweeping up the leaves that fall overnight to keep the grounds beautiful. And beautiful they were, always something pretty to look at when the eyes were not on the sea.
On Friday, we requested if we could see the waterfalls or Twin Lakes. Richard and Edward went to work to see what could be arranged. Because of recent weather events, we were lucky enough to be able to go to Twin Lakes. OH MY, what a special and wonderful experience that was! We got to see another side of the island and it was a fantastic side trip. Edward was our guide and Billy was the driver. They took the time to make the day memorable and very special. I cannot describe how beautiful the lake and the surrounding scenery was that day.
Atlantis' tag line of "Arrive as a Guest - Leave as a Friend" certainly sums up the visit with them. When our time to leave came, we were sad. The week went by way too fast and suddenly we had to say good bye to some very nice people. The staff and resort are really a cut above and set the bar extremely high for any other to compete with.
Thank you so much for the chance to be able to have this experience through winning the trip at the 2011 May Sale. It was a chance of a lifetime and we had the time of our lives.
Patty & Dave
I dropped off my camera and underwater housing for my Sea Life DC 1200 over the weekend and was asked to provide a receipt from the vendor from whom I purchased the camera. Please find the enclosed receipt, which should prove it was purchased from a Sea Life approved vendor. I appreciate your assistance with returning this for warranty repair/replacement. On a side note, I apologize for purchasing this online rather than directly from A-1 (it was an online impulse buy). The service A-1 showed me over the weekend by helping me out with the camera and also my other in store purchases for my upcoming trip demonstrates the value of trusting a local dive shop (not to mention you guys taught me how to breathe underwater!) See you guys soon.
There's No Place Like A-1
Jay and I are going to Cancun just after Thanksgiving, and we'll dive one day with Dive Paradise in Cozumel. Since it's been 3-1/2 years since we've blown bubbles, we always like to get in a pool in our gear to re-familiarize ourselves with the basics so we feel confident when we drift dive in the ocean. Since we now live at the ends of the earth I found another dive shop and they said they had a pool attached that we could use.
Scott, I simply CANNOT describe how AWFUL this experience was...
As we drove away, Jay said, "Well...there's just no place like A-1 is there?" NOPE! We're sorry we're 10 hours away from the BEST dive shop in the world; but it's ALWAYS a pleasure to drop by, visit with you and Lynn, and buy a few things when we come to visit.
Thanks, again, for making sure that members of our family have a QUALITY dive training experience while they're learning how to do it safely. I think we'll have another couple of grandchildren checking in with you for their beginning scuba training next summer. I know you'll take good care of them.
Best wishes and lots of love always,
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We had an absolute blast in your class. Tony hasn't had that much fun in a long time. We are so looking forward to our open dives. I was sooooo nervous on Friday night and you absolutely put me at ease very quickly. You are a wonderful, encouraging and gracious teacher!!
Many Blessings to you!!
Hi Lynn and Scott,
First I wanted to say thank you for the awesome trip to Roatan and staying at Anthony's Key Resort. This was my first real dive trip and I was extremely lucky to win this during your May sale. Everything on this trip was perfect except the airline forgetting my dive gear in Atlanta. The staff at AKR heard what had happened and basically gave the equipment I needed to do some diving until my equipment showed up the following day at no charge. Not only was I provided equipment to use but they also took care of getting my bag at the airport and bringing it to my room. I have never had any resort or any place I've stayed at be so accommodating. The diving was amazing the entire week and not once did I think about calling work to ask how things are going without me!
Prior to my vacation I was working with Shane on something I had dreamed of doing and that was shooting underwater video. Shane was great to work with and helped me get what I was really looking for as well as show me some tricks. Not only did I get something that will last me quite a while but it also shot some incredible video. Let's just say everyone on the dive boat was jealous on the quality of footage.
Everyone I have worked with at A1 has been very professional and courteous when I've asked questions, needed some advice or was looking to purchase something. I've recommended A1 to several of my friends who are looking at trying scuba for the first time.
Once again THANK YOU very much for everything!
Dear A 1,
I just finished my PADI Rescue Diver Course this Sunday. Just thought I would let you know how pleased I was to have taken the course and particularly with the Instructor Fawn Hansen.
She is thorough, very good to deal with and committed to her students learning and perfecting the necessary skills. She is indeed dedicated and you are fortunate to have such a Good employee.
