How many in cold states would join a indoor court if price and availability was right

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mick3391, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    It's just a idea I'm thinking of. We have a handful of indoor courts here in WA State, yet it's $30.00 per hour, and you have to get on a waiting list to play. 3 hours a week doesn't cut it for me, so we play outside when possible.

    I'm wondering if you had an option to join, like a fitness membership, something like $50.00 a month to join a indoor tennis center, open 24/7?

    It just seems like an opportunity, I'm know there are tons of players hibernating for the winter, which is sad, you can't play unless you are rich or die hard willing to go out into the cold and wetness.
     
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  2. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    I've never run the math, but $50/month sounds too cheap for indoor courts.
     
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  3. librarysteg

    librarysteg Hall of Fame

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    I'm in central, IL. We have an indoor club here, but it's too rich for my blood. There's a $300+ annual fee that just gets you in the door. Then you have to pay $40+ an hour for courts. Our tennis options aren't great during the outdoor months either because the courts in town are in horrible condition. We have a ton of them, but they haven't been properly maintained.
     
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  4. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Between membership fees, league fees, and other hitting sessions, I spend about $1300-1400 a year on tennis. It's a big expense but it's something I love. It is not a cheap pursuit here on LI. I'm not rich..my combined income with my wife puts me in the upper middle class in most of the country, but just middle class on LI.

    Even with those high fees, I know the club struggles to turn a profit, which explains why the courts aren't well maintained. If somebody spills gatorade on them it takes forever to get cleaned up. The courts are quite worn and thus slick and fast.

    Utility costs and property taxes are probably their biggest expenses. Most facilities around this area cost pretty much the same.
     
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  5. 1980

    1980 New User

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    It would probably cost quite a bit to build enough courts to facilitate the amount of people that would want to join at such a low rate. Even if you did just eight or ten courts, you are looking at something like $25,000 to $60,000 dollars per court plus the building. If you got bubble domes you would have to take them down for severe weather a couple of times a year and they are pretty expensive to re-inflate. So I would say you would be looking at around a million or more to open something like this and then you've got the overhead of lights, ball machines, staff, etc... You would have to sell a serious number of memberships at $50 dollars a month to pull it off. If you went much smaller scale maybe you could do it. Two courts perhaps, but then not enough courts for members might become an issue and you have members wondering if the $50 a month is actually worth it if they have a hard time getting court availability. Its an interesting idea though. It seems like you would have to put some serious thought into the profit and loss side of things though.
     
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  6. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Well of course I would do it if the price is right. The phrase "price is right" pretty implies that you would at that price. But unfortunately for me the price is not right so I just bundle up and play outside with all of the other die hards.
     
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  7. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Thanks. Yea it wouldn't be that much per court, I have friend who can do it for a fraction of that, but I do get your point. It would have to be a ton of memberships. I'd lease the building, but anyways looking to see IF OTHERS WOULD JOIN.

    I know the problem, I'm going through it, for those up and down, I know the issue and current expense, the question is "Would you join if there were indoor courts, say 3 hour max per day, play anytime of the day or night, WOULD YOU JOIN.

    I'd JUMP on that opportunity, but I can't use myself as an example.
     
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  8. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    But who plays at what hours? Once people can't get on the courts unless it 2Am, no more memberships.
     
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  9. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    there are some abandoned factories around the area... makes you wonder if numbers make sense to turn them into indoor courts....

    indoor tennis is not a very profitable model.... takes too much space.. lately been visiting this indoor rock climbing place... it's about the size of 1 tennis court, but you can have 2 dozen people climbing at the same time... family of 4, between entry fees, equipment rental, runs about $60 for 2 hours, so you are talking about a 'profit density' at least 6 times higher than a tennis court... start up cost is pretty high though... 250k ish.

    tennis outdoors aint bad above 20F.. at 30F on a sunny day with no wind you end up playing in T shirts.... usually a thick layer plus a hat is enough... worst case some gloves.... it's just a matter of getting used to it.

    people who go dormant are sissies... the same kind of people who never go to the beach after 9/1 or before 5/30 ... something about the official summer... no idea who gets to decide when a season is official lol.
     
