One of the first things people notice as they arrive in Crested Butte is the tennis courts at the Four-way Stop. But the asphalt courts were built in 1979 and their useable life is about over. So a group of tennis enthusiasts has approached the town about replacing them.
Town Parks and Recreation director Jake Jones brought a general plan to the Town Council July 3 and outlined a vision where grants could be obtained and new courts built by the fall of 2013. “We repair them every year and the repairs last about a season,” said Jones. “They will soon need to be replaced. And they are part of the department’s five-year capital budget. But there are a lot of things listed in that budget.” Jones said an ad hoc committee of local tennis players got together to investigate the feasibility of replacing the existing courts and to help with fundraising. He said the project might be able to obtain some GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) grant monies. “With a reasonable in-kind contribution from the town along with the local fundraising and grant, the tennis court replacement project could be accomplished,” Jones told the council. He estimated the cost to be between $175,000 and $250,000. “I’m not asking the council for any money,” he promised, “but the town could provide some machines and labor. We are looking for a 30 percent match by the February GOCO grant application deadline.” When asked, Jones said the courts would stay in their present location. “I know the town can’t fund this on its own right now but planning is relatively cheap,” Jones said. “So when the opportunity arises, we can be ready and capitalize on a project. There’s some enthusiasm for this project.” Tennis player Roger Kram suggested paying for post-tensioned concrete courts. “They will last forever and are a great investment,” he said. “They are a long-term solution.” The council gave the initiative their blessing and Jones will continue working toward replacing the aging courts. “I’m ready to do this with any of our needs,” Jones said. “The skate park could use some major work and there are other projects out there as well.”