By Roger Cox, Editor
A waterfall cascades down the steep mountain slope behind the Vail Racquet Club at the east end of the Vail Valley. A dozen players had turned out for the morning clinic on the day I visited, spreading out across the three clay courts set in a frame of aspens and pines. Director Greg Wanner orchestrated the two-hour session, which began with a quick tip on doubles tactics as a prelude to two hours of round-robin doubles. Meanwhile, several of the five hard courts were taken up with matches or activities for juniors. The participants were a mix of members, guests staying in the racquet club condos, locals, and a group of women from Texas, the last draw by the cooler summers of the Rockies Mountains.
The setting aside, it is very peaceful at this end of the valley, separated from the bustle of Vail Village and noise of Interstate 70. Wanner has no problem filling his clinics and says he could easily do more than the three or four he offers each week if it weren't for a need to balance the needs of guests and locals eager for tennis with those of members for whom these are home courts. So much of the rest of the time he gives private lessons or runs customized programs for groups, making himself available seven days a week if need be.
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Wanner originally came to Vail to ski, giving up a career in pharmaceutical sales in his native New Jersey. Needing something to do in summer, he looked for opportunities to teach, falling back on his experience as a regionally ranked junior and high-school player at first before seeking training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida and the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Spain, eventually getting European, USPTA, and USPTR certifications. His approach reflects his own experience as a junior, where he did well in competition but turned to baseball because he wasn't having that much enjoying it. "You've got to have fun," he says. When he steps on the court his attitude is, "How am I making people's lives better? How can I make them smile?"
He's joined this summer by Danny Colten, a former Asuza Pacific University player, who both teaches and serves as a sparring partner for the bigger hitters.
Courts & Fees. There are five hard courts—two of which were completely redone in 2017—and three clay courts. Courts Fees. None for resort guests.
Caveat: Groups occasionally book all the courts so before you reserve make sure courts will be available during the time of your visit.
Lodging consists of 1-to-3-bedroom condos and 3-bedroom townhomes. Two-night minimums generally apply for summer reservations.
Visit the website for current rates
General Tourist Information. Check out Visit Vail Valley website for general tourist information about the region.