Dear A1 Scuba,
Just wanted to drop you an email and let you know that this past friday my wife Sylvia and I had the opportunity to dive with the sharks at the Downtown Aquarium. We met Kate outside, discussed the dive with her and were ready to go.
I wanted to let you know that the dive was absolutely spectacular and Kate was absolutely fantastic! The dive was easy and lots of fun. Sharks are such incredible animals. Kate was professional, fun, and we would dive with her any time - she's a keeper.
We had a blast on the dive and definitely recommend it. It was well worth it.
Sarah and Kelly had a wonderful time on their dives today. They really had a positive experience for their first open water dives. Doug and I were so pleased about the whole morning. The girls said they loved seeing the fish swim so close to them up close and personal.
I have been around alot of scuba instructors. You have an amazing ability to welcome people to the world of diving. From my first visit to your shop, to todays dives you have been friendly, professional, encouraging and a lot of fun.
On behalf of my whole family I want to thank you for welcoming Kelly and Sarah to Scuba diving.
Sorry we could not stick around to say goodbye we had to get on the road to get Christina back to college. I wanted to send you an email to tell you thank you, Carol and Matt for a great weekend.
She had an amazing time and learned alot from you guys this weekend. She talked all the way home about how much fun scuba diving is and looks forward to working on her advanced diver certification. I think I'm even brave enough now to consider getting certified.
Again please tell everyone a big thank you!!!!!!
Christina and Kim
I just read about your induction into the Disabled Divers Hall of Fame. I want to say congratulations, it's well deserved.
I'm proud to have been part of the A-1 family of diver graduates and still reflect upon my initial training (OW thru DM) at A-1. You're personal attention and guidance in the classes I had you for my instructor still go with me in my own continuing career as a PADI instructor. I've always regarded the training I received at A-1 as the best anyone can receive and it's due mainly to you and the staff you maintain at A-1.
Your background in physical therapy and as a scuba professional has lead you to this point and this particular recognition is long overdue. This along with all the other contributions you've given to the scuba industry, is something you can be very proud of and something everyone should look at when thinking about their own career and where it can take them if they are fortunate enough to be able to work in this industry.
I wish we could all do as much.
All the best,
I wanted to thank you for everything you did for us in the IDC, including your dedication and enthusiasm. It was really special.
If all my teachers in Israel and the U.S. would have wanted my success, with the same enthusiasm and passion you had, I would have been a better man - that's how I feel.
Thank you A-1 Scuba for the opportunity to complete two of the four required open water dives at the Downtown Denver Aquarium. It was an absolutely amazing and fun adventure!
The experienced, helpful, and gracious dive instructors and aquarium personnel made the certification process a wonderful experience for me. Plus, getting two of the dives completed just 10 minutes from my home, made it very easy and less time consuming to complete my last two required open water dives on my vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Thank you A-1 Scuba for giving me the knowledge and skills needed to learn how to safely Scuba dive.
Dear A-1 Scuba,
My SCUBA certification in the inaugural program of completing the first two open water dives in the Downtown Denver Aquarium was a great and wonder-filled experience!
It was a great "jump start" for the ocean and diving with the fish in the aquarium was awesome!
Not only did it allow me to complete my first two open water dives in a comfortable environment, it allowed me to get certified the first morning of my dive trip!
Thanks for making my certification experience so easy and fun.
Dear A-1 Scuba,
No problems and no surprises on our vacation. Every aspect of our vacation was great and the trip exceeded our expectations. It was one of the most delightful vacations I have had in years.
We couldn't have asked for more, Cozumel was beautiful and we enjoyed the convenience of staying at Hotel Cozumel. Dive Paradise treated us so good and their dive masters were fantastic.
We will use A-1 Scuba & Travel Center in the future to book our vacations.
Katie was the best!
Dear A-1 Scuba,
Thank you so much for doing a wonderful job teaching us so well.
I was a little nervous for several of the skills, and you helped me to feel much more comfortable under water.
Thank you so much for being so dedicated.
To Katie, our travel agent expert!
Thank you for all your help in getting us into the Iberostar Cozumel for the 4 night package including New Years Eve.
We had a fantastic time: great diving, food, room, beach volleyball…we hope your 2011 is full of His peace and joy!
Dan & Ange
Dear A-1 Scuba,
My name is Becki and I just did my pool dives this weekend at A1. I just wanted to write a note and let you know how happy I was with all of the staff I met this weekend. Everything far exceeded my expectations.
