BC PICKLEBALL GOES TO SNOWBIRD LAND

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A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO PICKLEBALL FROM CANADIANS IN THE USA

Recently, Rita and I took a holiday in the sun to celebrate her ” celebration of life ” after surviving a health issue for the past 18 months. Palm Springs as host of Lee Chadwick was the first stop for one week  where we found that by clicking on Palm Springs – pickleball on their website a whole list of places to play popped up even with an instructor –  listed for people to access. . Second we discovered Freedom Park , a lovely public facility in Palm Desert , next door to Ronald Reagan elementary school , which was in the process of being painted over with eight designated pickleball courts on two under-utilized  tennis courts ,-  .colours were beige on the outside and a strong blue on the courts themselves – see pix above.

This park was to host the California seniors games in the near future.  Pix of the courts being painted  and the final product are available  above. In addition we also helped teach new players at the first quieter pickleball program in the USA located next to the casino in Indio Cal.  We attended the tournament of two retirement centers next to the casino in Indio – 44 players ( max ) on four courts  run by a Canadian Doug Jouce. . Finally, in Palm Springs we visited the bankrupt Sonny Bonno tennis club which has been unused for ten years with 7 tennis courts and a restaurant – club house which could convert to 28 pickleball courts and a destination – tournament place for a group with deep pockets. We look forward to this happening on next visit. The Palm springs  People could make money on this facility just with the Canadians going to Palm springs and neighbouring communities.

Finally , in Palm springs itself we found the best deal in California. Every Thursday , all day, the seniors line up at  senior center which is located in a lovely park which seems under-utilized, and they collect all the vegetables they can handle in shopping bags – probably enough to last the whole week. The farmers donate the produce and the seniors are thankful . A discussion occurred with the Assistant manager so that parks and Rec. Palm Springs could get on board and let the seniors who come for treats, also multitask and play some pickleball on new courts to be built in the park. There are no adjacent residential buildings, and the park is underused.

Our second stop was in Tucson for a super-bowl party with family. While there, we had the opportunity to take in the opening day of the Tucson quarterhorse racetrack . Also we visited the lovely Rincon Retirement enclave with eight pickleball courts and we were warmly received by Bert Coates Vice Pres. of the pickleball program and enjoyed a lovely ” happy hour with him and his friends.  One was an MD from Salmon Arm BC . After a short visit to Tucson and a spectacular Superbowl that people are still theorizing about, we arrived in Las Cruses  New Mexico as guests of fellow White Rockians and  picklers – The Orpens. There we briefly connected with a couple  from Edmonton who were running the pickleball program out of a Sr. Center in a large baseball facility. Our hosts , the Orpens were super gracious and we enjoyed golfing with them in the higher elevations of Las Cruses NM .

Our third stop was at Sun lakes AZ after returning for a couple of days to take in the Gem Show of Tucson – the largest gem exhibition in the world. Kathy Thomas a former pickler and website manager of Bcpickleball.com was our host and showed us some sites in her area for possible rental next year.  We then proceeded to the Mesa Airport and collected our next hosts – the Stanleys from Trail, old friends and founding members of the Trail pickleball program.  We thank them for their wonderful hospitality at Trilogy at Vistanzia in Glendale Az –  the home of the Superbowl.  It was with delight that we played with them a little pickleball and viewed the lovely new four dedicated courts in one of the most written up retirement place in the USA. Their weekly pickleball outdoor program is well organized and we will try to emulate it with some changes for the 26 courts projected for South Surrey Rec., 2 more than Casa Grande home of the USAPA National next year.

Finally, because Alaska airlines wanted $ 700.00 to drop off our car in Glendale, we drove to Palm springs and saved  U.S $ 600.00 . We left the Palm Springs Airport four hours before President Obama Arrived with Michelle – no kids for their annual pilgrimage to Palm Springs for Valentines Day .

What a nice holiday in the sun…………

Best,
Chuck Lefaive


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