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  10. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    What I was thinking, get a bargain on a huge abandoned warehouse, get my contractor friends to install them for a song, but yea of course the math has to make sense.

    I agree those who don't play outside in the cold are sissies, but heh it's 2013 and most are. That being said, you should see Summer, courts are filled to the brim, high schools and Junior highs have 25+ kids trying out for the team, I would think they would want to practice throughout the year.

    "Water Tennis", how I call it, is not too cool, the balls get wet and slow way down.

    I just look at these health clubs, they sign up tons of people. And I would play at 2am, are you kidding, we'd wait and play all night.
     
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  11. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    water tennis - good for volleys...

    2am tennis - been there done that... actually in an indoor bubble where a friend gets access for free after 10pm.... feels like a zombie the next day though lol.

    i think the cheepo indoor courts may have a market as big as those who go play for $25 on a muni golf course.... you will probably get customers in retired folks, students, and mid/low income people.

    paying $40/hour for a couple of hours is not cheap, but ain't too outrageous if you consider that being a pretty normal green fee for 18 holes.
     
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  12. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Indoor tennis is a tough sell. It's just too expensive. The only indoor tennis I can afford is a group clinic.
     
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  13. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    20F? Not my idea of fun. Of course, when it's 30F here in NY it's usually accompanied by a 10MPH wind, which starts to make the whole experience rather unpleasant.

    Over 40F and no wind I'll consider playing outside. Other than that, I'm glad to play indoors.
     
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  14. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Hall of Fame

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    Our club is $300/yr for membership and then $7 an hour per person for court time (six courts.) I can't imagine any club being able to be able to charge $50/mo for members. It takes a lot of money to heat those places.

    I end up with a monthly bill of around $34 just to play in league and I paid another $90 to contract a court for Saturday and Sunday mornings (two hours each day) with a group for six months. That was a great deal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
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  15. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    300 + 7 is cheap!!

    20F, yeah, it's cold just THINKING about it.... but once you go try it... it's not bad.... of course, this is recommended for people who can sustain rallies and keep intensity high.

    10 mph is not wind.
     
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  16. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Here in the south of Ireland, if its not freezing, its windy, if it isn't windy, its raining, and if its sunny, you are on holiday in another country! I would join any indoor tennis club within 35 miles of where I live straight away...Somebody build one please!
     
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  17. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    I've heard about the existence of a gigantic, free club where one can play tennis year round. I believe it's called California... :)
     
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  18. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    FL, GA, TX a lot cheaper though.
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    I think pretty much every tennis player would join if the price and availability was right. Tennis is not a huge moneymaker compared to say setting up a spa at a resort. So there is not a lot of financial incentive to build an expensive indoor tennis facility and club. If one is built it probably is going to be on the high end side with revenues being made in additional areas besides tennis.
     
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  20. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I would love an indoor tennis court even though i live in california haha
     
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  21. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Billie Jean King National Tennis Center early bird special - $22/hr. Beautiful indoor courts. But more often than not, I prefer playing polar bear tennis at my local park. I can handle 30 degrees.
     
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  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

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    I would pay the typical indoor fees/membership IF I have access to red clay and grass.

    I'm not paying for a surface I can find for free.

    10mph is not wind, it's like a slight breeze. And once you start playing and get into your match, you don't even feel it.

    15mph and above is when balls start dancing in the air.
     
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  23. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    You're funny:) Yea, think of your game, if you were up here, would you pay $30 a throw for one hour? What can be accomplished in one hour?

    I don't know if I'm just a over trainer, well just trying to get a jist for what others think, in Cali we, and I did once, play Tennis Christmas day, up here that's not even a thought, again players go into hiberation, that is unless they are rich. I'm not "Rich", I can afford indoor, but what a waste! And like you say great training for my son to play in such adverse conditions, I mean we've played "Water Tennis", "Ice Tennis", and "Fog Tennis"! Most won't
     
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  24. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    You are missing the point Govnor, WOULD YOU PLAY INDOORS IF YOU HAD SAY A $50.00 A MONTH MEMBERSHIP, UNLIMITED PLAY?
     
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  25. mlocke1322

    mlocke1322 Rookie

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    Here in Boise, our largest local club is $79 a month for a single membership and then indoor court fees max out at $16.50 an hour.
     
