President's Report - November 2023
Nolan Ahn, PAK President
THE CASE FOR COVERED COURTS, CONTINUED
Last month, I started to explain why PAK is seeking covered courts instead of outdoor courts. It is NOT because we don’t like outdoor courts. When it is sunny and windless, when the sun is not obscuring the ball, and when its not too hot, I LOVE playing outdoors. How often do we get perfect conditions like that? Not enough to satisfy avid pickleball players who get used to playing on certain days at certain times. Most of our courts require us to get in a car to get there, and when conditions prevent us from playing, we get in our cars and drive back, disappointed. Covered courts ensure that one can be able to play, no matter how hot, rainy, or windy. Covered courts make lighting easier and more economical, extending play time to the evenings, even during Shearwater season when outdoor courts are prohibited from turning on the lights.
Recent news announced that Pure Pickleball is building a new pickleball complex in Arizona. “Over the past year, the PURE Pickleball team has engaged with us on their ambitious plans to create an entirely new class of pickleball venue,” said Justin Maloof, Chief Operating Officer for USA Pickleball, the National Governing Body. “At this time, we are announcing PURE Pickleball is our intended future home, permanent headquarters and official National Training Center for USA Pickleball.” PURE Pickleball will claim the title of largest pickleball facility in Arizona and one of the largest facilities in the world when it opens in the fall of 2024. Phase 1 includes 28 over-sized (34’x64’) indoor pickleball courts featuring post-tension construction and premium cushion surfacing. All courts will be privately gated and fenced with professional indirect lighting and high-quality video cameras for streaming matches or recording games. At center stage, is a first-of-its-kind Championship Court (50’x70’) with a wrap-around 500-seat stadium and state-of-the-art production capabilities for televised matches. Other infrastructure under the roof will include a pro shop, café, men’s and women’s locker rooms and private event spaces.
Additional phases include 16 outdoor courts with professional direct lighting, a member clubhouse with restaurant and bar, two rooftop courts for special events, member locker rooms and in-demand amenities, full gym, childcare and after-school tutoring services, and complementary commercial concepts to be announced.
Another recently opened facility is Pictona in Florida. Pictona at Holly Hill is a 49-court pickleball facility serving the greater Daytona Beach area. The 49 courts include 12 undercover courts plus a covered championship court seating 1200 for pickleball events and 1600 for entertainment events. In addition, there is a restaurant (called the Kitchen), a concession stand (called The Depot), clubhouse, education center, and many other amenities open to their members and the public.
A third facility we have studied is PALA Pickleball Club, the largest indoor Pickleball club in Texas! They have 11 state of the art, fully climate controlled, indoor pickleball courts with permanent professional nets for year-round play. Being in Texas, players don’t have to worry about playing in Freezing Temps, Wind, Rain, Sleet, Hail, on the rare occasion SNOW or 100+ degree weather. There are 8 outdoor courts as well. The facility opens at 7 am and closes at 10 pm; this way, you can play as much pickleball as your heart desires. PALA also offers leagues, open play, clinics, drills, tournaments, and special events.
One thing all pickleball venues share is the experience that from the first moment they open their doors, they have all the players and use they can handle. The model for our Kauai facilities is in Opelika, Alabama. The local Parks and Recreation obtained funding for a $25 million athletic facility through municipal bonds and built a fabulous multipurpose facility with gymnasium, swimming pool, meeting rooms, weight room and 12 pickleball courts under a steel and fabric canopy. Within two years of opening, it was necessary to create another 12 court facility identical to the first. All 24 courts are busy morning and night, and more may be built soon.
All of the above facilities cost millions of dollars. Three of them are built by private companies or individuals, one of them a municipality. ALL of them charge for the use of their facilities, because NOTHING IS FREE!
PAK has recently enlisted the services of two architects to help conceptualize our ideal first facility. Both professionals play pickleball and understand the forces that drive the need for facilities. We hope to be able to share an artistic rendering of our facility soon. In the meantime, we are abiding by the famous words in the movie Field of Dreams…” If you build it, they will come”.
The Kalena Park FUN Tournament that PAK ran for the Rice Street Business Association Block Party on October 28 was a rousing success! 48 happy players were joined into 24 random teams by a blind draw, and beautiful weather prevailed. The results are as follows:
Over 50 Bracket:
Gold: Maria Almeida/Adrian Vaatete; Silver: Alton Amimoto/Kyle Maligro; Bronze: Bruce Fowler/Chris Fujikado
Under 50 Bracket:
Gold: Mike Orzechowski/Scott Silveria; Silver: Jon Cabot/Kaleo Perez; Bronze: Devan Banasihan-Kenney/Tiffany Carolan
Many thanks to Kathi Maddox, Lucia Bartels, Lori Uyeda for their essential assistance at the tournament. It was a long day, and we prevailed! Talks are underway for this being an annual event.
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Next month I plan on talking about the need to OPERATE our proposed facility. What that means, why we need to do it, and the benefits and downsides of doing that. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving and thank you all for supporting PAK!
Until next month,