provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Following the debut of its resurfaced original 12 courts in August and the addition of four new courts earlier this month, Sundial Beach Resort at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive celebrated a SanCap Chamber ribbon-cutting on Thursday, Sep. 28, of its popular pickleball facilities.
First opened in April 2017 across the road from the resort, the original pickleball stadium, with seating and clinics, became an immediate hit with residents and visitors. Sundial added Plexicushion® surfacing to the courts and built the four new ones on the resort’s gulf side as part of post-hurricane restoration.
“We’re proud to be one of the largest pickleball facilities in the state of Florida,” said General Manager Becky Miller, also a Sundial pickleball member. “The courts are open to the public with annual and monthly memberships, day passes, and lessons available.”
The resort was able to have a soft opening in December after repairing damage from Hurricane Ian, which tore up fencing, gates, nets, landscaping, and court surfacing and deposited heaps of sand and debris on the courts, including an upside-down Range Rover.
“Our pickleball members were very supportive and appreciative of our quick work to get some of the courts playable within two months of the hurricane, making our facility one of the very first things to reopen on the island post-Ian,” said Miller. “Seeing progress in action was a reminder of the community’s resilience and dedication to restoring our beloved island. Opening the courts brought back a semblance of normalcy to post-Ian island life.”
“The Sundial pickleball courts complex became a feather in the island’s hat from the beginning,” said John Lai, SanCap Chamber president and CEO. “It began drawing the pickleball crowd just as the sport was gaining steam. We are so happy to once again count this among Sanibel’s top attractions.”
Since opening, the Sundial pickleball complex has hosted pro exhibitions, events with Pickleball Magazine, camps, and tournaments. It is often recognized for “best pickleball” throughout Southwest Florida. Last year, Tennis Resorts Online ranked the courts #2 in the nation.
“We’re thankful for the chamber’s help in spreading the word to the community that pickleball is back on Sanibel and is open to everyone,” said Miller. “We’re excited for the return of all our annual tournaments, including Dink for Pink in October, which supports cancer needs in our community.”