A widely popular spectator sport, tennis is also enjoyed by millions who play for recreation as singles or doubles. Tennis is an excellent form of exercise -- it doesn't matter if it's played leisurely or played competitively. In Aspen Snowmass, there are a couple of options if you want to take to the courts. Pam Bakios, our Frias Properties real estate office manager, knows a thing or two about tennis. She's been playing for more than 20 years and has some excellent firsthand knowledge of all the great area tennis locations. Below, she shares her knowledge as part of our continuing Q&A series.
Q: When did you first start playing tennis?
A: "In my early 20s off and on. I really started to play in late 1980s and became serious in the 1990s."
Q: Where did you learn to play?
A: "I played some in Massachusetts and San Diego. I became more tennis-oriented when I moved to Aspen. I played on various tennis teams at the Snowmass Club. I played in the Denver regionals three times."
Q: What tennis clubs in the valley have you been to?
A: "The Aspen Club, Snowmass Club, River Valley Ranch, Aspen Golf & Tennis Club, Aspen Meadows and Maroon Creek Club."
Q: Which local club is your favorite?
A: "The Snowmass Club. I love the breathtaking views, the courts, weight and cardio rooms "plus the Sage restaurant. You can have your lunch on the outdoor deck or by the swimming pool."
Q: Are there clay and grass courts around here?
A: "There are mainly hard courts and Har-Tru clay courts. I haven't seen any grass courts in the valley."
Q: What is the best time of year to play tennis in the valley?
A: "I love summer and fall because you can play and enjoy the outdoors."
Q: I need lessons. Where should go?
A: "I think the Snowmass Club or Aspen Meadows would be two good places to learn."
Q: I have children that need lessons. Is that possible?
A: "Yes. Most of the clubs have a pro and/or tennis instructor that can teach them the basics of the game."
Q: What should I wear to the club?
A: "Tennis outfits, shorts and tennis shoes. You shouldn't wear other types of shoes since you need the lateral support in a tennis shoe."
Q: Where's a good place to get equipment and gear?
A: "All the clubs have some type of equipment. You can demo a racket to see if you like it. It all depends what you are looking for in a racket."
Q: Do I pay by the hour to rent a court or how does that work?
A: "You can play at the Snowmass Club, Aspen Club and Aspen Meadows. You might pay a club fee and an hourly fee to play. The Snowmass Club will allow visitors to play for a fee between the hours of 12-4 p.m. Just telephone the club that you're interested in to receive up-to-date information."
Q: Are there tournaments that I can enter?
A: "There are a few tournaments around the valley. They usually have a Labor Day tournament at the Aspen Golf & Tennis Club."
- The Aspen Tennis Club, located just outside of Aspen along Highway 82, offers six classic clay courts. At Iselin Park (adjacent to the Aspen Recreation Center) along Maroon Creek Road, there are two hard courts. The Iselin Park courts require no reservations and are first come, first serve. Court rental at the club is $22 per hour at the Aspen Tennis Club. Please call the Aspen Tennis Club to reserve a court - (970) 429-2869. The club offers lessons to children and adults daily during season, which begin the week of June 4, 2012. The club is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at both facilities through October. The club also offers a number of tournaments and "tennis boot camps" during the season. Ball machines can also be rented for $20 per hour for passholders and $30 for non-passholders.
- The Snowmass Club offers 13 tennis courts, including 11 outdoor courts with breathtaking views. A crew of experienced instructors are available to cater to your needs. The team is led by Gayle Godwin, a former U.S. Olympic coach! For more information, call (970) 923-5600.
- There are four cushioned hard courts and two clay courts at the Aspen Meadows Tennis Center. Call (970) 925-4240.
- River Valley Ranch in Carbondale offers five Har-Tru courts with views of Mt. Sopris. Call (970) 963-6300.