Indoor Pickleball Center Planned

 

Last updated 4/29/2024 at 3:51pm | View PDF

If everything proceeds on schedule, a 31,000-square-foot indoor pickleball center will be open to the public by the end of the year. The center, which will feature 11 courts, will be at 730 S. Bridge Street in Visalia.

The project was submitted at the Visalia Site Plan Review meeting on March 20. Concerns were raised at the meeting, most noteably about parking and trash bin placement, but John George of J.F. George Enterprises, Inc., the property owner and main force behind the project, was still confident about the project and its timetable.

"Everything they mentioned we're doing already," he said. "We're addressing all of it."

The $4 million project is the latest civic endeavor for George, who seems more interested in giving to the community than in making a profit on his investment.

"About 20 years ago, I realized that I wasn't going to be here forever," he said. "I decided that I want to leave a legacy of things behind. I feel that I had the ability to provide things that other people couldn't. I'm not money-motivated."

George owns the property on Mooney Boulevard in Visalia that is the site of the Greatest Generation Memorial. He has also been a major contributor to the SPCA, Little League and Boy Scouts, as well as being instrumental in transferring ownership of the Fox Visalia Theatre to the city. He is also currently behind the effort to open a new Mearles Drive-In in Visalia.

Although George has never played pickleball, he was intrigued by the idea of building an indoor center in Visalia.

John George studies plans for an indoor pickleball court in Visalia.

"It hits a certain market that appeals to me – 60 and over," he explained, adding that the sport is "growing rapidly."

The center will include a small concession stand, as well as a shop selling pickleball equipment such as paddles and gloves. The courts, which will be on non-slip pavement, will be blue and the areas around them will be green. The costs of pickleball court rentals, and possibly memberships at the center, are yet to be determined.

George is also open to the possibility of expanding the indoor pickleball facility onto the neighboring 60-foot by 240-foot property, which he also owns. The expansion would provide an additional 12 to 14 indoor courts, along with two or three outdoor courts.

"I'm going to grow with the need," he said.

Indoor Pickleball Center Planned

 

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