DEL MAR – The leaders of the Surf & Turf Tennis Club in Del Mar are working with Fairgrounds to avoid a month-long closure of the facility in October, when the club is between leases.
In August, Del Mar Fairgrounds made a request for proposals, or RFP, for a tennis center operator to take over the club’s lease once the current contract expires on September 30. announced that he would not submit an offer to renew his contract after being at the helm for over 30 years.
Although three candidates submitted bids, the RFP was eventually canceled in the interest of maintaining competition after Del Mar Fairgrounds found that two of the bids were unqualified based on technical details. A new RFP was issued on August 29th with a delayed lease start date of November 1st, leaving a gap of one month without an insured operator.
At the 22nd District Agricultural Association board meeting on September 14, Fairgrounds CEO Carlene Moore presented two possible solutions to avoid a gloomy October period – the district could run the club for a month, or another entity could take over operations in one month. rent contract.
“If an entity or even an individual came forward that could meet all requirements for insurance, indemnity, and so on, and paid that fee to the district for the month of October; we could get into a lease for that month,” Moore said.
Another option would be for Levie to continue operating the club for another month, Moore said, but he declined to do so.
“We informed the DAA over a month ago that we would complete this by September 30th so they could get a new organization up and running by the original October 1st deadline,” Levie said. “Unfortunately, extending our process to shut down operations after we started taking steps to do so was simply not feasible for us.”
Several tennis club instructors have expressed concern to the Fairgrounds board about what this closure could mean for them and their students.
“As a full-time teaching professional at the club, my family depends on this income,” said instructor Jessica Frazee. “This doesn’t just affect my family, but all of my students that I’ve taught week after week for seven years.”
Club staff also noted that a month-long closure would adversely affect students in local school districts who use the courts to meet physical education requirements.
Club manager JZ Keegan said it would make more sense for the current team to manage the month-long gap rather than an outside group and offered to continue managing the club if Fairgrounds itself could provide the necessary insurance.
“I am able to run Surf & Turf, but I would need Fairgrounds to provide the insurance,” she said. “Please understand that an outside business coming in for a month would likely not be able to do all the moving parts.”
A meeting between Keegan and Fairgrounds officials is planned for Wednesday, Keegan said.
Surf & Turf Pro instructor Jason Woods said that with the leadership changes planned and the possible closure in October, there was “a lot of craziness and stress.”
“I hope we can move quickly and find a way to keep the tennis court lights on. The coaches are ready to train, and the kids I know are ready to be trained and want to have a place to go in October,” Wood said.
The new tennis club operator will receive a one-year lease with the potential to extend it for up to four additional years. Bids were submitted on 15 September, and a notice of intent to award will be issued on 26 September, followed by final approval of the contract by the Fairgrounds board at its 11 October meeting.