Glenwood’s tennis bubble bounces back |

Glenwood’s tennis bubble bounces back

A renewed show of public support Tuesday for the tennis bubble inflated the hopes of some Glenwood Springs tennis enthusiasts.

Around 50 tennis players gathered at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Tuesday to plump for the bubble, which had appeared to be a lost cause.

“There’s an overwhelming desire to still make the bubble work,” Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Department director Dan Rodgerson said.

The bubble, purchased from the Snowmass Club last April for a bargain $8,000, has been stored in the city’s boneyard on Airport Road for the past seven months while City Council decides its fate.

Supportive council members began to change their tune Oct. 3 after hearing that engineering, grading, constructing and providing equipment for the bubble could cost more $440,000.

Instead of dropping the idea, council asked Rodgerson to set up a meeting to get the community’s input on what to do with the bubble. And after closer study, he revised the bubble installation cost estimate down to $300,000.

Tennis players could see that the project was now within range.

“They want the bubble to happen,” Rodgerson said after Tuesday’s meeting. “People were adamant.”

Surprised at the turnout and overwhelming support for the bubble, Rodgerson is now helping a group to organize a committee aimed at raising around $100,000 to make the bubble a reality.

“What they decided to do is raise the money that would be the shortfall,” Rodgerson said of the committee.

Grand River Construction already offered $50,000 worth of work on the project, and the Parks and Recreation Department likely can draw $150,000 from its account, Rodgerson said.

Ron Offerle was appointed chairman of the committee. Offerle and his wife, Kayli, donated $8,000 to the city to buy the bubble last April.

The bubble would be built on the south side of the Community Center, adjacent to the skating rink.

While $300,000 would cover constructing two courts, engineering and raising the bubble, no other courts could be built.

“What we want and what we can afford are dramatically different,” Rodgerson said.

But as snow lightly fell outside and temperatures plummeted, marking the end of the outdoor tennis season, players seemed ready for such a compromise.

“It was a good meeting and we had a lot of good public input,” Rodgerson said. “They certainly gave the impression they’d do whatever it took.”

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