SARASOTA, Fla. — Long time commercial real estate and business entrepreneurs Brian and Valerie McCarthy, along with their business partner Matthew Gordon, have set their sights on Florida for deploying more than $180 million to build at least 15 indoor private pickleball clubs.
The first venture, under construction now is The Pickleball Club’s Sarasota location, by Lakewood Ranch, one of the top selling master planned communities in the country. This, and all locations will be members only, privately-owned, for-profit sports clubs, fulfilling the niche for indoor amenity based pickleball play and the growing interest in private club membership.
The company’s Lakewood Ranch location will open this December. It sits on 2.4 acres and will include 12 indoor courts, two outdoor courts, a retail shop and café in a 33,000-square-foot facility. Construction is well underway on the club with the exterior structure and roof complete and interior work beginning now.
The entrepreneurs have purchased land for additional locations in two other Florida locations, and are in negotiations for four more, with a goal of opening 15 clubs over the next five years.
“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport nationwide with no signs of slowing down,” said co-founder and chief financial officer Matthew Gordon. “I get calls and emails daily from people all over the country who either want to invest with us or want us to bring a location to their city. Florida is the most valuable market in pickleball, and we plan on being the market leader during this all important land-grab phase of the industry, given the tremendous demand for indoor court space.”
Locations where land is already purchased include a 4.05-acre site in Bonita Springs for a 38,000-square-foot club with 14 indoor courts, and a 3.5-acre site in Port St. Lucie for a 33,000-square-foot club with 12 indoor courts. The Pickleball Club (TPC) will also close on a 3.04-acre land purchase in Fort Myers in November 2022 for a 33,000-square-foot club. The company is planning for a 16-court format in other planned locations including Venice, Florida and The Villages in Sumter County, Florida.
“Each club will include $1 million in technology, including systems development, industry-leading real-time video instruction for our professional staff and our members, and multiple software platforms that integrate seamlessly for reservations, events, menus and matching players together based on rankings,” said co-founder and chief executive officer Brian McCarthy.
The Pickleball Club will use high definition PlaySight technology, which allows the club’s professionals to integrate real-time video into lessons and clinics. “This technology is used by over 30 professional sport teams and multiple collegiate programs,” said co-founder Valerie McCarthy.
“The intensely technological, amenity-based customer experience will be like nothing else in the market today,” said Dominic Catalano, general manager for The Pickleball Club. “We will use the technology, championship grade courts, activities, and programming to provide ample opportunities for socialization before, during and after pickleball gameplay. Our members are looking to have great experiences, build relationships and have fun while pursuing a healthy lifestyle.”
Additionally, the club will have an emergency responder antenna system, indoor and outdoor high speed wi-fi and a member-only smart phone app to easily access reservations, open play times, bill splitting, member matching, food orders and more.
Besides a plethora of member events being planned, the club will have a high-end café called Pickles that serves espresso drinks, smoothies, juices, sandwiches, salads and beer & wine. Their Dinks Pro Shop will carry a plethora of paddles and feature pickleball fashion wear.
Supporting The Pickleball Club’s growth has been a significant amount of equity and debt capital providers. The company currently has 47 shareholders and has raised nearly $5 million in equity over the past year and a half and is currently accepting accredited investors.
“Building clubs and our company into the industry leader takes capital. Fortunately, we see strong demand from the private investment community to help us actualize our vision. We believe an investment in The Pickleball Club has the potential to provide a truly amazing return for our shareholders, plus it’s a lot of fun,” said Gordon.
At the first location to open this winter, TPC has already hired its entire senior leadership team consisting of a staff of 15, including their general manager, and directors of pickleball, marketing, operations and club controller. The staff is currently building custom templates for the whole business chain, creating training and policy manuals, performing community outreach. The Lakewood Ranch Club will be the flagship home base training location for all new clubs in Florida.
“We have had several years of a head start in this space before any of our closest competitors and getting into these markets first with our current land acquisition program will allow The Pickleball Club to dominate the marketplace first and establish ourselves strongly for future nationwide growth,” said Brian McCarthy.
About The Pickleball Club
Located at 1195 Sarasota Center Blvd., The Pickleball Club will be a brand-new, healthy living, private pickleball complex featuring 12 indoor pickleball courts with a tournament-level outdoor surface, an outdoor activity center, constantly rotating “Food Truck Alley”, Pickles Café, Dink’s Pro Shop, permanent nets, and HEPA filtered air-conditioned environment – perfect for avoiding those harmful UV rays and inclement weather conditions. The Club will feature PlaySight video technology for live streaming and recording capabilities for training purposes, tournament grade pickleball courts and luxurious locker rooms. The first club in Lakewood Ranch is currently under construction, three more are in development in Port Saint Lucie, Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs, with 15 clubs planned across the state of Florida in the next five years. For more information, go to ThePickleballClub.us.
[Photo 1 attached:The Pickleball Club, Lakewood Ranch, exterior photos]
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