Truckee Tahoe Pickleball Club gets closer to $1 million goal for 17 court complex

Sara Jackson / Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. – “We used to say it’s not a fad, it’s a phenomenon. Now we say it’s not a phenomenon, it’s an epidemic,” said Truckee Tahoe Pickleball Club Communications Director, Susan Safipour, in relation to the growing popularity of Pickleball.

In Truckee, there are three outdoor public courts in Palisades on the north shore. Located on the west shore, Kilner Park has a few courts. Six courts were just opened between Kings Beach and Tahoe City.

In private communities like Tahoe Donner, you have to live there in order to have the privilege of using the Pickleball courts. There are no public courts for residents of Glenshire or Prosser Lakeside, Sierra Meadows, or Winter Creek. This is why Safipour and her husband; Fred feel so strongly about people having access to public Pickleball courts.

“We love Pickleball because of its drop-in format that allows players to meet new people and make new friends every time they play. In this unique and powerful way, the sport weaves the community together, building connections and enriching our town,” said Safipour

An architectural rendering of the pickleball complex.

The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Parks District designated land for the Safipours, and any others looking to become volunteers, at its River View Sports Park for their 17 court Pickleball complex.

Unlike Pickleball courts at other locations, these courts will be public, for all ages, and abilities. In addition to drop-in play, the complex will offer clinics, socials, and tournaments.

Construction is estimated to cost $1 million or more for the courts, walkways, fencing, and tiered concrete seating.

“The Truckee Tahoe Pickleball Club, which has 220 members, is selling bricks, pavers, benches, and courts where donors can memorialize their messages for generations to come,” adds Safipour.

In June 2022, Susan, and members of the TTPC started fundraising. They were blown away by the members of the community that reached out, wanting to help.

“Ruppert Inc., a local excavating contractor donated the excavating and grading for the complex. Numerous businesses, families, and foundations have given large gifts, including the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, which gave $50,000; and Rubicon and Fireside Pizza, and the Tahoe Forest Hospital both gave $25,000,” says Safipour.

Plans are to nestle the courts along the slope of the land with tiered concrete seating for spectators. Numerous benches and tables, made with material donated by Truckee Tahoe Lumber Company, will sprinkled throughout the complex.

In October of this year, the Martis Camp Foundation awarded a $300,000 grant to the River View Sports Park’s Pickleball complex, pushing the fundraising to just shy of their $1,000,000 goal. The Martis Camp Foundation is the largest awarded to the project, bringing the total in donations to $970,000.

“This public complex has so much support, so we are thrilled to be able to bring the project over the finish line with this grant,” said John Earnhardt, Martis Camp Foundation board member.

“We are beyond thrilled to receive a grant of this level, which will ensure we can build a world-class facility,” said Sven Leff, TDRPD’s General Manager.

The Truckee Tahoe Pickleball Club will continue to fundraise, knowing that projects of this size typically run over budget, and the goal is to build an exceptional complex for the people of Truckee.

The complex will have 16 tournament-sized courts, plus a championship stadium court, expected to be named in honor of the Martis Camp Foundation.

The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park plans to submit its final permit application to the Town of Truckee in December. Upon approval the TDRPD plans to break ground in the spring, build the courts, and open them for play in the summer in 2024.

“Pickleball is popular with all ages and walks of life, and will bring the community together in a fun and healthy way,” says Safipour.

You can go to their website to purchase pavers, bricks, and benches. They have several to choose from.

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