The staff also dressed up in pickle costumes to celebrate the inauguration.
The Realization Of A Longstanding Dream
The opening of these courts marks the realization of a longstanding dream for some residents and staff for dedication courts, reflecting the growing popularity of pickleball as one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.
Initial attempts to designate a location for the courts faced challenges, as a selected site near the buildings raised concerns about noise and echo from some residents.
A subsequent redesign led to the creation of courts near Wind Crest’s front entrance, located at 3235 Mill Vista Road, as Craig Erickson, the executive director at Wind Crest, explained to Haley Lena at Coloradocommunitymedia.com:
“We did the initial design and presented it to the pickleball club. They said, ‘no, no, no,’ the courts are facing the wrong way.”
Adjusting The Orientation
After adjusting the orientation to a north-south configuration, the courts were constructed and opened, and residents were quick to come along and play.
Situated approximately 170 feet from the edge of the court to the apartments near the front entrance, the new courts offer convenience for residents who used to previously reserve time at other locations, such as Clement Park in Littleton and Arapahoe Community College.
The establishment of on-site courts is considered a significant achievement, described by Fred Clift, the leader of Wind Crest’s pickleball club, as a “game changer” that allows them to walk to their courts.
Concerns about potential noise disturbances were addressed by Erickson and Clift, who highlighted noise barriers, including the proximity of the front road, covered parking, and trees.
The absence of resident balconies facing the courts further mitigates potential disturbances, and despite initial concerns, there have been no complaints about noise.
The club is particularly pleased to have exclusive access to its courts, especially considering closures at Congress Park and Eisenhower Park in Denver due to noise complaints.
The courts are reserved exclusively for residents, although guests can play when invited by a resident. Erickson emphasized the social and physically active nature of pickleball, describing it as a less intense but highly engaging sport.
The club organizes playing sessions and educational courses on technique and scoring. With a supply of paddles and balls provided by Wind Crest, residents can try pickleball before making an investment.
Looking ahead, the club has plans for a membership drive, social events, tournaments, and a mentor committee to assist new players in acquiring and improving their skills.
Emphasizing the health benefits, Clift, a former tennis player turned pickleball enthusiast, stated, “As we age, it’s really good for people to keep moving, and this will get you moving on the court.”
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