The private tennis club that has operated in the tennis bubbles for 20 years will become the Evergreen Sports Center public tennis center as of Feb. 21, under the ownership of real estate investor Brett Champine.
Last year, Champine abandoned his plan to take down the tennis bubbles and build an Office Depot and small retail center on the Lewis Ridge property.
Champine had just purchased the property when Office Depot backed out of the deal, leaving him as owner of a tennis club with no experience with tennis. Champine doesn’t even play tennis, and grew up with the idea that tennis courts were for roller hockey.
He soon discovered that under a private-membership model, tennis was losing money in Evergreen. So Champine asked himself, “How come tennis isn’t making it? Maybe it’s because there aren’t enough members.” Champine called a public tennis center in South Jeffco, and the director said it was 95 percent full for the next eight months.
“That’s what gave me the idea,” Champine said.
“The only way to keep tennis going is to open it up to the public,” said Champine, an insurance agent with American Family in Evergreen.
Longtime tennis director Adrian Games is leaving for a new job at the Meadows Swim and Tennis Club in Boulder. His last day in Evergreen will be Feb. 20. Games said he was leaving Evergreen reluctantly but that he wants something with more job security.
“I have a family, and uncertainty is not a good component to stability. Not knowing the fate of the facility, amount of court availability and what will ultimately happen to the land is too much of a risk for a family of five,” Games said.
Games plans to sell his house in Evergreen but keep the property he purchased last year near the fire station off County Road 65 for a future tennis club. He has lived in Evergreen for six years.
“This community will always hold a special place in our hearts. I truly believe there is much left to this story and a few more chapters left to the ultimate fate of year-round tennis in Evergreen,” Games said.
The club has about 150 members who pay $120 a month to belong and about $22 an hour for indoor court time.
Under the new policy, anyone can purchase indoor court time for $38 an hour during peak time and $32 for non-peak time. Outside courts are $18 and $14 an hour.
Anyone can join a tennis league for $75 for about 10 weeks of competition.
Existing members who have longstanding court times will have the opportunity to keep their reservations, Champine said.
Eventually, Champine hopes to open part of one of the bubbles for indoor practice for other sports, such as baseball, soccer and lacrosse.
Contact Vicky Gits at firstname.lastname@example.org.