Letter: Economic impact of pickleball in Vail
Last summer I visited Vail to play pickleball. The weather was glorious, the pickleball community so welcoming and the program so well organized I stayed for nine weeks. I enjoyed myself so much that this summer I returned for three months.
Vail’s leaders were wise to accommodate this fast-growing sport by converting Golden Peak’s two tennis courts into six pickleball courts. Instead of four tennis players per hour, court time is available to 24 pickleball players. Unlike other sports, pickleball is easy to learn, affordable, and can be played by all ages and skill levels. Best of all, the sport is very social.
Vail would be wise to expand indoor opportunities for winter play. And expand the sport’s benefit to the local economy.
The players’ financial impact is enormous. Take myself as an example: In 2020, I spent $300 per day on lodging, restaurants and other activities, for a total of $27,000. I also had five visitors who stayed on average 10 nights each. They increased the economic impact by another $15,000. So, thanks to pickleball, the six of us contributed $42,000 to the local business coffers.
This year, my own investment in Vail’s economy increased exponentially. Over 12 weeks, I spent $400 per day. This time I had 12 visitors, again staying an average of 10 nights each. Thanks to us, Vail prospered by $84,000.
Imagine the impact of summer guests returning for a wintertime pickleball fix. With an indoor/outdoor facility, Vail would reap millions in lodging, restaurants, tourism and sales taxes in the first year alone.
Build more pickleball courts, and more of us will come back in every season. And we will enjoy every penny we spend in Vail. All thanks to our enjoyment of pickleball in such a hospitable community.