VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A tennis competition is bringing hundreds of people and almost half of a million dollars in revenue to South Georgia.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is bringing out more than 400 people from across the state.
“We have teams from all over the state of Georgia who has qualified in local league play to come to the state championship," said Suzan Prince, Valdosta-Lowndes Park and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) Chair.
The community is welcoming qualifying tennis players to compete against one another, on their newly renovated and added tennis courts.
“The courts are full every night which is a great problem to have. Our board saw that that was a problem, or a need, not a problem. They addressed that," said Keith Childree, VLPRA Director of Tennis.
VLPRA just added six courts, to the 12 originally at the Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center.
“The things that we were hearing over and over again is that we needed more courts in closer proximity," said Prince.
We spoke to some people participating in the competition about getting to the courts, right after the ribbon-cutting earlier this week.
“It was great. You know it was wonderful to play on new courts and a beautiful facility. It’s been great," said Joe Faust.
Joe and Denise Faust came alongside more than 400 other people, all expected to be staying, eating, and shopping in our area.
“The USTA estimates that for one of these events that we are bringing in approximately 450,000 dollars, just for one weekend into our local economy," said Prince.
The couple came all the way from Northern Georgia, ready to compete.
“We’re really excited. We came down to this day tournament with our friends. It’s always fun to be playing tennis with your spouse and your friends. So we’re excited to be here," said Denise.
The competition began today and is set to continue through Monday.
VLPRA wants to remind everyone that the courts are open to the public and there are no reservation fees for open play.
In addition to offering open play, they host private lessons, tennis clinics, and competitions.