The Story of Rhinebeck Tennis Club

 

In 1985 a group of local tennis enthusiasts saw a need for a tennis facility in Rhinebeck. Seven people formed a partnership to build the Rhinebeck Tennis Club on Route 308. The rural setting offered a perfect place to play tennis. The club opened in 1986 with four Har-Tru tennis courts and two shade pavilions. 

 

From 1986 - 2003, I ran a successful tennis business, operating as a NYC Park's concessionaire in Brooklyn. 

 

In 2003, I decided I needed a change. Brooklyn was getting old. I needed some fresh air.

So I moved upstate to teach tennis at a mountain resort in the Catskills. I thought it would be fun to be a tennis bum again. No worries, no cares. Room and board provided. Anyway, one day that summer,  I walked into my employer's office and asked him for a raise. To my surprise, I was denied.

 So, I jumped onto my motorcycle to cool down and think of my next move. I cruised over the bridge and I stopped in Rhinebeck to have lunch. Sitting at the table waiting for my sandwich, I picked up a Home Finder real estate guide. Listed on page 2 was the Rhinebeck Tennis Club FOR SALE! I hurried over to the realtor's office in Rhinebeck. We drove over to the club that afternoon. Despite the tall weeds growing all over the courts, I saw my future.

I bought the club a short time later. I opened my new business in the spring of 2004.

Over the years, the club has continued to grow and prosper. More and more amenities have been added:

A cottage with a pro shop, restroom, tv lounge, a pergola, patio and gardens, an indoor tennis court, a fifth outdoor Har-tru tennis court, a paved parking lot and access road, two soccer fields, well-kept lawns, and numerous trees.

 

Every season, tennis players from all over the world come to the club to learn and play. It's amazing. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to provide a beautiful facility and excellent tennis programs for everyone to enjoy.

However, the club has had it's disruptions. In 2019 the pandemic hit. I had to shut down for awhile. With all the uncertainty, I decided to pivot in a new direction. I changed from a private membership club to a public tennis club. There was a huge migration of tennis players from NYC buying into Rhinebeck. I needed to create an inclusive tennis culture that was cost effective for all of these new players. Today anyone can play as much or as little as they like and pay only for the time they use on the court; no more expensive long-term membership commitments. Everyone was now welcomed.

And here we are today, 18 years later. The pandemic is still around, yet we have been able to survive. The tennis club has provided a safe open space for people to play with their friends. We're not out of this yet but I'm hopeful.

I'm constantly striving to make things better. Our website reflects my philosophy of keeping it simple. I don't offer alot of options. I specialize in private lessons, court rentals and clinics. I offer online bookings, payments and cancellations. This makes everyone's day a little easier. My focus is always on better customer service.

RTC and I are still a work in progress. I'm sure we will continue to evolve as the world changes.

I'm looking forward to all of the challenges that lie ahead.

 

2022 is going to be great.

Thank you for your continued support

Happy New Year

Bob