Tennis Center hosts music festival fundraiser Saturday to support pickleball court expansion |

Tennis Center hosts music festival fundraiser Saturday to support pickleball court expansion

Jon Smalley returns a shot on the court at Scott Moore’s pickleball clinic on June 29 and 30. Pickleball saw a 68 percent increase in participation at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs this summer. With the help of the Steamboat Family Sports & Music Festival and a matching challenge fundraiser, the Tennis Center hopes to raise funds for pickleball court expansion.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs is in the midst of two fundraisers, which will fund future expansion.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, the community is invited to the Steamboat Family Sports & Music Festival, which will raise money for the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center Maintenance Fund, an endowment that helps pay for the basic maintenance of the Tennis Center, while also setting money aside for expansion projects.

We were told a few years ago by the city, that if we ever wanted to expand here at the center, we needed to create an endowment fund,” Tennis Center business development director Loretta Conway said. “A lot of money will be in the fund forever, but the interest will help the city pay for the recreational facility.”

If you go

What: Steamboat Family Sports & Music Festival

When: 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Where: Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, 2500 Pine Grove Road

Cost: $20 per person, $35 per couple, $50 per family

With growing interest in sports like pickleball, the need for more indoor courts during winter is increasing. This summer, pickleball saw a 68 percent growth compared to last year.

“Next plan is figure out the best plan to build indoor pickleball courts, because we’re overflowing at the moment,” Conway said. “When we drop to everyone playing indoors (in the winter), six courts is not enough for everyone who wants to play tennis and pickleball.”

The Tennis Center’s endowment fund started two years ago and currently stands at $34,000. Conway said she hopes to raise $50,000 more by October.

Festival registration costs $20 per person, $35 per couple and $50 per family. Kids and adults of all ages are invited to attend and try 11 sports from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Each court will offer a different sport, including golf, guided horseback rides, badminton, cornhole, soccer, tennis, hockey, dodgeball, volleyball and sports performance.

Members of the community will share their sports through fun-related activities. The Steamboat Wranglers will host hockey games, while golf pros will get creative with a “golf pong” game that involves hitting balls into cups. The sports performance court will feature pilates and massages or activities that enhance strength.

Sports activities will be followed by a concert by cover band Worried Man from 6 to 9 p.m. with food and beverages for purchase from Skull Creek Greek, Cruisers Sub Shop and Mountain View Catering. A portion of the proceeds raised from the food and beverage purchases will benefit the endowment fund.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on and they are invited to dance the night away in the street in front of the Tennis Center.

Recreation is so important to Steamboat — that’s why people move here,” Conway said. “We’re hoping to bring more awareness and raise money for the endowment so it’s a solid, protected recreational facility for the community. We want to be sure the city never struggles in keeping this facility.”

In addition to the festival, part-time residents Moz and Debbie Modzelewski have created a matching challenge to raise money for the facility. In an open letter to the Steamboat Springs community, Debbie writes, “The city’s Tennis and Pickleball Center is a gem that sparkles bright in the treasure chest that is Steamboat Springs.”

Through the challenge grant, the Modzelewskis will match every dollar donated to the endowment fund up to $25,000 from now through Oct. 15, meaning if $25,000 is donated then $25,000 will be matched for a total of $50,000.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation at Checks, made payable to the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center Maintenance Fund, can be mailed to YVCF, P.O. Box 881869, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488.

Multiple proposals have been submitted for pickleball court expansion, but Conway said directors of the endowment fund are waiting for the perfect plan and funding to commit.

“We’re hoping for expansion to indoor pickleball in three years,” Conway said. “I think there’s people waiting to donate; we’ve got to have the right plan.”

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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