From Loretta’s presentation:
CS4L was formed as a 501-C-3 non-profit to raise the funds to build a 12 court indoor pickleball building and then earlier this year, took on the management and care for our award-winning recreational facility, Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball. We’re so glad to have this opportunity to tell you about how the Center is thriving as never before and then talk about our expansion plans. CS4L board members were recognized.
Other very important community leaders are the board members of the Steamboat Tennis Association (STA). What an incredible job you all are doing to serve Yampa Valley Youth through the sport of tennis! Hats off to you for investing close to $20,000 to provide 85 free summer camps to deserving children this summer!
Steamboat Springs Pickleball Association (SSPA) board members, thank you for all you do to keep pickleball fun and inviting for so many. I just heard that you have set a record with 416 paid members as of this week! Thank you for providing scholarships to more children for summer camps. Many families have been hit hard due to Covid this past year and the support you and the STA are providing is so appreciated!
Interest for learning and playing our sports continues to grow at amazing rates. We had our largest revenue producing year in the Center’s history in 2020 and that was after being completely closed for 9 full weeks. Let me say that again – We had our largest revenue producing year in the Center’s history in 2020 despite the pandemic.
We could not embrace this type of growth without the strong and dedicated staff we have. Marcy has been such a strong Business Dev. Director and Sean continues to receive rave reviews for his teaching skills and on-court presence! Kathy Fader has done such a great job in H.R. and Accounting for CS4L. We recently promoted Karen Connell, long-time tennis coach here, to our Wellness Coordinator. We are talking with several community partners about working with us and Karen to take Routt County from its current status of being the fifth Healthiest County in the U.S. to #1! And then there is my hard-working husband Bill, Director of Operations for CS4L! We all appreciate the long hours Bill puts in on and off the court.
Our fun-loving staff are what help make our ‘typical summer week-day’ a total success! On any given Monday – Thursday, we can easily see 90 + youth who attend sessions between 2.5 – 8 hours per day. In addition to all those children and teenagers, we often have 130-150 adults playing at the facility.
The pandemic has caused a huge influx of new residents in Steamboat! We’ve added 1226 new customers in our Center’s database since Jan 1, 2021. We just hired 13 college and high school age summer staff. We love the new energy they bring to the Center!
So let me turn now to talk about our exciting vision of becoming a popular world-known public tennis and pickleball facility! Our regional and even national visibility is really increasing – we recently had a French Open Tennis Champion, Luke Jensen, here doing tennis camps and this summer we will have the #1 Pickleball Player in the World, Ben Johns, here conducting pickleball camps! Our Rare Air Adult tennis camp grew from 32 to 42 players and is now sold out. We expect our Rare Air Junior camp to be the same. The Steamboat Classic pickleball tournament is returning and has sold out with 299 participants. Our largest tennis tournament, the Alpine Bank NTRP, doesn’t take place until the end of July but it’s already full and registration must close early. I think you’ll agree with me that the Center’s future is very bright!
To protect and care for this facility and the huge demand we have seen for years now, it takes a village! We cannot say strongly enough how much we appreciate all of you for being a major part of this village! I say that on behalf of Court Sports 4 Life, of course, but I hope you know that Bill and I personally appreciate your vote of confidence in us.
Now, let me turn it over to the chairman of the CS4L board, Moz Modzelewski, to tell you more about the new indoor pickleball expansion.
As Loretta said, the Court Sports for Life Foundation (or CS4L, for short) has been working now for 18 months to develop plans and fundraise to expand and improve this beautiful facility we all love. Please bear with me as I give you a quick history of the evolution of our plans before I talk about where we are now.
Our design guidelines from the very start – and which have not changed – are to add an indoor pickleball facility with 12 courts, continue to have 8 outdoor pickleball courts, preserve (and improve) 6 outdoor tennis courts, return the existing tennis structure to full time tennis use in the winter, improve traffic flow, and increase parking.
Plan A was to locate the Pickleball Center at the north end of the campus, near the Meadows Parking Lot. Here’s our first rendering and one of the most appealing aspects was that we wouldn’t have to touch 6 of the existing tennis courts. However, Plan A did have some serious issues – we could only keep 6 of the 8 outdoor pickleball courts, the tennis courts that wouldn’t be touched were ones in the worst shape, and we worried about traffic safety with the entrances so close together and parents picking up kids along the driveway.
