With Interest in Tennis Waning, Town Officials Pursue New Uses for Mead Park Courts, Racquet Club Partnership 

Town officials are looking to forge a new partnership with the New Canaan Racquet Club and also find some new uses for the under-utilized tennis courts at Mead Park in order to boost attendance there. 

In 2018, New Canaan sold 112 season passes for the clay courts, bringing in about $10,000 in revenues against $14,000 just to open the facility and thousands for more attendants, according to the Parks & Recreation Commission. 

“There is a considerable shortfall on tennis that the town has to make up,” Commissioner Carl Mason said during the appointed body’s Feb. 13 meeting at Town Hall. “Even if we were to look at some of our better years, looking back at 2015 or so, we have a shortfall.”

Though tennis instruction clinics bring in some money, they effectively just “cover their costs” and it’s hard to justify redoing the clay courts for an estimated $140,000 “without any real hard data on usage,” Mason said. 

“We are really not finding any champions for tennis in New Canaan at this point in time,” Mason said while presenting the full Commission with an update on the eight Mead Park courts. 

The Commission should consider whether all of those courts must be dedicated to tennis, given the low demand, or whether “we can convert those courts for other sports,” Mason said. 

“One thing that has been discussed is pickle ball. The hard court is maybe a venue for pickle ball. Or maybe even volleyball, basketball or a flexible field on one of the Har-Tru courts.”

Recreation officials also have met with the New Canaan Racquet Club to talk about a new partnership.

Winter Snow Photos around New Canaan [Feb. 2 Storm]

New Canaan Public Schools will operate on a 2-hour delay Tuesday, officials say. Most of New Canaan came to a halt Monday, as heavy snowfall interspersed by freezing rain created hazardous driving conditions, forcing the schools, library and many downtown businesses to close. Town Hall and the police department offered limited walk-in services as those motorists forced to drive around town fishtailed and skidded on most local roads. Police late Monday afternoon on Twitter urged residents to say off of the roads as conditions deteriorated rapidly with falling temps coinciding with heavier precipitation. New Canaan saw snowfall of about seven inches through Monday afternoon, with an additional two to four inches expected at night. The National Weather Service has put the area under a Winter Weather Advisory through 1 a.m. Tuesday.

New Canaan Racquet Club to Host Rally for the Cure Round-Robin

New Canaan Racquet Club (NCRC) is hosting a Rally for the Cure mixed doubles round-robin tournament from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 25 to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the fight against breast cancer (sign up here). Refreshments and a goody bag including a subscription to a select Conde Nast magazine such as SELF, Golf Digest or Bon Appétit will be provided during the BYOB event in exchange for a $20 donation. In addition, male and female winners of the tournament will be awarded a special prize. NCRC invites the public to register online at www.ncrctennis.com to reserve one of 24 spots.

360 Fitness Closing; Plans Filed to Renovate Grove Street Space

A longstanding Grove Street gym will close Saturday, and an application was filed this week to put an estimated $325,000 into renovating the space. 360 Fitness at number 45 Grove (in the ground floor of the New Canaan Racquet Club) was unable to find a new space after it no longer could stay in its location, according to a message posted to the gym’s website by owner Steve Bazewicz. On Wednesday, plans were filed with the New Canaan Building Department to renovate 14,000 square feet in the lower level of 45 Grove St., including new floors and doors, removal of sauna, hot tubs, updated locker rooms, new interior wall partitions, extended sprinklers and reworked HVAC system. The application notes work being done “for personal training fitness.” According to the application, the plans were drawn up by Balance Architecture LLC of Norwalk.