🔴 LIVE Pickleball Club Launch: Going Behind the Scenes with CourtReserve’s Founders

Launching a Pickleball Business (Behind the Scenes)

Summary

  • After 8 years of being Co-Founders of CourtReserve, Tim and Ashley Owens decided to open their own pickleball club in the coastal town of St. Augustine, Florida.
  • The build began in January, 2024.
  • Old Coast Pickleball opened its doors on April 26, 2024.
  • The club is poised to expand in early 2025 with a larger 12-court facility, also located in St. Augustine, FL.
  • CourtReserve has compiled the tech entrepreneurs’ journey to share an unfiltered look into starting a new pickleball club.

Old Coast Pickleball Club officially opens

CourtReserve co-founders Ashley and Tim Owens have launched Old Coast Pickleball in St. Augustine, FL.

This new 6,000 sq. ft. indoor club aims to enhance the local racquet sports scene.

It reflects their deep engagement with pickleball, complemented by their expertise in club management through CourtReserve software.

In posting their updates to Instagram, the duo took a moment to express their thanks to everyone who helped get the project off the ground:

Latest Updates


Old Coast Pickleball thrives with engaged community-driven events

Old Coast Pickleball is currently buzzing with activity as members and players actively engage in the club’s various programs.

One standout event is the popular ladies’ round robins, attracting participants of all skill levels for friendly competition and social interaction. The club’s atmosphere is lively, with players exchanging tips, cheering for one another, and building lasting connections.

The engaged local pickleball community is present in every match and event and the club has quickly become a central hub for passionate players, drawn together by their shared love for the sport and the dynamic social scene.


Ashley Owens teases new lot for second ‘flagship’ Old Coast Pickleball location

Ashley Owens, co-founder of CourtReserve, proudly showcased the second lot for their future flagship Old Coast Pickleball location, set to open in early 2025.

The expansive new facility will feature 12 state-of-the-art pickleball courts, designed to accommodate players of all skill levels and enhance the growing pickleball community. In addition to the courts, the venue will offer cutting-edge golf simulators.


Ashley Owens comments ahead of grand opening

Old Coast Pickleball is more than a new passion project for Tim and I. It serves as a dynamic experiment in which we immerse ourselves in our customers’ shoes, experiencing the journey of club entrepreneurship firsthand.

Ashley Owens, CourtReserve & Old Coast Pickleball Co-Founder

Tim Owens shares hiring advice for pickleball instructors and teaching pros

Just like with any other industry, you have to find the right people to build a strong team.

CourtReserve Co-Founder Tim Owens emphasized the importance of seeking candidates who not only have strong technical skills and certifications but also a genuine passion for the sport and the ability to engage and motivate players of all levels:

“Hiring the right teaching pros is key to your club’s success. You want someone who not only knows the game but can also connect with players and share their passion for pickleball. It’s about finding people who can teach, inspire, and build a sense of community,”

Tim also advised to seek pickleball instructors who are committed to continuous learning:

“Coaches who stay updated on the latest techniques and trends in pickleball can bring fresh insights and innovative training methods to your club, keeping the instruction dynamic and effective.”


Old Coast Pickleball reveals membership and visitor pricing

Tim and Ashley Owens recently unveiled their new membership and visitor pricing for their pickleball club, showcasing a well-thought-out and competitive structure designed to attract and retain players.

Image: Old Coast Pickleball’s unveils its competitive pricing for 2024.

A key tip they shared in determining this pricing was to research your local market to offer competitive pricing and to conduct a comprehensive survey of current and potential members.

They carefully analyzed market trends, competitor rates, and the unique value their club offers, ensuring their pricing is both fair and appealing.

This feedback provided valuable insights into what players are willing to pay and the features they value most, allowing Tim and Ashley to tailor their pricing strategy to meet the needs and expectations of their community.


Programming insights for Old Coast Pickleball

So, you’ve opened your club. Now what? Do you let players forever reserve their own courts or do you thoughtfully come up with ways to entice your community to visit your club with events and programming?

If you guessed the latter, we’re with you.

Events and programming provide another revenue stream for your business, but they also offer opportunities to attract new customers who are looking for specific programs, like a summer camp for kids, as well as host social activities that can build a network of loyal members and players.

Here’s a glimpse at Old Coast Pickleball’s daily programming utilizing CourtReserve’s schedulers:

Image: Programming includes Round Robins, Beginner sessions, Group Play, Drill sessions and more.

Tim and Ashley Owens conceptualized an upcoming summer camp that isn’t just about fun; it’s a strategic opportunity to attract new members and boost revenue.

By offering kids the chance to play, the CourtReserve Co-Founders hope to not only enrich the local youth’s summer, but also entice their parents to join Old Coast Pickleball.

