New regional ownership group awarded rights to 16 The Picklr facilities
The Picklr, the United States’ premiere indoor pickleball facility, has signed a development agreement to bring 16 of its franchises to the region. The local franchising partner is Colorado Pickleball ADA LLC, an investment group run by Jim Lautzenheiser, Kyle Yates, Chad Preiss and Randy Halfpop. As planned, Colorado Pickleball ADA will own and operate a minimum of three facilities in Colorado.
The investors will set up at least 13 other The Picklr facilities through other franchisees, and possibly more if demand is sufficient. Pickleball’s recent rise in popularity has been meteoric. Once considered a pastime for older recreational players, the sport has been gaining traction with younger players. According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP), there are 36.5 million pickleballers in the U.S., and 70 percent of avid pickleballers are between the ages of 18 and 44. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association reports that the sport’s participation has increased 158.6 percent over the past three years. It is estimated that 25,000 new pickleball courts are needed to meet current demand in the U.S.
Pickleball is a professional sport. In fact, Kyle Yates – one of the partners – plays for the New York Hustlers Major League Pickleball team, was once ranked the world No. 1 player and is the reigning US Open Pickleball men’s doubles champion. Yates recently moved from Florida – a hotbed for pickleball – to Colorado. After he arrived, he saw a need to promote the game in the Rocky Mountain region.
“Colorado is still catching up to the growing demand for pickleball courts and is facing many of the same issues that we in Florida have already dealt with.” One of these issues is the noise generated by pickleball.
“Combine the number players with the unusually loud noise of play, thrown into a public park close in proximity residential areas, and it’s not surprising to have some concerned neighbors,” Yates said. “The Picklr solves this issue by providing an indoor, quieter option for people to play.” Yates believes the pickleball community in Colorado deserves more consistent and structured events.
Colorado Pickleball ADA plans to provide more organized play for the state, including establishing large pickleball competitions that would attract out-of state competitors and fans.
The Colorado and Wyoming announcement is also part of a larger initiative recently announced by The Picklr, which includes 80 new facilities across 11 states. Each of The Picklr facilities will have between eight and 15 courts, and is expected to employ 12-15 staff, including both full-time and part-time employees. “Our growth strategy has always been rooted in understanding the needs of pickleball players and fans,” said Scott Schubiger, Chief Growth Officer of The Picklr. “Moreover, this expansion is a significant step towards achieving our mission of fostering and meeting the desires of a vibrant and inclusive pickleball community. In summary – Connect. Dink. Compete.”
With this franchise agreement, the partners demonstrate that Colorado plans to play an important role in filling the need for pickleball courts.
“I personally prefer to play on a quality indoor court, to avoid the elements from wreaking havoc on my
games,” said Yates. “It can be quite challenging to compete in any wind, especially the gusts that Colorado often produces daily.”