Pickleball venue at Regency opening this week

performance pickleball owners scaled

Performance Pickleball RVA owners Lee Warfield (left) and Jon Laaser. (Jack Jacobs photo)

The operators behind Performance Pickleball RVA are just about ready to serve up the venue that’s taken over a former department store at Regency.

The new venue is set to open Friday in the 41,000-square-foot space that was formerly the ground level of the Macy’s North store that closed in 2016. The upper level is occupied by entertainment venue Surge Adventure Park.

Performance Pickleball has 12 indoor pickleball courts, as well as a warm-up court, which has a removable net that can be pulled up to make way for temporary seating for large-scale tournaments.

The venue is ultimately planned to be an 18-court facility, with six outdoor courts to be built next to the facility at a later stage. Its owners say they believe it will be the largest dedicated pickleball facility in the state.

The ownership group includes Thalhimer CEO Lee Warfield. The commercial real estate firm is a part-owner of Regency. Other owners include former Flying Squirrels broadcaster Jon Laaser, Jeff Newman and Leah Fremouw.

Performance Pickleball plans to hold drop-in play sessions, clinics, leagues and tournaments. The venue also features a 74-seat bar and eatery with 10 beers on tap, wine and a menu of panini sandwiches, salads, wings and other similar items. It also has a pro shop and events space.

The company declined to comment on the investment made in the venue. Warfield said the project was “well into the seven figures.”

Cross Creek Builders is the venue’s general contractor. Interactive Design Group is the architect.

performance pickleball court 1

Performance Pickleball RVA features 12 indoor play courts, as well as a bar-and-restaurant area and pro shop. (Courtesy of Heather Dodge/Performance Pickleball)

Performance Pickleball is tapping into the momentum behind one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Managing partners Warfield and Laaser are both recent converts to the game and met through the local pickleball scene.

The venue had about 360 paid members as of Wednesday morning. Laaser said they are about where they hoped to be on membership numbers but expected they would continue to allow the membership to grow.

“Lee and I are actively trying to figure out the model of not having too many members but having enough to have that financial consistency,” Laaser said.

“The long and short of it is we’re very close to where our initial number was and we hope to push that a bit. The reason to cap it is that you don’t want your members to not be able to reserve time because they are competing with other members.”

The facility is open to non-members, but membership tiers bring varying degrees of priority when it comes to reserving courts.

The venue offers six membership packages that range from $39 to $199 per month. Laaser said the most popular offering has been the $49-per-month Performance Team Membership, which offers the ability to reserve courts five days in advance and includes 10 hours of play per month. There are also student, family and corporate memberships.

Laaser said he felt Performance Pickleball had been successful in drumming up interest through a steady stream of social media posts and community events ahead of opening day.

“I figured once we built this out to Lee’s vision, people would come in. Our staff did a really good job with the passive push, the trickle marketing,” Laaser said.

The venue was announced in April, and a ground-breaking ceremony was held later in the spring. A ribbon-cutting event is set for Friday.

“I think we have what you would call competitor’s anxiety, like a football player would feel in the locker room. We have a great game plan and just want to start the dang game,” Laaser said.

performance pickleball owners scaled

Performance Pickleball RVA owners Lee Warfield (left) and Jon Laaser. (Jack Jacobs photo)

The operators behind Performance Pickleball RVA are just about ready to serve up the venue that’s taken over a former department store at Regency.

The new venue is set to open Friday in the 41,000-square-foot space that was formerly the ground level of the Macy’s North store that closed in 2016. The upper level is occupied by entertainment venue Surge Adventure Park.

Performance Pickleball has 12 indoor pickleball courts, as well as a warm-up court, which has a removable net that can be pulled up to make way for temporary seating for large-scale tournaments.

The venue is ultimately planned to be an 18-court facility, with six outdoor courts to be built next to the facility at a later stage. Its owners say they believe it will be the largest dedicated pickleball facility in the state.

The ownership group includes Thalhimer CEO Lee Warfield. The commercial real estate firm is a part-owner of Regency. Other owners include former Flying Squirrels broadcaster Jon Laaser, Jeff Newman and Leah Fremouw.

Performance Pickleball plans to hold drop-in play sessions, clinics, leagues and tournaments. The venue also features a 74-seat bar and eatery with 10 beers on tap, wine and a menu of panini sandwiches, salads, wings and other similar items. It also has a pro shop and events space.

The company declined to comment on the investment made in the venue. Warfield said the project was “well into the seven figures.”

Cross Creek Builders is the venue’s general contractor. Interactive Design Group is the architect.

performance pickleball court 1

Performance Pickleball RVA features 12 indoor play courts, as well as a bar-and-restaurant area and pro shop. (Courtesy of Heather Dodge/Performance Pickleball)

Performance Pickleball is tapping into the momentum behind one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Managing partners Warfield and Laaser are both recent converts to the game and met through the local pickleball scene.

The venue had about 360 paid members as of Wednesday morning. Laaser said they are about where they hoped to be on membership numbers but expected they would continue to allow the membership to grow.

“Lee and I are actively trying to figure out the model of not having too many members but having enough to have that financial consistency,” Laaser said.

“The long and short of it is we’re very close to where our initial number was and we hope to push that a bit. The reason to cap it is that you don’t want your members to not be able to reserve time because they are competing with other members.”

The facility is open to non-members, but membership tiers bring varying degrees of priority when it comes to reserving courts.

The venue offers six membership packages that range from $39 to $199 per month. Laaser said the most popular offering has been the $49-per-month Performance Team Membership, which offers the ability to reserve courts five days in advance and includes 10 hours of play per month. There are also student, family and corporate memberships.

Laaser said he felt Performance Pickleball had been successful in drumming up interest through a steady stream of social media posts and community events ahead of opening day.

“I figured once we built this out to Lee’s vision, people would come in. Our staff did a really good job with the passive push, the trickle marketing,” Laaser said.

The venue was announced in April, and a ground-breaking ceremony was held later in the spring. A ribbon-cutting event is set for Friday.

“I think we have what you would call competitor’s anxiety, like a football player would feel in the locker room. We have a great game plan and just want to start the dang game,” Laaser said.

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Martha Lee
Martha Lee
2 months ago

All the best to you. Thank you for bringing your concept to the Regency area. We’re thrilled this area is being revitalized.

JAMES MANN
JAMES MANN
2 months ago
  1. Jon–Nothing but the best to you my friend–Glad you are back in Richmond–Hope to stop by soon and see the new place–Congratulations to you and your fellow owners–good vision for this location–this will be, in my opinion, a shot in the arm for the overall complex