Pickleball and Service: Growing Together

Dan Beeman Member Story-01

Have you heard of this silly sport and happy marriage of Pickleball and Service?

From an Army Airborne Paratrooper to pickleball Ambassador; Dan Beeman has never stopped serving.

At 50, Beeman was involved in a major car accident and subsequently had a double fusion of his vertebrae in his back.  While this traumatic event impacted his mobility, it also opened the door to a new passion.

One day after his gentle yoga at his rec center, he was walking past the gym and heard the laughter and the ubiquitous pop, pop, pop of the pickleball play.  He entered the gym and, despite his appearance (he has a skin disease called vitiligo) and physical limitations, he was immediately, warmly welcomed and encouraged to join in the fun.  Just like nearly everyone else who tries it, he was quickly addicted.

Just a few months later he was selected as a USA Pickleball ambassador and hosted a successful introductory clinic as a part of National Pickleball Month for 60+ people in the same gym.  One of the newbies at the clinic loved it too.  Her pickleball journey has yielded a fitness regimen to help her lose over 100 lbs. and share the joy with thousands of people.

He has also recently written a critically acclaimed and award-winning screenplay for a buddy comedy called Pickleballs! – The Movie. Here is the summary: After losing his job, mom and house on the same day, a toupee-wearing, disgraced, broke former tennis champ needs redeem himself, so he looks up his old commie nemesis and convinces him to partner up and travel the country in an old RV, competing in pickleball tournaments to try and reclaim his former glory and pay off debts.  Together, they overcome their differences to find happiness.

Despite his bad back and being “just an average player”, Beeman was also chosen to select and lead a team of sponsored players by Head in June 2019 for Hawaii and California.  Since then, he has stepped back from the team leadership role but remains an active brand evangelist for Head by doing free demonstrations and clinics.

Beeman also recently received his Master of Hospitality from UNLV where he studied Sustainable Tourism.  As his passion for pickleball grew, he decided to write his final research paper on the Implications of Pickleball for the Hospitality Industry.

The conclusions of his graduate school research for his paper: resorts that have either tennis or basketball courts and do not add pickleball are not maximizing potential revenue or their asset value.  As a corollary, they are also losing market share, group travel and growth opportunities.

Because there was no definitive publication regarding the growth of the sport in this area, he needed to interview people in the industry who had created successful programs. So, he went to Palm Desert Resort Country Club and met with the owner of the lease on their tennis center in March 2019.

The program they created was in its infancy, but they had a great vision for it.  They started by converting 3 tennis courts to make 12 pickleball courts.  Since then, they have doubled the size, have 500+ members, host tournaments and Level-Up camps. Home values in the club have increased by 30+% and it is now known as the Mecca of Pickleball on the west coast.

Beeman sensed that growth, found, purchased, and renovated a condo just a few steps from this promising, burgeoning facility.  It is now called the Pickle Palace and available for long-term rental for pickleball addicts.  None other than the iconic, inimitable, Gizmo has stayed there after a tournament.

Last March, after being confirmed as an IFP Ambassador for Mexico, Beeman rented his branded condo and headed to Playa Del Carmen, MX to meet with resorts with the intention of bringing pickleball there.

In meetings, he found that many of the all-inclusive resorts wanted to differentiate themselves but were offering redundant experiences.  He also found that most of their guests were active American adults with disposable income, a propensity to travel and looking for new, fun experiences.  He saw how this market aligned perfectly with pickleball enthusiasts. He saw how he could help them and help grow the sport at the same time.

Despite the challenges of a worldwide pandemic, especially in the tourism industry, Beeman now helps resorts tap into new revenue by creating pickleball programs.

Last summer he spent several months in Lake Tahoe, CA.  While there, he met and profiled an 80+ year old couple who attribute their beating Covid-19 to playing pickleball daily.

He obviously loves the sport and social dynamic of the environment.  He actively volunteers at tournaments as a line judge, announcer, host or whatever else is needed to create the best environment for players and spectators possible.

His next endeavor is to help disabled and residentially challenged veterans.  He hopes to bring pickleball to all their existing and planned facilities.

So, whether it is a resort, club, tournament, city, state, or country; whether it is a professional, recreational, disabled or wanna-be player; Beeman continues serving them and pickleball with honor.  Have you tried it yet?  It is fun.  It starts with service.

More about Beeman and his work can be found at: www.danbman.com

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