Cooler Arizona Climate is Ideal for New Pickleball Facility

Let me introduce you to Peg Travers. A pickleball lover and a staunch advocate for anything pickleball, she rounded up a group of committed pickleball players and put together a project plan and mission statement. With Rita Kavanaugh, Billie Orr and Bob Atherton, the USAPA Northern Arizona District Ambassador accompanying her, they presented their plan to the City of Prescott. Realizing the need for public pickleball courts, the City did not want to renovate existing tennis courts and they also lacked funds to build a public pickleball facility. So, with those obstacles standing in their way, the group decided to begin a fundraising campaign and collect the necessary funds all by themselves. With the help of Prescott’s Director of Recreation Services Joe Baynes, the group began the long and time-consuming task of creating a public pickleball facility. The Prescott Pickleball Association was created and within weeks a website, and logo were developed and a clear identity was established. Donors now had a place where they could deposit their money to help the project. As a new association, the group found a 501(c)(3) to partner with – Arizona Community Foundation. With those necessary elements in place, the group once again approached the City of Prescott to receive approval for the project. A site was also found that was agreeable by the Prescott Recreation Services, and after it was approved they would prep the land for construction and the final proposal was put together. After another presentation to the City, the project was finally approved!

The project was a private/public partnership with the City of Prescott and Yavapai County. Land that was originally part of the county area was contributed to handle parking and a roadway valued at $25,000.

With the entire pickleball community in Prescott anxiously awaiting the opening of its newest pickleball facility, the PPA projected start of play around late June. However, Memorial Day weekend featured the grand opening. With cool, crisp air circulating throughout the area, the courts were jam-packed with excited pickleballers. Things were way ahead of schedule and the first tournament was played on July 14. The Prescott Round Up had 214 players and netted $5,000.

With the courts now fully operational, the Prescott Pickleball Association is looking forward to expanding the facility as the number of pickleball players continues to increase. With a brand new home to play in, more and more players are picking up a paddle. And, advice for any community looking to build their own courts comes directly from the mastermind herself, Peg Travers. “Make the mission clear, keep communication to all stakeholders clear and timely and most of all, get a committed group that will carry out the project.”

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