Pickleball courts and more planned for Pelican Bay Community Park in $6M renovation

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Twenty pickleball courts, two new clay tennis courts and a shaded pavilion are some of the amenities planned for a $6,000,000 renovation project at Pelican Bay Community Park.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, and Southwest Florida is one of the sport’s hottest spots.

“I’ve been playing for about 13 years, and I love it. Fell in love with the sport immediately,” said Suzin Cook, a North Naples resident.

Cook plays on tennis courts at Pelican Bay Community Park.

“Men play three days, women play three other days are mixed doubles. And the guys that run it have done a great job, you always know there’s going to be a game,” said Mark Pearlstein, a North Naples resident.

Although, pretty soon those who love pickleball will be able to play on the sport’s proper courts and can leave the tennis courts to tennis players.

Collier County commissioners approved the $6,000,000 renovation project for Pelican Bay. Other parts of the renovations include an extended parking lot, eight revamped clayed tennis courts and concessions.

“It’s amazing. We’re so excited. I mean, there’s days when we play, and there’s no parking, and you can’t park on the street. So that’s a problem. Getting new courts will be fantastic,” said Cook.

Not everyone was thrilled about the plans. Some people said pickleball shouldn’t come at the expense of other sports during the meeting.

“If you add these courts, forget softball and soccer, they can’t play at the same time. Softball will not be able to play because they’re going to hit right into the pickleball courts. This multi-purpose field, you can play two or three sports at the same time. If you add pickleball, which, again, I’m not against pickleball, you won’t have room here,” a person at the meeting said.

The Pelican Bay Foundation, in order to get the deal done, agreed to adjust its plan. They will still serve alcohol, but only at tournaments and special events. The goal is to begin construction in late Spring 2024.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.