According to the U.S. Census, approximately 10,000 people are turning 65 each day, and that trend will continue until 2030. While many of these individuals might be looking for a smaller footprint in terms of housing, they’re often looking to expand their options for staying active and social. And more and more are discovering a passion for the sport of — pickleball.
The fun, social and active game of pickleball resembles a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s an all age sport which includes all skill levels and is a great way for many to stay active and healthy, all while building important social relationships. First started in the 1960’s near Seattle, WA, pickleball has become the fastest growing sport, seeing nearly a 40% growth over the last two years according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). According to the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology, “regular participation in pickleball improves cardiorespiratory fitness and positively modifies key cardiovascular disease risk factors.”
With this increased popularity and a positive health impact, numerous neighborhoods and communities throughout the United States have made pickleball courts a priority within their amenity packages, whether building new courts, or refurbishing old tennis courts into pickleball courts. Homebuyers flock to these communities as winter getaways, second homes or new communities to call home full-time.
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“Manufactured home communities are known for their activities, events and amenities, and with the growth of pickleball over the last few years, residents want courts readily available to enjoy the active and social lifestyle the sport brings,” says Pat Zamora, representative of myMHcommunity.com (a one-stop website that helps buyers find a home in a community environment that fosters an active and social lifestyle).
“Additionally, communities are adding or converting to pickleball courts because many prospective residents are looking for this amenity when they purchase a new home,” added Zamora.
An example of such a community is Monte Vista Village Resort, an age-qualified resort-style neighborhood in Mesa, AZ that offers a unique atmosphere fostering an active and social lifestyle. In 2021, Monte Vista completed a new sports and fitness complex that included many features like a full weight room and gym, along with four new pickleball courts, bringing the community’s total offering to a dozen courts.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the overall atmosphere of Monte Vista and provide the experience our residents and guests deserve,” said Monte Vista General Manager, Brian Montalbano. “There was no way we could build another state of the art fitness facility without including additional pickleball courts as the feature amenity. The sport is too popular amongst everyone here.”
Nearby ViewPoint Golf Resort and Tucson’s Voyager RV Resort, with 25 pickleball courts between them, offer extensive activities, events and amenities like tennis, softball, golf, billiards, fitness centers and swimming pools, but with all these options residents are elevating the popularity of pickleball and enjoying everything the sport brings to these communities.
The participation hasn’t just trickled south from Washington into the Southwest, either. Residents across Texas, like at the Reserve at Lake Conroe and stretching throughout the state of Florida in resort communities like Colony Cove, Pine Lakes Country Club and Bay Indies, all crave the sport that keeps them active and healthy, when seeking their snowbird home or permanent residence.
While many of these resort communities commonly host daily social events and leisure activities as well as organized group outings in an effort to promote health and social activity, Psychology Today suggests that “pickleball offers physical exercise, mental exercise, and a likely mental health boost, making it a trifecta for all participants.”
And with 4.8 million pickleball players – and growing – enjoying the game throughout the United States, having access to a court right in your neighborhood can offer a boost to both your health and your social calendar.