Platform Tennis: Fun for the Whole Family
The $400 Annual Fee is a bargain to players who joined from neighboring private clubs, such as Lake Bluff's Amy Halstead, shown here testing out the courts with paddle pro Ray Murphy, a former managing partner of the Lake Bluff Bath & Tennis Club, which donated the courts to the park district. But the costs were unexpected by those less experienced in the sport--there also is a $256 program fee for team practice time. What many people don't realize is that Lake Bluff's popular public facilities get no help from Uncle Sam. "Lake Bluff property taxes do not go to the golf course, swimming pool or fitness center," said Dave Peterson, director of business and facility services for the LB Park District.
"The user fees keep the services operating year after year, and the same goes for paddle. We must collect membership fees to offset the operation costs and debt-service fees." It is possible to play paddle tennis in Lake Bluff without investing in a membership. The Park District offers weekly classes such as "fast paddle" for men, "shot of the week" for ladies, and two juniors' paddle classes. Prices range from $224 to $176 for residents of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff (fees are lower for paddle members and higher for non-residents).
Court rental costs $27 for residents and $36 for non-residents. Lake Bluff has attracted players from private clubs in Lake Forest, Libertyville, Bannockburn and other nearby suburbs. Ms. Halstead of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Paddle Tennis Association said Lake Bluff has Series 1 Men's, Series 1 Women's and Series 5 Men's teams. She said the club is hoping to field a women's intermediate (series 5) team in January, and would love to attract beginners to the sport as well. "Paddle is a very social game," said Mr. Peterson. "Once people start to play they realize that socializing with friends is a very important part of the sport." For more information, visit the paddle page on the The Performance Center's web site
Chicago Tribune Article