First of all, there were only two people scheduled for my class and one of them canceled. I was very happy that instead of canceling the whole weekend, I just got to have a class myself. Jeff McGhee was my instructor and I really couldn't have asked for a better teacher. I have had some bad experiences in the water previously, and was a little nervous about some of the tasks I knew I would have to complete. Jeff had me at ease after about five minutes in the water though. He explained everything extremely clearly and did excellent demonstrations. I felt very safe with everything that we were doing and was very excited to finish up everything in one weekend. I had a lot of questions and he was able to answer all of them.
I also wanted to mention that I was very pleased with the experience I had in the retail shop as well. I wanted to buy my snorkel, fins and mask so that I had an opportunity to try them out before my trip. I really didn't know much about buying equipment though. Ryan did a great job of showing me and explaining to me all of my options and helping me narrow the choices down. It was a pretty big purchase for me so I had lots and lots of questions, and he answered them all very patiently.
Everyone that I met this weekend was extremely friendly and willing to offer advice and help. You could really tell they had a passion for the sport and it got me very excited about it as well. I can't wait to finish my certification now. Once I do, I will be sure to return to A1 for future classes and equipment needs.
Thanks for everything,
Please pass onto my wonderful instructors - Carol, Louise, Scott, and especially Peter King.
Went to Free Port Bahamas dived into the pygmy caves saw 3 sharks and a eel, then dived shallower second dive fresh farm area held a baby starfish and several schools of fish.
I’d never have seen any of these critters had it not been for them. Loved it!!!!!!
I have now taken scuba classes with three different dive shops… the ones I took with A-1 were by far the best! Sure, the classes were fun, but most importantly, I actually learned a lot.
Your classes really helped making me a much more confident and independent diver. So, thank you A-1, and special thanks to your outstanding instructors, Louise (rescue) and Carol and Joanne (adventure last year).
I wanted to thank you and Bruce for your outstanding instruction in our recent rescue class.
This is the best PADI class that I have taken so far. I appreciated the opportunity to practice the skills multiple times, and your breakdown and analysis of our efforts with tips to improve on our skills made me a better and more confident diver as a result. I would definitely recommend this class, and you as an instructor to anyone. Once again, many thanks, and hope to see you again in the future.
A review recently posted on YELP
This place is a Denver institution and beloved by many Denver residents. How has no one reviewed it before?!
My boyfriend bought me scuba diving lessons for my birthday, which is how I came to fall in love with this place. He was very picky about the scuba center that he went through, and after lots of calls and visits to shops all over the Denver area, he finally settled on A-1.After taking the class, I can see why he picked A-1.
I had an incredibly positive experience with my classes. Our instructor Joanne was top-notch and very energetic, and definitely knew her stuff. Everyone else who works there is super-friendly and incredibly knowledgeable, and can answer any and all questions you have. On top of that, their prices on their equipment are VERY fair, and they even give a discount to people who take their scuba classes through A-1. They have an extensive shop - the biggest I have seen in Denver - and their own pool that they conduct confined water dives in.
They also have THE best repair shop in the area, and even repair gear sent in from other states who are not equipped with the correct tools.
On top of that, they have a travel center full of lovely ladies who will coordinate a trip for you, whether scuba or otherwise. And every couple of months the shop does a large scuba trip that is usually all-inclusive and reasonably priced.
Once my BF and I save up enough money, we are definitely doing a trip through A-1. And I wouldn't buy my gear anywhere else. Or take scuba classes anywhere else. Really, it's the only scuba shop I could ever need! They even put out snacks for customers, like brownies and lemonade :) That's just how nice and accommodating they are!
Dear A1 Scuba,
My name is Patty. This past June, I participated in the scuba certification program and received my initial scuba license. I am writing you this letter to thank you, more than I can say, for helping me 'slay a dragon" and begin new adventures of a life time.
When I was about 18 (many years ago), I was initially certified. The experience, though, was incredibly stressful and adversarial. It was almost as if ‘you all will get certified, but not if we can help it.’ It was a horrible experience for me, and I swore I would never go scuba diving. Thus, when my husband suggested last spring that I become re-certified, I was filled with dread. It was only my love of snorkeling and beaches across the world that led me to your door.
In class, Aaron, despite my occasional late night whining, insisted we cover every skill thoroughly. Believe me, when I took my first ‘real dives” in Tahiti, I understood why he was so insistently thorough. Although I was nervous, I knew just what to do and felt pretty darned confident, if I must say so myself.