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  26. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    What state? See you have no problem with that setup, which is my point. If we can get the cost to where many can play without breaking the bank, it could be worth it.

    I thought about putting a weight room in as well so people can justify it, "Heh, we pay $50 a month for 24 hour fitness, why not just join this AND get Tennis for us/our child"
     
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  27. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Thank you my fellow Irish brother! I want to emigrate there by the way, please PM me, I would like to talk to you.
     
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  28. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Don't rub it in, that's where I'm from!
     
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  29. President

    President Legend

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    My club offers courts for $15-20 an hour and no joining fee, you are being ripped off.
     
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  30. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Thanks, but try to figure out what I'm asking. In the Summer, COURTS ARE FILLED, not just with recreational players but kids trying to improve, guys moving up the ladder. In the Winter you could camp out on a tennis court, no one is there, so there is a discrepancy, that is THERE ARE THOSE WHO WILL PLAY ALL THE TIME, yet, WON'T BECAUSE OF COSTS.

    This means opportunity, find a need and fill it. We play outside, but would prefer inside aside from the cost for extremelly limited time
     
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  31. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Do you know if they have a profitable venture? Best test, have they been there for awhile?
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In DC Metro, there is just such a place. Take a warehouse. Build four indoor hardcourts, a lounge, restrooms. Here's what you get:

    [​IMG]

    The web site says they charge $120/family annual dues, plus court time) $20-$37 for non-members depending on day of week and time.

    The interior is interesting. Lighting is very good, blue hard courts in good condition. The biggest downside is that the roof is square, on account of how it is a warehouse. This means it is hard to lob well, as the natural arc of a lob will make the ball bounce off of huge steel girders. The other problem is that there is no padding between the cinderblock walls and the curtains that drape along the side. I have seen people chase a shot and crash into the curtain on the assumption it is padded. It is not.

    I kind of like the place. Most of my teammates do not. Different strokes, I guess.
     
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  33. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Professional

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    I would pay $50 in a heartbeat. I live in Ohio and the going rates are $250ish for a membership then you pay anywhere between $22 (early bird) to $36/hour to actually play! They also offer an unlimited play option for between $75-$85 additional per month.

    The one issue with your idea I have is that my area you can still play outdoors 9 or 10 out of 12 months. So many opt out of paying to play indoors.

    I've actually looked into renting an abandoned warehouse to turn into a mixed use activity center for lots of sports. The issue with putting tennis courts in is a space vs. $$$ return on that space. Basketball courts & soccer field accommodate lots more people/$$$. I would love to run the numbers on having 4 indoor courts with your base charge though out of curiosity.
     
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  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I should mention what indoor tennis costs here during high season:

    Nearby county facility, hard courts: $43/hour prime time, $35/hour off time.

    Farther away county facility, hard courts: $35/hour prime time, $27/hour off time.

    Nice private tennis club anyone can join: $275 initiation fee, $205/month plus court time purchased at $18-$28 depending on time/day

    I simply cannot pay that kind of monthly fee just for the privilege of buying court time. I take my chances with the county courts.

    Fortunately, anyone can take lessons with a pro at the private tennis club, so that is what I do. Rather than pay a monthly fee just to belong, I use my tennis budget to buy private lessons.
     
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  35. mlocke1322

    mlocke1322 Rookie

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    Mick3391,

    Facility in Boise is a 23 court facility that has been open since 1967. Has slowly expanded over the years to the current layout of 11 outdoor and 12 indoor courts. Also has a pool and small fitness center included in membership. They have membership split into stock holding and non-transferable. Stock holders get votes on club issues and can also sell stock. Club limits # of stock and NT memberships available. They have 9 teaching pros on staff offering various clinics and lessons. In the indoor season, they have open court time as well as scheduled block times which they hold a lottery for. They also started a resurfacing project on their first 5 outdoor courts before winter hit. They are transitioning those 5 courts from asphalt to post tension concrete and will finish resurfacing the courts in the spring. Cost of the project according to their meeting minutes is $250,000.
     
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  36. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Cool, you get the question, the guy above you doesn't, annual fee PLUS COURT TIME, that's the whole point.

