This letter is in response to Melissa Knapp-Johansson’s letter last week saying “Pickleball, disc frisbee, nice to have but not critical and not revenue generating,” one of her reasons for not supporting funding for courts via the potential passage of Measure V.
I would like to approach her comments from two factions. My background as a Recreation Administration (B.A.) CSU Chico grad (1979) and former employee of Mount Shasta Parks and Rec District (1975-77) and as an avid 62 yr old pickleball player. The dire need for a facelift and million dollar sewer system at the City Park is obvious and the proposed building of dedicated pickleball courts which can be/will be revenue-producing, deserves a response.
Pickleball is multi-generational and though the bulk of players are over 55, the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA.org) has a facts download on their website. Allow me to say that when your local Mount Shasta Pickleball Club players travel to tournaments, we drop bucks for lodging, lunches and gas, to name a few. We are planning a fund-raising tournament in late summer in conjunction with the Siskiyou Community Resource Collaborative that will draw from Chico to Bend, Oregon and expect 70-80 players. Revenue-producing?? You bet! When we build dedicated courts, we can be a destination pickleball resort similar to the thousands across the globe (places2play.com). Now you can go to France, Jamaica, Florida, Germany for clinics and tournaments for a package deal. The USAPA magazine is loaded with options for vacations and improving skills. Twelve countries have joined the International Federation with a stack of applications. No small potatoes, right?
We envision local league/intramural play among the schools locally and with over 3 million USA players and growing, we want to be on the crest of the wave. New courts are being built on the average of every four days.
It's a great sport and has been a life-changer for me. I was a spectator at the 2018 Indian Wells Tennis Club National Championship Tournament last November and will inform you that over 2,200 players on 45 pickleball dedicated-courts for 9 days and over 20,000 spectators was a blast! Mount Shasta is a perfect place for year-round clinics, tournaments and just come up and get out of the valley heat to play. Our Club draws from Scott Valley, Redding, Red Bluff, and Ashland just for recreational play. In bad weather, we play and have lunch in McCloud, blessing the cafes with revenue. It's a wonderful life!
Regarding a use fee for our parks, that would entail fences and toll booth at each park. It may prohibit people from coming into something that has been free for the last century. That may end up costing more than six dollars a month per person.
Vote yes on Measure V as a great investment for both health, revenue and safety.
Just do it