💡 Pro Tip: offer varied programs

Create a mix of activities to attract different skill levels and interests. Include beginner classes, advanced training, social events, and competitive tournaments.


Old Coast Pickleball adds pro shop to pickleball facility

Watch: New branded merchandise will be sold in Old Coast Pickleball’s pro shop, powered by CourtReserve.

Old Coast Pickleball has expanded its offerings by adding a pro shop to its facility, providing members with a convenient place to purchase branded apparel, equipment, accessories, and even snacks and beverages.

The pro shop aims to enhance the overall member experience and generate additional revenue for the club.

CourtReserve’s Point of Sale (POS) system and inventory management feature are key tools in managing the new pro shop.

The web-based POS system can be operated from any device with internet access, making it easy for staff to process transactions and manage sales on-site. The integrated inventory tracking ensures popular items remain in stock, with restocking alerts to prevent shortages.

Tim and Ashley Owens, co-founders of Old Coast Pickleball, highlight the benefits of using CourtReserve’s system, noting how it simplifies the checkout process, allows for easy discount application, and helps manage member billing profiles.

By leveraging these tools, Old Coast Pickleball will be able to optimize sales opportunities and streamlines pro shop operations, enhancing the overall shopping experience for members and visitors.


Legal-proofing with waivers and membership agreements

Like all things in business, opening and running a new pickleball club can be a bit uncertain.

Think severe inclement weather, your players’ and staff’s physical safety, and more. According to CourtReserve Co-Founders Tim and Ashley Owens, it is essential to make sure your pickleball facility is both legally compliant and protected from any unpredictable risks.

The Co-Founders will utilize CourtReserve’s Waivers and Membership Agreements feature to allow players to sign electronically from anywhere.

Signatures are stored forever in CourtReserve, which will help eliminate any unnecessary paperwork headaches for them and their staff.

Your pickleball club questions, answered:

Q. Who should draft up my waivers and membership agreements?
A. It’s always recommended to work with a legal professional who is educated on your local laws who can create legal documentation you need to ensure your business is both legally protected and compliant.

Q. How can I ensure that my players sign off on these waivers and agreements?
A. CourtReserve offers a feature that allows your business to upload legal content. Once uploaded, your club can set signing rules that ensure current and/or new members will need to sign off and agree to your business’s terms and conditions.


Importance of contractor hiring for pickleball clubs

Watch: Ashley Owens shares wisdom about hiring the right talent for their new pickleball club.

There are simply some jobs better left to the professionals.

But hiring talent for a variety of specific jobs can present some challenges. It’s important to consider a few key factors when choosing the right candidate for the job.

After all, their work may impact the ultimate success of a project, so choose wisely.


Old Coast Pickleball club is granted fire marshal approval

Obtaining fire marshal approval when opening a new pickleball club is crucial for ensuring the safety of both patrons and the facility itself.

While it may seem like an additional hurdle after already obtaining several exemptions and permissions from your board, adhering to fire safety regulations is critical. 

Fire marshal approval verifies that your club meets all necessary fire safety standards, including adequate exits, fire suppression systems, and proper storage of flammable materials.

Though navigating through these regulatory processes may be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, remember that it is important for your community’s safety and club’s reputation.


High spirits as friends and family paint Old Coast Pickleball club

Image: Friends and family gather for a post-painting photo at Old Coast Pickleball!

Painting your pickleball club yourself can be a practical and cost-effective choice that allows you to allocate your resources efficiently.

There are just some things you should leave to the pros, and painting isn’t necessarily one of them.

So, Tim and Ashley invited a few friends to come and paint their new pickleball club!

“Our friends, Tim and I did a great job painting, and painting is really one of the few ways you can save money when starting your own club, so we just went for it. We’re really happy about how it turned out and now, our friends, Tim, and I will always remember how we came together to get our pickleball club ready,”

Ashley Owens, CourtReserve & Old Coast Pickleball Co-Founder

By taking on the painting independently, pickleball club entrepreneurs can save a significant amount of money, which could enable them to redirect funds towards investing in high-quality equipment, enhancing facilities, or organizing exciting events to attract members.


Pickleball floor grinding starts ahead of court painting

Watch: Contractors prepare to grind Old Coast Pickleball’s indoor court floors ahead of painting.

Before the grand opening of Old Coast Pickleball, CourtReserve co-founders Tim and Ashley Owens had to ensure the club’s flooring was perfectly prepared for the upcoming activities.

One crucial step in this process was grinding the floors. Floor grinding is essential as it smooths out any imperfections, removes debris, and ensures a level surface, which is vital for the application of paint and coatings.

This preparation not only enhances the durability of the floor but also provides a safe and high-quality playing surface for the members.

Properly ground floors allow the paint and coatings to adhere better, ensuring that the vibrant court lines and non-slip surfaces last longer and withstand the wear and tear of regular play.

