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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hendersonville Gym Search Update

Went searching for a gym...never came back...

For those that missed the email update, a copy is below.

To: The Pickleball Community of Hendersonville and surrounding area

Since I have been getting questions about the search for a new gym, I guess it is time for a second update. Those who received the first update on January 8 will recall that Hendersonville Racquet Club provided one option. Last week, I made contact with 4 more gyms. All but one are considering their options but have not yet responded with a final decision. The following is an update on each.

Hendersonville Boys and Girls Club
I had hopes that a win/win agreement could be reached based on the experience with the Brevard B&G Club and the schedule of the local club that shows gym availability until 3:00 pm each weekday. The initial response was to offer their standard usage contract for outside groups. It was a deal that would not work for us as it included terms like children-predominant representation, insurance, court taping, and $100 per hour rent, among others.

I went back to them with a more complete statement of our goals and asked if there were exceptions to the standard deal. The bottom line is that they will consider exceptions but they have must be approved by the executive committee. I asked that this be pursued as an option. There will not be a quick answer, though.

I am pretty sure that some of the issues will remain but I will address those when necessary. There remains a big problem that cannot be overcome - the gym is unavailable when school is not in session. That means many days will be unavailable for play, including the entire summer break, spring break, Christmas break, etc.

Lelia Patterson Center
I had low expectations of success with LPC given their history and gym schedule showing little consistent availability. However, they seemed anxious to grow their attendance, albeit without being dominated by pickleball. They are considering revamping their gym schedules and possibly offering a pickleball membership. They will be holding internal meetings and will advise me of their proposal when done.

One area that looks particularly promising is offering an evening play schedule. I recognize that this has little interest to the old Crosswalk group, but it will be of interest to those who work during the day and cannot attend existing facilities that are open only until 5:00 pm.

The lead of the WNC Pickleball Club at Xcel and I have crossed paths only once in the past 3 weeks. Last Friday, I asked him to consider opening courts for play on Tuesday and Thursday. That schedule would allow use of existing courts without additional rent (to Xcel) on days when club membership has low attendance. Adding more courts for play would likely require a monthly commitment of $500 (or 20 players at $25 per month). My survey indicated that level would be nearly impossible to attain. My Tuesday/Thursday proposal remains under consideration.

GE Plant
I called the plant and they have only an automated answering service. I left a message but have not yet received a return call. This likely means no interest but I will stop and visit with a real person some day when I get a chance. If someone else has a contact there, feel free to initiate the discussion yourself.

As previously discussed, there are other gyms in the area. These include Bonclarken, camps, Kanuga Conference Center, and maybe others. I don't view these as likely candidates and have no plans to pursue them. If others want to do so and find a mutual interest with their management, I would be happy to help with any follow-up discussions.

Sorry I don't have better news yet. Trust me, you'll be the first to know.

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