Pickles, NE, a new indoor, first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled pickleball-only complex, is coming to Hanover in the spring of 2021.
Pickles was founded by Lisa DeMeritt and Wanda Melampy – two women with a love for the sport of pickleball and the observation that there is a definite lack of indoor courts exclusively dedicated to the sport of pickleball in New England.
The South Shore has a number of converted pickleball courts and some outdoor playing areas, but DeMeritt and Melampy found that there were no climate-controlled, indoor, pickleball-only courts in New England. Much in the original spirit of the creation of pickleball, their vision is to create a local, family-friendly, indoor/outdoor pickleball-only court complex that serves as a gathering place where pickleball enthusiasts from ages 4 to 94 (and beyond!) can enjoy. They anticipate offering leagues, lessons, sponsorships, corporate programs, and tournaments.
Although there are some similar concepts dotted throughout the Midwest and Southeast, there is nothing like this throughout the Northeast.
The complex, located at 357 Columbia Road in Hanover, and adjacent to the current Planet Fitness location, will open with six tournament-sized courts, two dinking kitchens, an upper mezzanine players’ lounge, and an indoor and outdoor refreshment garden. Four outdoor courts will also be added later in the spring.
Because the space will be dedicated exclusively to pickleball, all of the courts will be designed to regulation, with easy-to-see lines, bright colors, and appropriate SportMaster playing surfaces. DeMeritt and Melampy are moving forward in coordination with the USA Pickleball Association, the national governing body for the sport of pickleball in the U.S. that provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials.
Pickles will offer opportunities for players at all levels, from beginners to professionals, through an inclusive approach that offers various levels of instruction as well as opportunities for ranked players.
Lee Kennedy Co. Inc. is overseeing construction of this space, which includes a substantial amount of retrofitting. A portion of this space was formerly used to house the South Shore Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The property is owned by 357 Columbia Road, LLC and managed by KV Ventures, LLC.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum as a game the whole family could take part in. Year over year the sport has experienced growth as more people become familiar with pickleball; today, over 5 million people throughout the United States play pickleball, and it has grown 650% over the last five years, making it considered the fastest-growing sport in the world.
In addition, it’s “the most approachable sport in the world,” according to DeMeritt. “Wanda and I only started playing last summer, and we just fell in love with it. We want to share this game and bring it to as many more people as possible.”
“Pickleball offers such a fantastic recreational opportunity at so many levels,” added Melampy. “We’re so excited to watch this grow and share our love for the sport.”
Pickles will be located at 357 Columbia Road in Hanover. For more information, call/email (email address/phone) or visit www.picklesne.com (once operational).