The city currently manages courts at North Boulder Rec Center, Chautauqua Park, Foothills Community Park, indoors and outdoors at South Boulder Recreation Center, city parks, and outdoors at East Boulder Community Center (EBCC).
We currently have funding to design and build four new outdoor pickleball courts at East Boulder Community Park. Any other new courts for racket sports are only possible with additional funding, such as through grants, tax measures, or philanthropy – and must be supported by identified operating funds and then called out in the upcoming Level of Service (LOS) Court Plan (see below under long-term plans)
The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department has updated and striped outdoor courts at North, South, East, Chautauqua, and Foothills for multi-use in response to various meetings with the pickleball and tennis communities. We are always cognizant of balancing the needs and court preferences of both the pickleball and tennis playing communities.
Having created pickleball courts on existing tennis courts, we will continue to work with members of the tennis and pickleball communities through our long-term planning process to define the right level of service.
We plan to work with pickleball and tennis organizations in our community to identify partnership opportunities and determine where we can expand services based on community support. This work will be part of LOS Court plan starting in late 2022.
As expenses are growing faster than revenues, we’re focusing our current funding on maintaining the courts that we have. “Taking care of what we have” is a key theme in our Department’s Master Plan and guides our operations.
We have adjusted our future spending and allocated $200,000 each year through 2027 on court maintenance. Where and how these funds are invested will be guided by condition assessments and a prioritization index that helps direct dollars to where they will have the most community benefit.
The best resource is to work with the local pickleball community and see what methods they suggest. In addition, the LOS Court Plan will include a community engagement piece to fully understand community needs as we come up with a plan.
Our recently approved Department Master Plan provides guidelines for the LOS Court Plan scheduled to begin at the end of 2022. This study will go a long way to understanding everyone’s needs, where we have gaps, and what it will take to fund the right level of service. The LOS Court study will guide us for many years and help us best serve the racket sport community, including any new or existing court investments.
For example, we are aware of changes in court use at the Millennium, which impacts Rocky Mountain Tennis Center and CU South. We are also aware of conversations happening to develop a “racket center” in Boulder. If, and as appropriate, we will be willing partners in conversations to explore the feasibility of such a facility. As part of this effort, we plan to explore alternative funding and partnerships to provide services that the community desires.
The department is currently under contract with a service provider for pickleball programming and leagues with an option to extend the contract through 2024. Interested parties can submit a contractor application, but a new contractor will not be considered until 2024.
FYI, the city may use a “request for proposal” (RFP) process to determine a contracted service provider in 2025.
The city currently offers classes, leagues, and private and semi-private lessons for both tennis and pickleball at all three recreation centers.
The solicitation of services of any kind is not allowed on city property unless permitted.
Businesses can apply for a commercial use permit to operate in locations where there is not a conflict of interest with an existing city service. Commercial use permits will only be allowed at courts where existing programming is not already scheduled. Bookings for the general public are prioritized over private lessons. Any commercial use will be booked by the business in line with public access processes.
Recreation programming in Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department is evaluated and adjusted quarterly. Drop-in programming is adjusted every six months in January and July, so please check our recreation centers for any changes to the schedule.
Requests for court space is balanced across all use types and levels of play with minimal opportunities for league and tournament play to be scheduled ahead of the general public.
Staff are reviewing and adjusting court rental procedures now and we’ll post an update in early 2023 about the court request process.
We’d love to use your help! We currently have an opportunity to be a “Snow Removal Champ” for our outdoor courts. Check out the details and sign up at countmein.bouldercolorado.gov/D/ParksRec/App/SnowRemovalChamp.