Selling some of the past, Tennis Center eyes the future | SteamboatToday.com

Selling some of the past, Tennis Center eyes the future

The answer, Loretta Conway said, is not a garage sale, at least not directly.

No amount of hand-me-down clothing, no collection of used ski gear, no number of tennis rackets, no used pressure washer — all for sale Saturday, she said — will raise the $100,000 Conway envisions eventually funding an endowment to help cover the maintenance costs of the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, both as it exists now, and as some hope it will exist in the near future.

The garage sale, which the Tennis Center is playing host to starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, isn't about raising all the funds at once. It's more about awareness, she said.

Conway, business development director at the center, said the endowment fund has already raised $10,000, a collective effort from the Tennis Center, Steamboat Tennis Association and Steamboat Springs Pickleball Association.

The three local groups have partnered with Yampa Valley Community Foundation and the goal is to establish long-term maintenance care for the local tennis and pickleball facilities.

"The endowment is to protect the entire facility," Conway said. "The more we can get people to know about the endowment fund, the better it will be. We want to generate some excitement about it, to get people to know what we're doing and that it's a real community effort."

Conway said her $100,000 goal is a five-year target, and that contributing a small percentage of the businesses revenue is a part of the plan to reach that goal.

Currently, the city and Bill and Loretta Conway, concessionaires for the city-owned facility, divvy up maintenance costs. The Conways take on more day-to-day upkeep while the city tackles long-term projects, like court resurfacing.

The hope is the fund can help with projects that fall in the middle, like, Conway speculated, a locker room upgrade.

Another project the funding could help keep up in the future: an estimated $800,000 indoor pickleball expansion that's on the drawing board.

That, too, will take more than garage sale. The fundraising hasn't kicked off for that yet, though there are plans to submit a proposal later this summer to fund the expansion with accommodations tax revenue.

It could include five courts and a social area, all built onto the west end of the current facility.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9