Bubble has burst for Aspen tennis group | AspenTimes.com

Bubble has burst for Aspen tennis group

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Tennis enthusiasts who want to permanently cover the public courts at the Aspen Golf and Tennis Club were aced out by the City Council this week when they were told their plans would have to go through a formal land-use process.

Representatives from ACE-IT, along with Tim Anderson, the city’s recreation director, asked the council Tuesday if it would support indoor courts that would likely involve a bubble.

They were quickly shot down by Mayor Mick Ireland, who said the council can’t commit to what would have to be a future land-use application. He also questioned whether there would be public support for a permanent, covered structure at the entrance to town.

“I don’t know if you noticed but the community is not clamoring for new structures,” he said.

ACE-IT, comprised of local tennis players, said it would pay for the improvements. The group suggested that it would be easier to find private donors if the indoor courts were permanent.

Anderson told the council that he saw a lot of benefit to the city by allowing a permanent structure, including the gain of an additional tennis court and improvements to the golf facilities.

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But the council appeared to be more in favor of a temporary structure – a bubble over the courts for six months out of the year. And it would be easier to obtain because the ACE-IT group could get a temporary-use permit instead of having to go through a protracted land-use process, Anderson said.

“The message to me was ‘let’s walk rather than run,'” he said of the council’s direction. “The tennis community needs to show that indoor tennis is needed.”

Anderson said current estimates for a temporary cover and installation would be between $600,000 and $700,000.

Representatives from ACE-IT couldn’t be reached for comment. Anderson said Aug. 1 is the deadline to begin plans for covered courts this winter.

csack@aspentimes.com

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