Stosh, who supervised my open water dives at Chatfield, was equally helpful. He also worked with me in the pool, one-to-one, to ‘fine tune’ some skills I thought I was weaker in. Stosh was funny, professional, and very supportive.
Finally, Katie (cashier Katie) was really great in helping me pick out my equipment to buy. She spent a very long time with me and, again, when I was to Tahiti, I was so glad I picked the equipment I did. Katy (in travel) was also very helpful in hooking me up with ‘Bathy’s in Tahiti.’
It is late at night, and this letter doesn’t do justice to the people at A-1 who have worked with me to bring me to this point. I just want, though, to let you and to let them know what a great job they did with me. On my last dive in Tahiti, I was diving (62 feet down, I’ll tell you!) in a place called ‘The Rose Garden.’ At my feet was a tremendous expanse of overlaying big darkish red-maroon ‘petals’ and in front of me was a wall of deep blue. A black tipped shark swam right past me…all I could do was hover there (thanks Aaron!) and say into my regulator, over and over, ‘Wow! Wow! And, of course, I thought of you all.
So thank you more than you could know, for a life of prospective new adventures in my favorite place, the ocean. And thank you also for helping replace an extremely unpleasant memory with such hard-earned, successful, and happy memories.
Scott and Lynn,
My girlfriend Amy and I recently did our open water certification (finished August 7th) with Joanne and Carol (and Jade, who assisted on the weekend pool dives). We were getting the certifications in preparation for a diving trip to Grand Cayman and Roatan at the end of last month, and since that trip it's resonated with both of us just how good the training with A1 was.
I don't think until you get out there with other divers that it really sinks in -- I mean we certainly thought everyone at A1 was friendly, that the instructors were awesome and fun, and that after the class we had the basics down enough to take our first tentative steps into the world of diving, but the real proof of the education was in seeing the disparity between ourselves and others when we spent that week in the Caribbean. Having now not only done so but also getting to see some of the risks of diving first-hand (we saw someone run out of air in Roatan -- thankfully he was OK) and the random silly mistakes other newly-certified divers were making, even at our beginner level the difference between our preparation and that of others was readily apparent. In fact it was somewhat shocking, after only 4 dives in 2 days "in the real world," to see so many things go wrong for other divers that we, with nothing but our OW certs in our hands, were more than able to deal with.
Given that this isn't the safest of all recreational activities I think at a minimum a "thank you" is due for that, as well as letting you know how much we've appreciated the experiences with your instructors and the rest of the staff we've met. Their efforts have most certainly created two loyal customers -- as Ryan will attest to, since we're already signed up for AOW in October, the November Cozumel trip with the shop, and mapping out our gear purchases with him for the next six months.
Rich & Amy
Greetings Carol & Joanne,
Christian and I would like to personally thank you again for helping us achieve something that we can do together through years to come. I wanted to learn and do scuba diving since I was eight living on a lake. It was on my bucket list for years. I am a pretty active gent who loves traveling, long distance cycling, skiing, snowboarding, fly-fishing, backpacking, snow-caving and just being outdoors.
I have for years sought out an activity that Christian has a interest and /or passion that we can do together, especially now since he is of college age and has other life pursuits. I do work around the world, with some extended stays I can now get him to jump on plane, do something that we have a passion for, and spend some quality time between son and father. He is so jazzed!
So thanks again to your skilled and enthusiastic training sessions to you both, Dan Niblick (class room / confined instructor), and the A-1 staff.
Bram and Christian
Just wanted to send an e-mail about the great service I received today. With the assistance of your employee Ryan, I was able to purchase my first set of scuba gear. Ryan was exceptionally helpful. I can't tell you how much I appreciated his knowledge and customer service skills.
Thanks for the help Ryan!
Kudos to you and your band of pirates from A-1 Scuba! What a time we had at the aquarium! Thanks to you, Carol, Joanne, Jack, Stacey, Stoch, Fawn & Shane (Louise was in there some place). I know the divers with disabilities (Shannon, Matt, and Pat) were thrilled, but so were all the family members (Julie, Jud, Rose, Don and Tracey) and the hundreds of kids, parents and families that wandered by watching all the fun. If you haven't been down to the tunnel to watch yourself, you should. A-1 Divers ARE THE ATTRACTION, not the fish. The divers with disabilities are truly awe inspiring.
Dear Scott, Please allow me to take this opportunity to let you know how pleased I am with this whole new experience called Diving. I came to you on a recommendation (only given to me because you were close to my home and the person I spoke with drives by every day) to learn to dive. I did NOT take an "intro" to scuba but went for the whole ball of wax and got the entire family (confined water) certified (all 4 of us, including my 13 & 10 year old). Your entire staff there was nothing but pleasant to work with.
