Customer Spotlight: Cape Henry Racquet Club

CS Cape Henry 02Challenge – Inclement weather conditions
Solution – Hercules Truss Arch Building
Size – 120’ wide x 106’ long
Application – Indoor tennis facility

Cape Henry Racquet Club was founded in 1974 and is located only two miles from the scenic Virginia Beach Boardwalk. In 2009, local tennis instructor Darryl Cummings bought the club with expansion in mind. Cummings, a former college tennis player and coach, wanted to turn the club into a state-of-the-art facility that would be able to hold regional tournaments and local lessons year-round.

CS Cape Henry 01Weather in the Virginia Beach area is unpredictable, as the city has the 12th highest rainfall total in the U.S. For Cummings, who was operating the club with only outdoor courts, weather became a major concern. Cummings said, “When I bought the club, it had five outdoor courts, and I quickly realized that I was losing revenue because of having to cancel lessons because of the weather.”

To stay competitive in the tennis industry, Cummings knew he needed to offer an indoor alternative where lessons and tournaments could continue even during severe weather. When he was a college coach at Old Dominion University, Cummings aided the staff in researching and consulting on an indoor tennis arena, so he had prior knowledge of tension fabric structures. Cummings sent out site work and information to 16 different tension fabric companies, and ClearSpan sent him the cleanest, clearest quote for the project. He said, “I knew I didn’t want an air bubble, because it’s not as natural for tennis and doesn’t have a translucent cover. ClearSpan gave me a quick and concise quote on the project with all the information I needed. That sold me on the company.” Cummings went on to purchase a 120’wide by 106’long ClearSpan fabric structure, which would cover two of his preexisting outdoor courts.

The building is working excellently for Cummings. No longer does he have to cancel lessons because of severe weather. He said, “The building has given us a facility that a lot of racquet clubs in the area can’t compete with. When it rains, I no longer have to worry about shifting schedules or canceling matches, we move the play inside seamlessly.” Other than the benefit of no longer losing revenue because of weather, Cummings has used the building for other events as well. He said, “We use the buildings for banquets and parties of 150-200 people. Recently we welcomed legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri to the racquet club, and we hosted the event inside of the ClearSpan building.”

CS Cape Henry 05

Overall Cummings had a pleasure working with ClearSpan. He said, “ClearSpan can make your project very efficient and transactional. Everyone from the project manager to the Truss Arch Specialist were always available and got to me quickly whenever I had a question.” Cummings did have one piece of advice for prospective customers planning on using the building for tennis. He mentioned that placing the building’s trim on the bottom of the structure instead of the top makes it easier to track the ball when the sun is shining outside.

To learn more about Cape Henry Racquet Club visit http://cummingsathletics.com/cape-henry-racquet-club/.

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