New tennis and pickleball courts have officially reopened at a new location in Sun Peaks.
The courts were relocated this summer from outside the Sun Peaks Centre because Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) is building a new playground and plaza. Four courts can be found to the east of parking lot five at Mt. Morrisey, with the entrances behind the school portables. Two of the courts are for pickleball and two are for tennis. While final work on fencing is wrapping up, the courts are open for play from sunrise until sunset.
Timmy Wilkinson co-owns a condo in Sun Peaks, and said what the new location lacks in convenience, it makes up for in aesthetic.
“It’s tough because you love the old location where it was such a convenience along the route of everything that’s going on, but you can’t beat the new tennis courts as far as the aesthetics,” Wilkinson said. “It takes you out of the mainstream and puts you into a natural backdrop.”
SPMRM Mayor Al Raine told SPIN the courts benefit visitors and residents alike.
“We all benefit as residents by the numerous facilities that are here for visitors,” Raine said.
The original courts were built by Sun Peaks Resort LLP in the early 2000s and were used as a skating rink during the winter before a permanent rink was built, according to Raine. The courts were sloped inward with a drain at the centre.
The new courts will be specific to tennis and pickleball, improving the play onsite.
While there isn’t a facility for renting equipment, players can bring their tennis equipment. Pickleball rackets and balls are at the courts.
Wilkinson is looking forward to more signage directing people to the courts, which aren’t obviously found near parking lot 5 unless you follow the tell-tale sound of pickleball players.
Right now, the area doesn’t have lighting. SPMRM might install light stands this winter, but night play will take a few years as the area has no power.
The four courts should meet the current needs of visitors and resident volumes for the foreseeable future, Raine said.
“I think it’s going to be another 20 years before any expansion is needed,” Raine explained.
The budget for the infrastructure was $245,000
Pickleball has soared in popularity since 2021, with Pickleball BC membership rising from 8,600 in 2021 to over 13,000 by December 2022.
While there have been reports about the sound of pickleball dividing communities, the new courts are well away from housing and nestled in sound-reducing trees for homeowners’ and players’ enjoyment alike.
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