31/10/2006 - 21:00

Serving it up for a new generation

31/10/2006 - 21:00

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Perth’s Royal Kings Park Tennis Club is aiming to host a Davis Cup tie after the completion of its $20 million redevelopment, scheduled for March next year, with club officials confirming they are in discussions with organisers of the tournament.

Serving it up for a new generation

Perth’s Royal Kings Park Tennis Club is aiming to host a Davis Cup tie after the completion of its $20 million redevelopment, scheduled for March next year, with club officials confirming they are in discussions with organisers of the tournament.

The 107-year-old club is half way through construction of a state-of-the-art clubhouse and gymnasium, on the footprint of the former Eastman building, which will be sub-leased by Next Generation Clubs Australia.

The club is also restoring its function room and heritage listed pavilion, built in 1926, the McGibbon grandstand built in 1935, 28 lawn grass and three hardcourts.

RKPTC president Richard Yorg said the difficulties of managing a centre of Kings Park’s size, and as a single-purpose club with responsibility for maintaining heritage buildings, had become increasingly obvious over a number of years.

 “After lengthy negotiations, we’re very happy about the redevelopment because it ensures our future,” he said.

“The fact that the club will still exist as a separate entity, we see this as a way of getting more people involved in tennis.”

Hosting a Davis Cup match was also high on the tennis club’s agenda, Mr Yorg said.

The club last hosted a Davis Cup match in late 2004, when Australia played Morocco in a world group qualifying tie.

Next Generation director of operations, Bill Guile, told WA Business News it could not pass up the opportunity to partner with RKPTC and establish its second club in Western Australia, after Bibra Lake. 

“The Perth market has really taken to our product. We’ve built up a strong membership base at Bibra Lake, but Kings Park will target a different market,” Mr Guile said.

Designed by Perth architect Peter Hunt, Next Generation Kings Park will feature five championship standard squash courts, a 20-metre indoor pool, spa and sauna, children’s creche, and a modern gym floor featuring cardio equipment with inbuilt cable TV access.

Unique to the club will be its 20-metre rooftop pool and cafe/bar with views over the city and parklands.

Mr Guile said the company did not have the “churn and burn” philosophy of other gyms and health clubs in the WA market.

“Unfortunately there have been operators that have come into the market and left very quickly. They think it’s easy but their business model is not sustainable,” he said.

“At times that reflects badly on the industry as a whole.

“But we’re well founded with a strong heritage across our 16 clubs in the UK and four in Australia. We oper-ate to a very strict code of conduct, so the integrity of our business is sound.”

Depending on the level of success of the Kings Park venture, Mr Guile said the company would look at other locations in and around Perth that matched its business model.

The club’s opening in April 2007 will be followed by a special events schedule with Australian tennis legends in attendance.

A recruitment drive for between 120 and 130 staff will begin in late January.

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