Tennis Surge at the Peaks Attracts Professional Instructors
by Samuel Adams
Aug 08, 2013 | 6505 views | 0 0 comments | 247 247 recommendations | email to a friend | print
1-LOVE! – Ann Pask is instructed by professional tennis coach at the Peaks Tennis Courts Thursday, July 25. (Photo by Dale Kondracki)
1-LOVE! – Ann Pask is instructed by professional tennis coach at the Peaks Tennis Courts Thursday, July 25. (Photo by Dale Kondracki)

Program Director Eyes Indoor Facility With Ski Access

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – Skiing put Mountain Village on the map, and golf moved it up a notch. Now, the Peaks Resort is upping its tennis game, with a host of visiting tennis professionals holding clinics and teaching the game to players at all ability levels. 

Bob Straub, a United States Professional Tennis Association-certified instructor (and owner of the String Shop in Scottsdale, Ariz.), who has taught the game for 34 years, has been teaching clinics at the Peaks for the past few weeks. 

“The book to review is this thick,” Straub said, holding up his hand and pinching three inches of air to drive the point home, of the hard work required for USPTA certification. 

“They ask you everything from detailed questions about the history of the game to hypothetical questions about obscure rules,” said Bill Austin, the Peaks’ in-house USPTA-certified professional instructor. “And then they really sweat you out there,” Austin added, referring to the grueling hours spent executing precise tennis maneuvers and instructing novice and seasoned players alike.

“I’ve actually never seen a group of locals improve their game as much as the locals in Telluride have over the past two weeks,” Straub said, as Mike Theile, tennis director at the Peaks, nodded in agreement.

“With 30 million Americans playing the game, and growing, our program is only going to expand,” Theile said of the newly expanded Peaks tennis program. Theile’s goal is to construct a multi-million dollar indoor tennis facility at the base of the Peaks, offering guests and residents ski-in ski-out tennis action. “Imagine that: skiing some of the best terrain in America before lunch, and playing multiple sets in the afternoon and evening,” he said.

If it comes to fruition, the indoor, skier-access tennis facility would be the first in the nation, Theile said.

Of course, that means tennis in winter, and “that’s what’s really missing here: year-round tennis playing,” said Austin, formerly the general manager at Mountain View Tennis Club (then known as Top Seed), one of the largest tennis clubs in Arizona.

“Not only would an indoor tennis facility this keep everyone’s game sharp during the winter,” he said, “but many of the locals could really work on the overlapping similarities between the two sports,” he added, referring to the precise footwork and quick thinking needed to enjoy both skiing and tennis.

Although the dream of constructing a weatherproof tennis facility is still in its infancy, Theile pointed out it would bring Mountain Village new business, complementing the town’s ongoing efforts to scout new income sources.

But while the Mountain Village resorts don’t offer year-round tennis, yet, Straub is hopeful that increased tennis activity could justify the cost of constructing an indoor facility, “If the resorts were to add this new facility, it would take this place to the next level,” he said confidently. 

To learn more about playing tennis at the Peaks, contact Bill Austin at 602/570-8778.

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