Image: Josh Wangrud

Pickleball, tennis’s affable cousin, is on a tear nationwide—and it’s not hard to see why. It’s fun, easy to learn, and a highly social affair. Grab a paddle, a ball, and some fellow picklers, and you’ll be rallying, dinking, and shouting things like “Opa!” in no time.

Park City recreation director Ken Fisher attributes the sport’s popularity to its sharp learning curve and social side. “Because of the court size [roughly one-fourth of a tennis court], you’re close to one another,” he says, “and there’s a lot of oohing and aahing—and smack talk.”

Park City Pickleball Club president Greg Leitzke explains that the sport’s “super-casual” appeal crosses ages and socioeconomic boundaries. “When I play, the guy to my left probably owns a $5 million home in Park City, and the guy to my right may be a ski bum that’s living week-to-week,” he says. “People don’t care. As long as they’re playing pickleball, it doesn’t matter where they’re from or how much money they have.”
Just how popular is pickleball locally? Since Park City Pickleball Club was founded in October 2019, membership has ballooned from 30 players to 800, according to Leitzke. The city is proposing an additional half-dozen pickleball courts at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center (parkcityrecreation.org) as part of an upcoming renovation, as well as a dozen (or more) courts at a burgeoning Quinn’s Junction recreation facility. Both projects could begin as early as spring 2023.

Get official
Pay $25, and you’re in. Park City Pickleball Club, pcpickleballclub.com, hosts six socials per summer, two club tournaments, and one sanctioned tournament: the 2nd Annual Park City Summer Classic, Aug 4–6, 2022.

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