Letter to the editor: Silverthorne’s master recreation plan should include pickleball | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Silverthorne’s master recreation plan should include pickleball

Linda Bush

I urge Summit Daily News readers to support pickleball — America’s fastest-growing sport — within Silverthorne’s master recreation plan. Combining elements of tennis, badminton and pingpong, pickleball is very affordable, easy to learn, and forgiving of age and physical limitations. K-12 schools now teach it. Seniors find in it new joy and new friends. Many play almost daily. Our local, 350-member club grows 20% annually. Summit vacationers increasingly seek to play pickleball here.

Yet, Summit County, alone among Colorado’s top eight counties for tourism, has no dedicated pickleball courts. Rather, 12 of the 36 public tennis courts are equipped for temporary pickleball use. Silverthorne, Dillon, Breck and Frisco each schedule pickleball drop-in two or three days a week.

There are problems. Temporary nets sag even when new, wear out fast (volunteers patch and mend them) and need assembly/takedown, which baffles some. Pickleball court lines, painted in colors chosen to minimally disrupt tennis, can’t always be seen. Drop-in sessions are severely overcrowded, typically attracting three times the capacity (50-plus players for 16 slots). Constant location changes, depending on which facility schedules pickleball on any particular day, confuse everyone.

Meanwhile, Colorado towns from Grand Junction to Colorado Springs, Fort Collins to Canon City have built 144-plus dedicated pickleball courts. Vail, Steamboat Springs and others host tournaments drawing hundreds of out-of-town players, including pros.  

A quick and economical solution would be to convert Trent Park’s tennis courts — seldom used by tennis players given the superb courts nearby at Rainbow Park — to six permanent pickleball courts. The club has offered substantial fundraising. Locals and visitors could then enjoy a quality, healthful recreation experience, anytime of day, every day.  

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