Tennis courts

Petition aims to keep tennis courts as part of redevelopment of historic Naples hotel

NAPLES

There is a petition to prevent a precious place from being bulldozed in Southwest Florida.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club Off is being redeveloped and people who love it want to keep it as it is.

Christy Boutell played at the club’s Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center for years.

“There aren’t a lot of places in the Naples areas of southwest Florida where you can come to some great courts and be taught by a pro, and it’s open to the public,” he said. said Boutell.

But the courts could be demolished and relocated as part of the Athens group’s plan to redevelop the community.

Boutell and other regulars hope a petition will save the courts.

“I live in North Naples and everyone I know has signed the petition,” Cheryl Roe said.

Cheryl Roe has yet to sign but is supporting the cause and the courts.

“I thought it was really sad, and you know, a remodel is always good, but a complete teardown? Roe said. “And it’s going to disrupt, you know, the animals, the traffic.”

The Athens group said the new courts would be open to the public once the redevelopment is complete.

“Details of the golf and tennis programs are still being worked out so are not yet available,” Naples City Councilor Paul Perry said.

The sale of the property is expected to close in May, and The Athens Group will then close the hotel and possibly the golf and tennis courts for the construction of its new five-star resort.

Perry says people unhappy with the plan should have come forward sooner, but players like Boutell are hopeful the courts will stay.

“I hope it will stay,” said Boutell. “I really do.”

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