Tennis group seeks funds to cover El Jebel courts for expanded play
IF YOU GO
What: Ad-In Tennis fundraiser
For: Indoor facility at El Jebel
Where: St. Regis Hotel Aspen
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Price: $75 single, $100 double
The promoters of an indoor tennis facility at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel have raised about half of their $1.1 million goal and hope to make a dent in the remainder this summer.
Advantage Indoor Tennis, also known as Ad-In Tennis Group, wants to raise all the funds needed to cover the four existing, outdoor public courts at Crown Mountain Park. The funds will be turned over to the park and recreation district, which will build, maintain and operate the facility.
The organization is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday at the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, tennis lessons and games, interactive Wimbledon photos and a raffle for prizes. Tickets are $75 for individuals and $100 for two.
Dianna CordovaElliott, president of Ad-In Tennis, said tennis players from Aspen to Glenwood Springs support the idea because it would be the first public facility in the Roaring Fork Valley available for use year-round.
Once the funds are raised, the organization will turn them over to Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District for construction of the facility. Fees charged for the courts will cover operations and maintenance, according to Ted Bristol, president of Crown Mountain’s board of directors and also a key player in Ad-In Tennis. No taxpayer funds will be used to build or run the indoor tennis facility, he said, and no tax hikes will be sought.
The proponents contend that the facility will make enough money from fees that it will be in the black in the first year. The pro forma was developed after consulting operators of other tennis facility in the region, Bristol said.
It will cost an estimated $123,000 per year to staff and equip the building and pay for utilities. Solar photovoltaic panels on the building and LED lights on the interior will help reduce energy consumption, Bristol said.
The El Jebel courts will be open seven days per week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The fee will be $24 per court during winter and $20 per reserved court during summer. Walk-in play will be allowed for no charge during summers when a court isn’t reserved.
CordovaElliott said the only concern Ad-In has encountered was over summer conditions. “The question we had early on was, “Is this one that will be closed all the time?’” she said.
The facility will be constructed with huge garage doors on the east and west sides that can be opened during good weather, Bristol said. The walls on the north and south will be structural and unable to be raised. The facility will be closed and heated during cold weather.
The steel building will be 250 feet long by 180 feet wide, Bristol said. That makes it about 42,000 square feet. Eagle County government has already approved the facility and issued a preliminary building permit.
CordovaElliott said the facility would be a great addition for adults but also bolster kids’ after-school programs.
Bristol said he started working on the indoor facility eight years ago. “People said, ‘It will take you 10 years.’ I said, ‘Are you crazy?’” he said.
Once Ad-In raises $800,000, it will proceed with engineering and architectural work, Bristol said. Much of the money raised thus far has come from one pledge.
“I have a heavy-hitter,” Bristol said.
None of the money collected for the facility will be spent on the fundraiser, according to Bristol. He said Eric and Summer Berg of Portfolio Aspen Properties are sponsoring the fundraiser.
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