Who Are We???
Join Us in the Adventure of a Lifetime!
The Great American Diving Company opened on April 5th, 1993 and has been providing underwater adventures to the divers and snorkelers of St. Louis ever since. Today, we are a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center offering instruction for everyone from beginner to instructors from the world leader in diver education - the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
We have one mission: to provide you, the diver, snorkeler or swim student, with the most complete selection of diving, swimming and snorkeling equipment, the largest selection of courses and educational programs and the best customer service available.
We are interested in welcoming you to our family as both a customer and a dive buddy. Whether you are 8 or 80, interested in recreational diving, snorkeling or technical diving, or you just want to hang out - you can find yourself a comfortable home with us. Give us a try and we think you'll like what you experience.
Our main retail location is located in historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Founded in 1769 as Les Petites Cotes (The Little Hills) by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette, St. Charles grew into a thriving riverfront trading center for a young America. Throughout the years, St. Charles served as the embarkation point for the untamed west, including the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.
During the 1970's and 1980's though, main street St. Charles experienced an economic depression, but beginning in the early 1990's, economic revival began in earnest. We joined the main street community at the beginning of its revival and are proud to be one of the oldest businesses on Main Street. The building we are housed in is an example of the popular trend in adaptive re-use. Built in the 1930's, our building has been the home for a supermarket, drug store, furniture refinishers, furniture restoration suppliers and ultimately, us. Check out Historic St. Charles to find out more about what Main Street and St. Charles has to offer.
2003 saw the opening our AquaCenter & Pro Development Center - a state of the art training facility with it's own custom built scuba training pool. Located near the intersection of Highway 94 and Kisker Road in St. Peters, the AquaCenter & Pro Development Center offers many services and programs unavailable anywhere else in the St. Louis area.
As a leader in the dive business, we are sensitive to our responsibilities to the community. We have been instrumental in establishing several annual events that provide funds to local charities. Each year, The Great American Diving Company sponsors three charitable events - an Underwater Easter Egg Hunt, an Underwater Treasure Hunt and an Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest. These events raise money which is donated to local chapters of Habitat for Humanity. We are pleased that our social consciousness has been adopted by other dive centers which now hold their own events to help local charitable organizations.
The Great American Diving Company is committed to preserving our diving heritage and to support that endeavor, we are members of the Historical Diving Society. the Historical Diving Society is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation not only of vintage dive gear but also the preservation and distribution of knowledge about man's exploration of the seas. Check them out at www.hds.org.
We are a founding member of the Metro St. Louis Scuba Retailers Association (MSSRA) - an organization of dive retailers and destinations that is dedicated to raising the professional standards of the dive industry in St. Louis and to building the sport we all love.
We feel that we can offer you something tangible that no other dive center in the St. Louis area can - our level of experience and knowledge. As a combined force, our staff and store has logged over 20,000 dives, issued over 3700 diver certifications and more than 400 instructor certifications, and has over 300 years of diving and teaching experience. If you're interested in more information about our staff's experience and background, check out our staff.