Pickleball to join Gearhart rec options

The eastern court in Gearhart will be used for both pickleball and tennis.

Pickleball option 3, ultimately adopted, keeps both tennis courts and adds lines for two pickleball courts to the easter court with two rollaw…

Gearhart’s tennis courts were closed for power washing Thursday, the first step to a modified pickleball court at the corner of Pacific Way and North Marion.

And in a change of heart, pickleball players will donate one-half the $2,800 cost of painting and nets.

“We didn’t want to ‘take my pickleball ball and go home,’” pickleball enthusiast and Gearhart resident Wally Hamer said Thursday. “We decided to stay the course and get the job done. So it’s moving forward.”

Pickleball players will offer financial support, agreeing to provide $1,400 toward the cost, matching the city’s contribution for painting and nets.

In August, Gearhart City Council unanimously voted to install a new pickleball court at the tennis courts on Pacific Way and North Marion. The $16,000 plan would have removed the east tennis court in its entirety and installed two pickleball courts. Pickleballers originally pledged support for the plan.

But concerns from residents — including tennis players who bemoaned the loss of a tennis court — brought the matter back to the city’s September council agenda.

The revised plan calls for keeping both tennis courts while adding lines for two pickleball courts to the east court, with two rollaway pickleball nets creating a multiuse court.

After that meeting, representatives of the pickleball association said they were withdrawing funds, stating that the hybrid use failed to meet their needs.

But fans of the game, described as a cross between ping-pong and tennis, had a change of heart and offered to participate after all, the city announced at its Oct. 2 council meeting.

On Wednesday’s council meeting, Mayor Matt Brown offered gratitude for the donation. ““We really appreciate the sport,” he said. “Hopefully, it will work out.”

The power washing will be followed with the painting of lines for pickleball and the purchase of a movable net at the east tennis court.

The organization will provide up an additional $3,600 for pickleball play as the city looks to the future with the development of a $15,000 parks master plan.

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