Pickleball is so popular in Gearhart that enthusiasts hope to double the amount of courts and to add even more courts to the city’s parks master plan in progress.
“The old adage of if you build them they will come has been borne out!” Gearhart’s Wally Hamer wrote in a letter to City Council read at Wednesday’s meeting.
“The pickleball courts have been so popular that he is asking us if we want to make some more lines on the other court,” Mayor Matt Brown said at the meeting.
Pickleball, similar to tennis, is an 11-point game and described as a cross between ping-pong and tennis.
The sport first came before the council when Gearhart’s Wally Hamer, Alice Lane of the U.S. Pickleball Association and others approached the City Council in May, proposing alterations to Gearhart’s two existing tennis courts to facilitate pickleball play.
The council unanimously voted to modify the tennis courts, keeping both tennis while adding lines for two pickleball courts to the east court. Two rollaway pickleball nets create a multiuse court.
Courts opened one year ago,
Some days as many as 25 pickleball players wait to play on the two courts, Hamer said.
He asked the city to consider two courts on the west side tennis court, using portable nets and lines for both pickleball and tennis. “This allows tennis to continue to play on both courts as well having two more pickleball courts would help us with the days we have an overflow crowd,” Hamer said.
Hamer also requested discussions with the parks master plan committee to add more courts, some of which could be funded by donations.
Councilor Reita Fackerell asked if the pickleball plans could be on the council’s November meeting agenda. “I'd like to see it there,” Fackerell said.