Did you know pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America?

No? I find that hard to believe as every pickleball player I've encountered wont's stop mentioning how popular it is! According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association over the last 3 years the number of pickleball players has increased by 159%.

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Do YOU play pickleball?

No town is too big or too small to have pickleball courts! You can find them at your local YMCA, senior center, or hometown park. One reason which makes these courts so widespread is the minimal set-up. Any regulation sized tennis court will do; simply add the shorter pickleball net and you're good to go!

However, when it comes to playing pickleball what is difficult is finding an open court! Could this be the answer we've been looking for?

According to CNN real estate developers are turning to pickleball to fill empty stores in their malls to,

...[replace] shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, and Saks Off 5th stores. It may seem like a strange strategy, but the match offers benefits to both mall owners and pickleball players.

Many big box retailers announced closings and layoffs throughout 2023 including Bed Bath & Beyond, Rite AidT.J. Maxx, and more recently The Body Shop and Macy's. Could this be the saving grace malls and shopping centers need to stay afloat?

Photo by Lesli Whitecotton on Unsplash
Photo by Lesli Whitecotton on Unsplash

Think about it-- it doesn't have to just be pickleball either! Adds CNN,

Consumers are craving fun, social experiences after years of limited gatherings during the pandemic, and they have shifted their spending from goods to experiences like theaters, arcades and amusement parks.

I've seen glow mini-golf, Wine and Canvas, and axe-throwing businesses fill dying malls and strip malls, why not pickleball too?

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