When Robin Dann did a Google search for tennis clubs for sale in her then hometown of Denver, Colo., she had no idea that one click of the mouse would soon have her family moving cross-country and starting a new life in Denver, N.C.As new owners of The Club at Westport, Dann and her husband, Willie, are fulfilling a dream they’ve shared since their very first date. They met at a tennis tournament 10 years ago.“On our first date, we joked about buying a tennis club together and how it was a great fit,” said Dann. Robin Dann had managed an indoor tennis and fitness club in Denver, Colo., for 12 years. Willie had played tennis since he was 3. He played No. 1 singles and doubles during college and continues to win national titles on the U.S. National Men’s 35s and 40s Team. After getting married in 2005, they began casually looking for a tennis club for sale. They looked at many of them over the past six years.“We never felt like (they) were the right fit for our family,” said Robin Dann. “Either the club was in financial distress or the area wasn’t the right place.”Then in February, Dann stumbled upon a link during an internet search that said “Denver Tennis & Swim Club For Sale.”“At first I was excited and wondered what tennis and swim club for sale in Denver it could possibly be that I didn’t know about,” said Dann.She clicked on the link and saw that the club was not in Colorado but in North Carolina. Intrigued, Dann called her husband and gave him the phone number. He ended up speaking to the previous club owner for two hours.“We were cautiously excited and intrigued in the opportunity,” said Robin Dann, who flew to North Carolina with her husband three weeks later to visit the club.They immediately fell in love with not only the club, but the surrounding area as well, and decided to make an offer. “Knowing what a difficult process it is to purchase a unique business like a tennis club, we proceeded with excitement but caution about getting our hopes up and knew that everything had to fall into place just right,” Robin Dann said.That is exactly what happened.“Everything fell into place perfectly, like it was a sign for us to do this for our family,” said Dann.They moved from Colorado to Denver, N.C., on July 4 and officially took over ownership of the club on July 27. Since then, the couple has been expanding the club’s amenities, which also features a junior Olympic-sized pool and a full fitness facility.Several junior programs were launched, including pee-wee tennis for ages 3-6 and a junior academy for ages 7 and older. Quickstart, a program that teaches adults to play tennis, meets over six weeks and includes free membership to the club during that time. They’ve also started group personal training classes with their fitness trainer. A new fitness class, Fit Club, offers a variety of beach body workouts. A new KidsKarma yoga class also meets for ages 3-6 and 8-12.“We feel our club is a hidden treasure that many people in the community do not know about,” said Robin Dann. “Our pool offers a great family atmosphere, and we plan to host many family nights and barbecues at the pool throughout the summer.”The Danns live in the Sailview community in Denver with their two children, Sidney, 4, and Will, 1. Wanting to raise their children in a club environment played a major role in their decision to purchase the club, she said.“We felt like getting out of a big city and into a smaller, family-oriented community would be good for our family and help us raise our children in a great community,” she said. “We are dedicated to the membership and want to build a family atmosphere at Westport,” she said. “We want to be the place to be with your family for tennis, swimming and fitness.”
Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
From Denver, Colo., to Denver, N.C., for tennis
Jennifer Baxter is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jennifer? Email her at email@example.com.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less