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Mr. Gordon is the Chief Financial Officer of SRQ Pickleball Partners, LLC. Mr. Gordon’s career spans business operations, finance, and law. Since entering the visa-investment sector, Mr. Gordon has become a noted expert on legal topics related to visa-investment organizational structure and visa-investment policy. He has also done policy work at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and with the White House.
Mr. Gordon is a licensed attorney in New York, having practiced mergers and acquisitions law at the beginning of his career with the largest and most reputable Wall Street firms including Fried Frank and Sullivan & Cromwell. Following his legal career, Mr. Gordon ran the US division of a Swiss multi-national corporation, after which he became an investment banking and finance professional.
Mr. Gordon received his B.S. in Policy Analysis from Cornell University and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
Watch the waves
To quote Steven Hoffman in Make Elephants Fly the biggest factor in the success of a startup surprisingly isn’t creativity, the team, the customer, service or technology. It’s timing.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities — are credited for creating the game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.
Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity. The number of places to play has more than doubled since 2010. There are now nearly 21,000 pickleball courts to choose from throughout the 50 states and 85 new pickleball facilities opening each week in the US. The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities, and retirement communities. It attributes much of its popularity to America’s aging and retiring baby-boomer cohort, which needed an active competitive sport that had lower physical demands compared to tennis, squash, and racquetball. Pickleball is played on a smaller version of a tennis court, requiring less running, overall strength, and less strain on aging joints. Over 75% of the current players are baby-boomers and retirees; however, the sport is growing rapidly among younger segments of the population. The sport is most often played as doubles, with four players on the court at a time. The sport continues to grow worldwide as well with many new international clubs forming and national governing bodies now established in Canada and India.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., with more than 2.8 million players and a 12% increase in the past year, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Jun 27, 2018. We believe it is still in the early stages of growth.
Just for contrast, SFIA found in 2012 that the most popular sport in America was basketball with 26 million participants. Considering how massive basketball is in America, it's impressive that pickleball has already achieved 1/10th of its number.
Pickleball in Sarasota
We believe the local Sarasota market is ideal for an indoor pickleball facility. As in all of Florida, rain, heat, and humidity frequently disrupt the opportunity to play on outdoor courts. Sarasota receives 56 inches of rain a year (compared to US national average of 38) with rain occurring during 106 days per year, nearly one out of every 3 days. For half of the year, high temperatures can affect the desirability of outdoor play for at least part of the day. From April to October, the average high temperature exceeds 85 degrees, and from June to September, the high is 90 or above (83 days per year).
The Sarasota market has a large middle and upper-class retiree population. Sarasota County has a median household income of over $55,000. 38% of the population is between 50 and 79 years old. In contrast, only 34% of the total US population is over 50 years old. Sarasota was ranked as the third most popular destination for retirees.
There are currently no indoor facilities dedicated to pickleball in greater Sarasota. Some facilities, such as community centers, have eliminated offering pickleball, as the overwhelming popularity was disruptive to their general mission. The business model is very similar to that of indoor tennis clubs, however, given the smaller court size, it is possible to fit twelve pickleball courts in the same space as three tennis courts.
SRQ Pickleball Partners, LLC, is developing The Pickleball Club and the Sarasota Pickleball Academy, to be the premier membership-based indoor Pickleball facility in Sarasota, Florida. The Company’s strategy is to take advantage of the significant unmet demand for a quality indoor sports facility in the greater Sarasota & Manatee market.
The facility will accommodate 12 indoor pickleball courts, a pro shop, a coffee/juice bar, and bathroom & shower facilities. The investment will create a top tier indoor sports facility. The Company prefers to remodel an existing building to accelerate the opening time frame, however, if that proves infeasible we will construct a new building in Sarasota County from the ground up.
Club membership is intended to be an integral part of members’ social lives and identities. More than 10% of the floor plan is dedicated to communal seating to facilitate members’ social interactions before and after court time. The juice and coffee bar will serve premium beverages, snacks, and baked goods to encourage members to spend time at the Club.
The Pickleball Club of Sarasota is designed to welcome all who are interested, whether an accomplished player or a rookie. Pickleball has attracted a large mixture of both competitive players and those interested in learning the sport in a social atmosphere. The more accomplished players are attracted to league play because there is currently no other opportunity for them to play and socialize in the Sarasota area. At the same time, we are attracting many who are interested in learning more about the sport and adding it to their social league “resume”. As the Pickleball Club of Sarasota grows, we have plans to offer different levels of competition, such as Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Social.
The social interaction of our members will be encouraged and facilitated by the use of member software systems that allow members access to member directories, events, photos, newsletters and to make reservations online at any time of the day.
This investment opportunity is only open to accredited investors
If you have an interest in investing in this venture and are an accredited investor, we would be most pleased to talk to you. Please contact our CFO Matt Gordon, Esq. at the following:
CFO & General Counsel
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