Collier County is taking its pickleball courts up a notch, with the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships less than a month away. The county was previously approved to resurface 40 courts, but now they are asking to resurface 20 more.
Pickleball is a sport unlike any other. “Any people who have had a little bit of experience with tennis, or badminton or ping pong, even racquetball, like literally any racquet sport. They already have a real advantage,” said Pickleball Pete,
“Once you start, it’s something you don’t want to stop,” said Thomas Millman.
At the East Naples Community Park courts, there is team spirit. “They’re all jealous of my mad pickleball skills,” said Pete, and inclusivity. “There’s an 80-year-old out here that, like, is always beating younger players.”
According to the county, 60 courts need resurfacing. In November, county commissioners approved a motion to resurface 40 pickleball courts at the park within a budget of $600,000.
Now, there is a push to resurface 20 more while still staying within that budget.
WINK News asked the pros if it was a good idea, and it was the one thing they could all agree upon.
“Pickleball courts get worn down pretty quick as much as these are being used. So they have to be resurfaced regularly,” said Pat McAllister.
“It’s slipping a lot. A lot of time, the water can come down, when it’s raining and comes right through, just over there come kind of pull this down, it’s really easy to slip on,” said Millman.
“For the open, it’s very important to have the show, like all the courts, in like top shape. We don’t want any of the pros or the professionals to complain. I think it’s really a good investment because it’s going to draw on a lot of people, give us a lot of credibility here in Naples and build our community, our pickleball community,” said David Seligman.
The Tourist Development Council will discuss resurfacing the additional 20 courts at their meeting Monday.