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New indoor center means tennis season never ends at Blackthorn Club

Joe Avento • Updated Oct 3, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Tennis season just got longer at Blackthorn Club at the Ridges thanks to its new indoor facility.

In fact, it will never end.

“We were already busy, but it was probably more like an eight- or nine-month season,” longtime Blackthorn director of tennis John Lucchesi said Wednesday during a tour of the facility. “This is great. One of the big things is just the energy it’s brought to the club as a whole. There’s action going on all the time now.”

The $1.2 million facility boasts two hard courts, a workout area, a studio for yoga and a lounge with televisions.

“It’s an amenity,” said Chris Haley, the club’s general manager. “At the end of the day, what we really strive for is how do we increase our members satisfaction. This was all privately funded by ownership. It didn’t cost our members a dime. There was no assessment or dues increase to help fund it.

“We’re very fortunate the club’s in a position where we could do a project like this.”

Haley said Blackthorn has 955 total memberships, 380 of which are considered full members. The club plans to cap its membership once it hits 400 full members.

The new tennis facility has been in use since the middle of last winter, but this year will be its first full indoor season, which starts Oct. 21 and runs until April.

It’s not just for winter, though. The club recently found out how nice it was to have indoor courts at its disposal during the member-guest tournament when matches were played under cover, out of the heat.

Four large garage-type doors are on each side of the two courts, allowing a breeze to pass through when the players just need a roof over their heads.

However, winter will be when the courts are most appreciated, when the club’s outside courts — two hard and two clay — are done for the season. Of course, the indoor courts are heated.

“Our tennis members won’t have to shut it down for the winter or find a different place to play,” Lucchesi said. “We hit the ground running. Before we had to rejuvenate the whole program. Now it’s just from one season to the next. It stays busy.”

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