Tim and Ashley understood that meticulous preparation was key to delivering an exceptional experience for their players, starting with the very foundation they would play on.

💡 Pro tip: apply a suitable coating for pickleball courts

Use a high-quality coating designed for sports courts to protect the surface and provide the right amount of grip for players. Proper coating enhances safety and performance.


CourtReserve Co-Founders share advice ahead of zoning approval meeting with local board

CourtReserve Co-Founders share essential strategies for successfully preparing for a zoning approval meeting with your local board:

  • Educate Yourself: Do your homework on your community’s local laws, standards and regulations before deciding to purchase land.
  • Provide Required Information: Share all pertinent details according to local regulations to an experienced surveyor. Your plans should include information on the location, property features, and future expansion areas (if any).
  • Be Prepared: Have an outlined proposal ready that outlines your solutions to address traffic flow, parking, and signage. 
  • Be Respectful: When hearing your neighbors’ concerns about noise and traffic and show enthusiasm for your project and how it will benefit the community and local economy. 

Zoning approval from county board secured

Watch: CourtReserve Co-Founders share celebratory news post-zoning approval meeting.

Today, CourtReserve Co-Founders Ashley and Tim Owens went before their local board to get zoning approval for Old Coast Pickleball and their request was approved!


Tim and Ashley Owens get the keys to their St. Augustine, FL-based Old Coast Pickleball Club

Watch: CourtReserve Co-Founder Ashley Owens on getting the keys to Old Coast Pickleball club.

Today, CourtReserve Co-Founders Tim and Ashley Owens got the keys to their new pickleball facility, located in scenic St. Augustine, Florida.

The club boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including 2 pristine courts and top-notch amenities—all set against the backdrop of breathtaking coastal views.

We understand, the tech entrepreneur duo will encourage visitors and locals of all ages and skill levels to join them at OCP.


A note from CourtReserve Co-Founder, Tim Owens on opening Old Coast Pickleball club

Dear Friends,

After years of dedication to CourtReserve, we’ve decided to go back to what started it all… our love of racquet sports. Old Coast Pickleball has been a labor of love that started out as merely an idea almost 8 years ago and it’s finally coming to life before our very eyes. It feels surreal to walk into our own facility and to step into the shoes of customers like you that we’ve admired for so long. 

If you had asked us if we ever imagined ourselves as software provider founders AND, now, pickleball club owners back in 2015, we probably would have laughed. CourtReserve has allowed us to meet and help so many of you from every corner of the world, and we’ve loved every minute of it. You all have been an invaluable part of the inspiration that helped us take this leap into club ownership. 

Thank you for being a part of our CourtReserve AND Old Coast Pickleball journey. And thank you for believing in our dreams. We can’t wait to continue to serve you as a leading club management software solution and we hope we get the chance to host you at our facility someday!

Tim & Ashley Owens, CourtReserve and Old Coast Pickleball Co-Founders

Insight from community on obtaining zoning approval for a pickleball club

While Tim and Ashley Owens awaited next steps on zoning approval for their new pickleball club, we asked our CourtReserve community how to best prepare for the meeting and here’s some insight we wanted to share:

“I would recommend hosting a meeting with the impacted residents to hear their concerns. The best zoning presentations are the ones that incorporate and address feedback from adjacent property owners. They will want to know about outdoor lighting, noise, hours of operations, [and] mitigation of rain water runoff from your paved parking surface.”

Libby M.

💡 Pro tip: be prepared for zoning meetings

Have an outlined proposal ready that outlines your solutions to address traffic flow, parking, and signage.


Owners learn they need to obtain zoning approval for new pickleball club

Watch: Ashley and Tim will go before their board early March, 2024.

Despite their excitement, Tim and Ashley learned that their facility was zoned residential, not commercial, only a few weeks into building. While this hiccup presents a challenge, they are determined to overcome it.

The Co-Founders will be meeting with the county board to present their case for adding a budding, new pickleball club in their community. 


LED lighting is installed at Old Coast Pickleball club

Watch: Ashley shares the installed LED lighting in Old Coast Pickleball club.

Tim and Ashley Owens recently selected BriteCourt to outfit their pickleball club with LED lighting for Old Coast Pickleball.

The decision came after extensive research into various lighting options, prioritizing player experience and safety.

They found that high-quality LED lighting ensures clear visibility, reducing shadows and glare, which is crucial for minimizing distractions and preventing accidents. This is especially important for evening matches or indoor settings where proper illumination is essential for players to see the ball clearly and react quickly.

In addition to enhancing gameplay, the energy-efficient LED lights from BriteCourt will help reduce operational costs and support the club’s sustainability goals.