Being new to the sport, I actually expected a to have bit of an inferiority complex when I first walked in, but they never once made me feel like I didn't really belong in your shop since I was a "newbie" . So we were in class with Rita, who incidentally, deserves a Nobel prize for her patience and dedication to getting us (especially my 10 year old) over the hurdle of the pool certification, when you walked in and started asking the class questions. You asked my family if we were going to do our open water with you. When I told you we were planning on doing it on our vacation in Hawai'i, you immediately recommended Jack's Diving Locker in Kona. After completing our course there, before leaving the following week on our trip, I scheduled our open water dives with Jack's. I must thank you for the recommendation, because our experience there couldn't have been better. We all successfully completed our certification and are now new members of the diving community! I look forward to going out on many more dives in the near future, and hope to participate in some of your trips as well.
Your company and also your recommendations have created an experience that anyone wanting to give diving a try could only dream of having. I have started off on the right foot and that is always what we hope for in any new adventure. I can honestly say I have spent larger amounts of money on things that really were bad to start and have been turned off from those things because of that first impression, regardless of the costs. Granted diving is extremely expensive but because of your way of doing business, I am much more at ease spending the money (especially in your shop), regardless. In fact, don't be surprised to see me in future classes, such as instructor, adventure, etc! Thank you so much for all you have done and don't change a thing! Sincerely, Kevin Samson
THANK YOU! I certified in 2001 with you and since have gotten by Advanced Open water, under water photo and peak performance cards.
On my 57th dive off Cozumel last week I had my first regulator problem at 70 feet. It jammed up and then free-flowed putting me in a serious low air situation. All of the training kicked right into place - used the octopus, cleared the mask, got assistance from the dive master, gathered the group and made a safe ascent. I was ready for the afternoon dive with no reservations. I know these sorts of things happen, one trains for emergencies but it sure felt good confidently knowing just what to do.
Thank you for the life saving skills!
We recently got back from our first trip with Explorer Ventures on the Caribbean Explorer II Southern Bahamas trip (booked with A-1). Just wanted to let you know that we had a great time and really liked Explorer Ventures. The boat was not necessarily their most luxurious but the crew was great! Professional, Safety minded but still a lot of fun. Food was excellent, crew was always making sure you had everything you needed, great dive deck! They recognized people for new certifications and that Chris and I both passed our 100th dive while on board. They sent us an email asking for feedback upon coming home. They seem to really have every aspect of their business in order! We will definitely travel with them again and just wanted you to know! I already saw you have them listed for an upcoming Galapagos trip which we'll keep an eye out for!
Thanks A-1! Carolyn, we appreciated the card we received when we got back!
Andrea & Chris
I've done a couple of DSD outings and I've decided that it is time too move forward. My recent DSD experience in Belize prompted me to stop at A-1 on a Friday evening late in June. A nice lady by the name of Wendie did a great job of telling me about the open water course, she talked about the highly competent training staff, and she took the time to show me the training area; I was impressed. The next morning I returned and signed up with Ryan receiving nothing less than first class service; again I was impressed. I trust my course experience will go the same way. I can certainly see why A-1 is the oldest dive shop in Denver. So far job well done A-1! It early on but I can see that the staff and the facility clearly differentiate themselves from other dive shop facilities. I look forward to meeting you on Friday evening.
Best regards, Willie
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the trip to St. Lucia. Never having gone on a group trip, I was a bit reluctant to go. I didn't know what to expect. But after having made this trip, I don't think I will hesitate to do it again.
I attribute a lot of that good time to you. You made me feel like we had been friends forever, not just new acquantances. I know it is your job to be nice to the people that you take on these trips, even old guys like me. But it felt, and i'm sure it was, much more genuine than just you doing your job. I like that about you. You, Kate, Steve, and (almost) everyone else, were great to spend time with. It was really a good group.
I thought 8 days might be too long, but now that I'm back to work (only 95 emails waiting on me) I think it went by way too fast. That says a lot about the terrific resort we stayed at, the diving, and the new friends I was with.
If you would like to have the post dive party at my house, we can do that. I wasn't sure if you were kidding about that or serious. I will provide the chocolate ice cream. You can mix the Bentleys. I'll see you at the shop -- maybe in Curacao if my workload permits.
Thanks for everything.