‘It’s going to happen’: Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center takes first step of Phase 2
Pickleball building could be complete in early 2024
Short on funding, Court Sports for Life, the nonprofit that runs the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center, held a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5, to discuss the second phase of its expansion project. The board determined to continue moving forward with the project while maintaining the understanding that more funds need to be raised.
Priced at $11 million, the nonprofit has raised $6.5 million and can borrow up to $3.3 million meaning there is still $1.2 million required to fund the project.
However, an anonymous donor who agreed to a 50% match of donations through the end of 2022, generously extended that deadline through March 31. This means $800,000 in donations will be needed to fully fund the project.
Court Sports for Life is offering any company that donates $800,000 the opportunity to become the presenting sponsor and get its name on the pickleball building.
The building takes between four and five months to be delivered and though the full money has not yet been raised, Executive Director Loretta Conway and the board determined it was necessary to make the purchase now so construction can begin at the end of this spring. Otherwise, they would have had to push off construction for another year.
“They have taken a risk by getting the building, but we have enough money to pay for it and get it erected and build the bathrooms,” Conway said. “The courts would be done and bathrooms would be done but the rest would not be done if we don’t raise the money by September.”
Phase 2 of the project includes the construction of a steel building over the 12 brand new pickleball courts built in Phase 1 this summer. This new building will be complete with a welcome center, pro shop, locker rooms, office spaces and a multi-purpose mezzanine for viewing.
In addition, a finishing coat will be done on the south end of the expanded parking lot where 26 parking spaces will be available.
One thing Conway said has blown her away is the continued rise in demand for pickleball. She says there is no doubt in her mind both facilities will fill once the project is complete.
“We are adding 15 to 20 brand new players every week for the past year, that is how fast pickleball is growing here in Steamboat,” Conway said. “We have these new player clinics and literally 15 people are coming every week to learn to play.”
The quicker the pickleball facility is complete, the sooner the nonprofit can shift its focus back to enhancing the tennis center and getting more players back on the courts. Currently, the center is using two of the indoor tennis courts for pickleball, so only four courts are available for tennis.
Anyone wanting to contribute can donate or pledge at CourtSports4Life.org/Donate.
Though a specific completion date depends on the winter weather, Conway says Phase 2 could be completed as early as the start of 2024. Any setbacks could push it further into summer 2024.
Conway says most places around the country have either shunned pickleball entirely or ditched their tennis courts and replaced them with pickleball courts. This project was designed to find the balance and continue the promotion of both sports within the Steamboat community.
“We never stopped, we never hesitated, we just kept on going,” Conway said. “I think the community has really shown that this is something everyone wants and it’s going to happen.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.