By Roger Cox, Editor
Thanks to its three indoor courts, Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, Colorado offers tennis on a year-round basis, a boast few resorts in the Rockies or Sierra Nevada Mountains can make. There are another three courts outside, set along Gore Creek. Yet in what at first seems like a paradox, high season as measured by the amount of tennis activity on these courts runs not in summer, as is typical of mountain resorts, but from late fall through late spring. There is one significant reason for that according to tennis director Pete Anderson: "In summer, other courts pop up and people kind of spread out," he told me, referring to the tennis clubs and public facilities strung along Vail Valley and points west.
Anderson's tennis calendar in winter is larded with cardio sessions; beginner, intermediate, and advanced clinics, for both adults and juniors; a weekly round robin, and game-matching services. All of them depend on a loyal following of locals for their success, since most guests of the resort in winter have almost certainly come for the fabled Vail skiing. Most, but by no means all. As I pointed out in a recent newsletter, it's not unusual to encounter guests in the lobby dressed in tennis gear even at the height of the winter season. And these are people who often chose Vail Cascade not only for its considerable creature comforts—among them the extraordinary 78,000-square-foot Aria Athletic Club & Spa—and ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes but also because of its ability to cater to their tennis needs.
In summer, Anderson's weekly calendar of tennis options remains substantially the same as winter, though the sheer number of outdoor activities available throughout the valley does, he admits, lead to smaller turnouts, though that allows him to more easily personalize the clinics to the needs of the participants. As in winter, his cardio sessions maximize movement. "The way I run cardio, we try to hit a maximum number of balls so it simulates playing," he told me. "All the drills I use are relevant to real tennis."
Anderson fell in love with tennis at age 12 while living in Brazil, and continued to play through high school after moving back to Delaware. During college, he made a transition into teaching at an indoor club in Maryland (he has a PTR certification). He first came to Vail to snowboard in 2004 and never left.
At Vail Cascade, tennis is one element in the massive and alluring Aria Athletic Club & Spa. Its three floors comprise a vast array of workout facilities, including basketball, squash, racquetball and tennis courts, indoor track, FitWall, TRX and FitWall Training, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, extensive cardio and weight-training equipment, free weights, and a lengthy roster of yoga, spinning, Tai Chi, Zumba, Pilates, and fitness classes. Those are supplements by the massages, facials, body treatments, and salon services of the 10,000-square-foot Aria Spa.
the anchor for all of this is an appealingly modern lodge set beside Gore Creek. It houses hotel rooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, a small market, and ski and retail shops and has a creekside outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. Those who need more space than a hotel room can choose fully equipped condos or vacation homes randing in size up to five bedrooms.
Pro Shop: 970-479-5941
Courts & Fees. 3 indoor and 3 outdoor hard courts.
Visit the website for current rates
General Tourist Information. Check out Visit Vail Valley website for general tourist information about the region.
©2017 Roger Cox