    I was thinking of 10-15 courts, maybe even some clay to spicen up the offer. I don't know, just in my area I can see this place filled.
     
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  37. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Very cool, thank you for the information. We have our tennis freaks up here but they have no place to play.

    That $250k figure is what they pay retail, I mean I can do a retail remodeling job for $250k, but if I did it myself it would be for example $80-$90K.

    See, I've always done business', but I want something and have the luxury of doing something I LOVE, and also to HELP, I feel sorry for these kids who either don't have the money or feel like they are wasting it.

    So I really want it, adding a bar, weight room, pro shop, only adds to the appeal.
     
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  38. TCF

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  39. mlocke1322

    mlocke1322 Rookie

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    Totally agree. In my position, court time (especially for juniors) is very hard to secure. We would love to have the resources for our own facility. This local club is not what I would define as incredibly kid friendly. It has an older membership base and struggles with bringing in kids and families new to tennis. Our growth in participation has been fantastic over the last couple years considering the size and geography of our market but the potential to make tennis more accessible is still largely untapped.
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The economics must indeed be tricky.

    If I joined a facility, I would play almost exclusively during the day. But the costs are too high. So the facility's courts sit empty every weekday afternoon, even though I would happily pay to use them.

    But if the facility let non-members come in and buy court time without joining, no one would join.

    I have wondered whether they could offer a discounted off-peak membership for people like me (11 am to 2 pm). I have a feeling that so many people would be interested that it would cannibalize the revenue currently brought in with full-fare memberships.
     
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  41. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Great info, thanks. Yea, I like deals where you have huge margins, I just thought that even if this made a smaller profit, it would be something I enjoy, very important in business.

    I thought about the other 5 or so indoor courts, once they got wind of me they'd probably lower their prices.

    I always make the mistake of thinking that how I would react is how others would, for example if I knew the courts would be free at 11pm, I'd be there, but most are not like that.

    I have to think this through, don't you think it's a good idea to put in a weight room, a good one, so people can say "Heh, we are paying X per month anyways to work out, why not get our kid into Tennis as well"?
     
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  42. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    My club is $250 year just to join. Then $37.50 per hour for a court. They have numerous leagues, lessons, tournaments, mixers.....and still are losing money.
     
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  43. TCF

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  44. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I pay a couple 100 a year membership, and $28 an hour prime time and $16 an hour non prime. Between me and my wife we probably drop around $5000 a year on court fees. That is what it takes to play all year when you live in Illinois.

    I much prefer outside, but much below 50 degrees and the ball does not bounce right. So it is costly to play a lot indoors, but it sure makes the winter a lot more tolerable. Plus I play nearly 5 days a week all year long, so my 1 year of tennis is like most players 2 years.
     
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  45. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I live in Bellevue, WA and have a membership at one of the fancier clubs in the area.

    It is about $1500 to join and $85/month to play. But you don't have to pay for additional court time and you can even reserve a ball machine for free. Of course the prime times are pretty busy, but courts are wide open after 8PM and weekends are accessible.

    That really is not much more than what you are suggesting and would be a lot cheaper than starting your own club. You should just try to find a club that is within your price range.
     
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  46. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Here in Oregon we are screwed. Too much demand and not enough space, and zero clubs in the area I'm in. Roseburg is the exception, great club cheap, 6 indoor courts I think under $100 per month for unlimited use. We need more places like that.
     
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  47. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I live in Newport Hills, Bellevue, a tad south of you, what a cooincedence!

    Yea, from the input I've had it doesn't seem feasable for my needs, my needs are SOLID profit. I mean most won't pay $1500.00 up front, but overall I'm getting negative on the idea.

    Heh, we are neighbors, let me know when you want to hit! You can tell all of my critics how incredible player I am!!!!!!
     
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  48. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    OK, how about a place with hot chicks with cleavage serving drinks? That would sell in this immoral society!
     
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  49. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    You should make them the same color as the WTF courts. That'd be sick.
     
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  50. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Pay less than that for walk-on play. Average 6-12 hrs/week. 75 yo told me he played 3x yesterday for 4 1/2 hrs of dubs. Woulda played more but it was tapioca pudding nite at the home.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
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