The recreation sensation pickleball is coming to Ybor City’s Gas Worx district - in a big way.
In the first half of January, the Tampa Pickleball Crew is opening an eight-court indoor pickleball facility in a converted warehouse at 1701 E. Second Ave owned by Gas Worx developer Darryl Shaw.
Kayla Goldman, one of the founders of Tampa Pickleball Crew, says she and partners Susan Forsyth, Jennifer Plummer and Dene Williamson love the fun, social nature of the sport. But pickleball’s popularity and Florida’s weather present challenges that they have turned into a business opportunity.
“We were doing the same thing everyone else was doing,” Goldman says. “We were going to parks and waiting long times to play, or dealing with inclement weather, or really strong sun. We were really tired of waiting for courts to open or dealing with the weather so we came together with the idea of having a covered facility. Being in Florida, people can now be out of the sun, be out of the rain and also pre-book a time to play.”
Tampa Pickleball Crew will open with eight indoor courts and more than 200 founding members.
They’ve hit on an in-demand business concept. Tampa Pickleball Crew will open with more than 200 founding members who will pay to play between eight and 60 hours each month depending on the membership option they choose. Drop-ins are also available. Goldman says the membership numbers show the sport’s popularity.
“What we love about pickleball is it doesn’t discriminate,” she says. “It doesn’t matter your experience level, your age level, shape, or size. You can have fun and be competitive in the sport.”
Goldman says the partners behind Tampa Pickleball got connected with Shaw, found out about the available warehouse, and decided the indoor pickleball facility was a good fit to “activate Ybor during the day in a healthy way.” She says Gas Worx offers a growing, redeveloping area of Tampa that is a central location for members traveling from Apollo Beach, Westchase and South Tampa. She says the venue will have food trucks at special events but will focus more on having its members patronize nearby bars and restaurants.
“We want to be able to send people to support other local businesses,” Goldman says.
Tampa Pickleball Crew’s leased space spans 30,000 square feet and Goldman says expansion plans are in the works for the summer.
For more information, go to Tampa Pickleball Crew
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