FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why does PAK want dedicated pickleball courts?
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. It is called the sport that takes 20 minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master. Many seniors find that it offers continuing physical activity when other sports are too demanding for their age. It is not uncommon to see seniors playing competitively against teenagers. The County of Kauai offers 24 tennis courts, most of which are badly in need of repair. They have allowed picklers to add “ghost” lines and temporary nets to some courts, but the competing lines are hard to see by picklers and an annoyance to tennis players. If the owner of a temporary net leaves, play must stop for those that share its use. Based upon observation, the use by picklers of the dual-purpose courts greatly outnumbers the use by tennis players. We think that the pickleball community deserves safe, crack-free courts with permanent nets and visible lines.
Q. Why doesn’t the County just build the pickleball facilities we need?
That’s a great question. For anything to get done, there must exist both a willingness, and an ability. After several talks with the Parks and Recreation department, we believe there is a willingness to provide dedicated pickleball courts by the County, but their ability is hampered by lack of money, existing priorities, and a lack of urgency. PAK supports any County effort to build dedicated pickleball courts, but for many of us, it will not be a reality in our lifetimes.
Q. Can’t we lobby the mayor and the County Council?
We can, have done so, and will continue to do so. The mayor has been informed of our efforts and is sympathetic. So are some council members. A few of them are pickleball players themselves, and they understand the need for better facilities. Their willingness is hampered by their ability, (like Parks) and the wheels of government move slowly.
Q. Where should we build pickleball courts?
Every player would like to see courts built close to where they live. Our initial efforts will focus on our first dedicated pickleball venue being centrally located in the Puhi-Wailua area of Kauai. We have also identified key amenities the site should have. These are bathrooms, water, lights, fencing, at least six courts, storage, covered seating and the ability to secure the facility from vandalism. We believe that this “alpha court” will be used by many hundreds of local and visiting players and will demonstrate the need for additional venues closer to where players live.
Q. How much will it cost to build the alpha court?
There are many factors that will affect the cost of the project. We think building the alpha court from scratch would be beyond our financial ability within our one-year timeline for completion. In addition to land and infrastructure costs, such a facility would cost an estimated $400,000 to build. Our goal is to identify existing tennis courts with minimum dimensions of 120’ X 120’ and refurbish them for a pickleball facility. Cost of surface repairs, installation of nets, posts, lines, and covered seating would range from $60,000 to $150,000.
Update: After exhaustive searches for suitable existing courts to refurbish have been in vain, we are now turning our attention to building suitable courts from scratch. We realize that the cost is much higher but remain committed to our mission. The people of Kauai deserve dedicated courts, and we will find a way to do this.
Q. How do you plan to raise the money for this project?
We are relying heavily on receiving financial support from the pickleball players and community. Our initial dues amount of $20 will not generate the amount needed but is necessary for us to establish lines of communication from PAK to them and vice-versa. Once an alpha court site has been selected and permissions granted, we will mount a capital campaign targeting individuals, businesses, foundations and government to raise the needed funds. Because the mission of PAK is to develop, operate, and maintain quality dedicated pickleball venues it is anticipated that user fees will be charged after initial construction.
Update: Our new direction of looking for sites to build new courts is encouraging. Rather than hearing reasons why we cannot refurbish existing courts, we are receiving positive support for how we can make new courts happen. We are encouraged by news that there is a business on Maui planning to build a pickleball complex with an estimated cost of $10 million. They have faith that the pickleball community will support their venture sufficiently to justify their investment. We should not be afraid to invest 5% of their amount for the benefit of Kauai’s picklers.
Q. Why should I join PAK?
Thankfully, more than 200 people did not ask that question in the first two months of our membership campaign and enrolled and paid our small fee. But, the question is worth answering. The short answer is PAK provides hope for better courts for picklers. We think that the saddest people are those that do not have hope. Hopeless is not a good place to be. There is a saying that “If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Change has never come without a price. PAK has only volunteers, no paid staff, and very low overhead. No organization can run on air. Our low expenses must still be paid. By joining us with a small contribution of $20, you help us survive to attain our mission. Your membership also gives us hope that we are not alone in our quest. And remember, it is hope that moves mountains. Don’t be hopeless. Join PAK.
Update: We have begun reaching out to our neighbor island picklers. There are talks beginning for a statewide movement to advance pickleball interests. Our website is being shared with many players and supporters on neighbor islands, and we invite anyone to register on our website to be part of our growing contacts. We regularly update our site and have the capability of mass emailing our contacts with new developments. We would love to have membership fees from anyone, but we need your support just as much. If you would like to be a part of our movement, just go to the membership section and register without paying. We will promise to communicate what is happening until we can provide our “alpha court”.