BriteCourt, known for its work on over 800 tennis and pickleball projects, offered the expertise and reliability Tim and Ashley sought for their club. The Owens’ focus on quality lighting reflects their commitment to providing a professional and enjoyable atmosphere for their members.

💡 Pro tip: consider lighting color temperature

Use lighting with a color temperature between 4000K and 5000K for a natural daylight effect that enhances visibility and reduces eye strain for players.


Protecting Old Coast Pickleball with new insurance policy

Before opening their pickleball club, Tim and Ashley Owens prioritized finding the right insurance to protect their building, operations, assets, and team from potential risks and liabilities.

Understanding the importance of comprehensive coverage, they sought a policy that would safeguard their investment against accidents, injuries, property damage, and unforeseen events.

Tim Owens highlighted the necessity of this step, explaining that the right insurance policy covers medical expenses, legal fees, and repair costs in case of incidents. This protection not only provides peace of mind for club owners and members but also demonstrates a commitment to safety and responsibility.

By securing a robust insurance policy, Tim and Ashley ensured their club was prepared for any unexpected events, allowing them to focus on growing and enhancing their pickleball community.

💡 Pro Tip: assess your risks

Identify potential risks unique to your club, such as injuries, property damage, and equipment theft, to determine the coverage you need.


CourtReserve Co-Founders share advice for branding a pickleball club

Properly branding your pickleball club is essential because it establishes a distinct identity that sets your club apart from competitors and creates a lasting impression on potential members.

A strong brand communicates the club’s values, mission, and unique offerings, making it easier to attract and retain members who resonate with your club’s ethos. Effective branding also enhances recognition and credibility, helping to build a loyal community and foster a sense of belonging among members.

A well-defined brand can drive marketing efforts, making promotional activities more cohesive and impactful. It extends beyond just a logo or color scheme; it’s about creating a consistent and memorable experience across all touchpoints, from the club’s website and social media to on-site signage and merchandise.

Image: Old Coast Pickleball hired a professional designer for its coastal-themed logos.

Ultimately, strong branding not only draws in new members but also encourages existing members to become ambassadors for your club, promoting it within their networks and contributing to its growth and success.

💡 Pro tip: pre-order marketing ahead of opening

Here are suggested timelines for ordering marketing materials before your pickleball club officially opens:

Signage: at least 3 months before
Business Cards: at least 2 months before
Brochures: at least 2 months before


See mock-up design of upcoming pickleball club, Old Coast Pickleball

Image: Illustration of Old Coast Pickleball, a new indoor pickleball facility owned by CourtReserve Co-Founders

Today, Tim and Ashley Owens unveiled an illustrated prototype design for their St. Augustine, Florida-based pickleball club.

Inspired by the breathtaking scenic views of the Shipyard Marina where the club will be based, the CourtReserve Co-Founders opted for a coastal color palette, which includes shades of navy, teal, and white.

Old Coast Pickleball reflects Tim and Ashley Owens’ unwavering commitment to advancing racquet sports, while empowering players of all ages and skill levels to join in a game that’s near and dear to their hearts. 

“We’re going back to what started it all. Our love of racquet sports, namely pickleball. Old Coast Pickleball has been a labor of love and we’re learning so much about club ownership each day. We’re excited to share invaluable lessons and to continue to innovate in the club management and court reservation space. We’ve already got a list of feature ideas that will help change the game for clubs everywhere,”

Tim Owens, CourtReserve & Old Coast Pickleball Co-Founder

CourtReserve Co-Founders plan to document the journey of opening a new pickleball club

After serving over 1,500 pickleball and tennis club owners worldwide, the Owens have decided to step into the shoes of their beloved customers.

The married duo will document this thrilling new venture on social media, as they hope to show the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of opening up their own club. 

“We’ve had the honor and privilege of serving hundreds of customers in the US, Canada, and beyond. We’ve heard their frustrations and we’ve celebrated some of their proudest moments alongside them, as a team here at CourtReserve. We’re excited to learn more about their perspective as club owners with Old Coast Pickleball, and we are hoping to bring a fresh set of eyes back to CourtReserve so we can provide even more value to club owners and instructors around the world,”

Ashley Owens, CourtReserve & Old Coast Pickleball Co-Founder

Tech entrepreneurs, Tim and Ashley Owens, announce new business venture: Old Coast Pickleball Club

Watch: Old Coast Pickleball is the couple’s third business venture in the racquet sports industry. 

As avid pickleball enthusiasts, CourtReserve Co-Founders Ashley and Tim Owens have decided to embark on an exciting new journey: opening up their very own pickleball club, Old Coast Pickleball.

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9 TIPS
FOR
HAPPIER
MEMBERS

How automating your club is directly related to acquiring and retaining more members at your club

Tim Owens
Founder of Courtserve.com