Court Etiquette

Thursday, March 7, 2013
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For the record, since David Niles was referenced in last week’s article “No Love on the Courts,” I want to point out that I never received any reports from staff or fellow players that David was disrespectful to anyone on the courts. He paid his fees and, as far as I know, he conducted himself in a professional manner at all times. I do not believe that he was one of the players who took advantage of the lack of a court monitor.

I also want to repeat that the abusers were a small number of players who made it difficult for our staff and many other players. As the executive director, I received complaints that our monitoring was too restrictive and I also received complaints that it was not strict enough. In the end, we had to establish reasonable rules and then enforce them for all.

I regret that the transition of Las Positas Tennis Courts from the city to Elings Park has not been smoother. Being an eternal optimist, I hope that someday we can put our differences aside and celebrate the opening of a restored Las Positas Tennis Center.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

If Mr. Vickers wishes the transition was smoother, the obvious solution is to call it off.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Vickers has about 470 more apologies to make. But even that won't be enough until the fees for the courts become reasonable and the Bulgarian academy stops monopolizing the courts.

Nejust2004 (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why doesn't the Academy just get their own courts?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2013 at 5:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think they need a lot of courts, if you check out their website they are marketing to the parents of elite players who can afford to send their kids to board and attend the academy. There's a rumor that the Junior Bulgarian National team might be coming to train this summer. That and other kids from out of town should fill up the courts nicely. Elings will profit off this as they have a revenue sharing arrangement with the Academy. At $3,300 per month for Boarders/$2,500 for non-boarders attending the Academy this could be very lucrative to the Academy and Elings Park. All that Elings had to do was free up the courts which they have done by tripling the membership fees and driving all us regulars away. The only losers on this equation is the Santa Barbara tennis playing public and the Taxpayers who are subsidizing Elings with below market rent ($1.00 per year).

Nejust2004 (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2013 at 6:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They definitely need to build their own courts. That's just overboard. And if people are paying those prices they deserve private courts, not courts STOLEN from the public. And yes I've seen their site. Talk about taxpayer bailout.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 7, 2013 at 6:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Nejust2004 I just looked at the Tennis Academy's offerings and pricing:

It's pretty clear they are targeting an upscale portion of the local tennis market and turning it into a destination resort for visitors (their existing partnership with Doubletree and location in SB is additional marketing leverage). Marketing a boarding program, ala the famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in FL, was a surprise to me.

If there is a market for this sort of thing, then the Academy, Elings, and the City might profit from it. And Parks & Rec might save their own bacon vis-a-vis their staff cuts. Dimitar Yazadzhiev would then deserve congratulations for coming to America and taking full advantage of our capitalist system, such as it is.

But if it plays out this way, I can't help but think the average tennis player in town is getting shafted because most can't afford the new pricing (I think Vicker's assumptions on affordability are incorrect). This means the taxpayer will also have been shafted in the sense that what was intended to be a community resource for many will become available only to a smaller upscale segment of residents.

Despite all the expensive tennis clubs we have in the area (i.e. SB Tennis Club, Knowlwood, Cathedral Oaks) tennis remains a sport where the cost of entry and recurring play can be very low. It is not a sport like golf or skiing where you pay a lot to get in and pay a lot to keep playing.

Our City Council should keep that in mind.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 9, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's inconsciable what is happening.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 9, 2013 at 12:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't believe I called golf a sport.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 9, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Glad you're coming to your senses.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 9, 2013 at 1:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The tennis courts at Oak Park have plenty of room and time available.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
March 13, 2013 at 11:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oak Park sounds perfect for the Tennis Academy.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 13, 2013 at 11:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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