So Plan B – or really, it was more like Plan F – was to situate a north-south Pickleball Building alongside Pine Grove Road. It had huge advantages in allowing 8 outdoor pickleball courts and separating the entrances, but it would also require rebuilding the Swiggart and Carol Baily courts so there would be two courts where each of those are now. Still, we loved that plan and our Building Committee Chair Jeff Temple worked with our architects, engineers, surveyors, and owner’s rep to send out RFPs to five general contractors.
That was in March of this year. As you may have read in the Center’s weekly eNewsletter, the bids that came back were much higher, about 50% higher, than the cost we estimated 18 months ago based on a similar construction project in Denver. Steel costs had tripled, lumber costs had quadrupled, Steamboat construction costs are high, and labor is scarce. Plus, the City has tightened its requirements for storm water management, which affects our site prep and parking lot design. Those last two things alone were projected to cost us $2 million!
Jeff has been spearheading the Herculean task of “value-engineering” the heck out of that design (I’m pretty confident that the stone hearth fireplace in the gathering area is not going to happen), but we’ve come to the realization that either we have to use a different technology for the building, phase the construction, or delay the entire project. Believe me, nobody wants this to be a ten-year project!
The good news is that we think a sprung fabric structure like the current Tennis Center (but with additional attention to snow removal) could significantly reduce the price tag. Furthermore, moving to an east-west building at the south end near the parking lot would further reduce site prep costs, but might also increase storm water management costs. I wish I could tell you today that we can do this project for the original estimate of $6 million but I can tell you that we’re confident we can do this for roughly $7 million. Nobody is happy with the higher price tag, but it is the new reality.
But here’s the fine print – we will need City Council approval for this new approach. Everyone in Steamboat is amazed at how far we’ve gotten in so short a time but once we have firmer plans, we need to respect the process and get public comment, present to Parks & Rec, then present to City Council. Our ideal schedule is to start that process this summer, get approvals by year-end, rebuild the outdoor tennis courts next spring, and break ground on the Pickleball Center by late Summer 2022. If all goes well, we would be playing pickleball in a dedicated indoor building in the Fall of 2023.
If you have any questions, I’ll be here after this presentation for as long as necessary.
Of course, to make this dream a reality, the Capital Campaign Committee is working hard to raise the funds we’ll need to be ready to start construction when we get all our approvals. Let me turn it over now to Becky Lamb, who chairs the Capital Campaign Committee.
I would like to introduce the members of the Capital Campaign Committee. Loretta Conway, our Executive Director for the Tennis and Pickleball Center. Debbie Modzelewski, our organizer extraordinaire of all things printed, saved, composed and author of the weekly newsletter that is emailed to 3800 patrons of the Tennis and Pickleball Center; Jan Sisco, a marketing expert; and Carol Breslau, a new addition to our board, who comes to us from a career in Development. From a personal perspective I have been fundraising for 40 years in Steamboat, including campaigns for the SSWSC and the OTHS. I would also like to recognize the members of the SSPA, and the Steamboat Tennis Association who have participated 100% in the fund-raising campaign.
Recognizing our Legacy Leaders, those who have committed $10,000 or more to the CS4L campaign, is both a honor and a privilege. We currently have 36 individuals and families and 8 businesses who have pledged $10,000 or more. We have posted the list of these donors and hope that you will personally thank these individuals and businesses.
Moz has updated you on the numbers for our project. As we know, the cost of everything has spiraled upward. Our original expectation was to complete this project for 6 million dollars. Bids came in over $10 million. With valued engineering our 6-million-dollar original cost may be within reach. Our committee is not daunted. We have raised 1.7 million dollars and many of those came during the uncertainty of Covid. Our priority is to make this campus world class, and even more importantly to serve everyone in NW Colorado and beyond through access and affordability.
There are many exciting possibilities for sponsorship in the works, including a presenting sponsorship for 1 million dollars. The individual or business who is the presenting sponsor will have their business name or family name at the entrance of the new pickleball center permanently.
We recently had a highly successful meeting with a foundation representative. He was impressed with the mission of the center, and the numerous programs for the under-resourced. Other grantors are poised to help when we reach the 2-million-dollar mark, which will be the required funds in place for them to participate.
I would like to conclude with two important things to remember. Our campaign is 2 pronged. The tennis and pickleball communities are equally important, and resurfacing, reconfiguring the campus, and building the new pickleball center are equally paramount. Secondly, we still need support. If you have pledged or contributed and would consider an additional pledge, we would be enormously grateful. If you know of a foundation, business or individual that we could approach for help, we will welcome your input. It takes a village, and we are confident that OUR village is incredibly special. Thank you all for your continuing support and thank you for attending.