When renovations are done at Andy Tran’s gym near the Long Beach airport, he’ll be welcoming pickleball players in addition to the badminton crowd he serves now.
A former professional badminton competitor and now a coach, Tran opened Badminton Center Court in 2010. His five-court indoor facility is getting a makeover that includes a new cushioned floor and upgraded showers and restrooms—and he’s adding striping for pickleball and hoops for pickup basketball games.
Most outdoor pickleball courts have hard surfaces, and over the years he’s seen friends and students he coached experience joint pain, Tran said, so he decided to soften the playing experience at his gym.
Long Beach has seen huge growth in the number of residents wanting to play pickleball, according to the city, which has installed dozens of public courts over the last few years.
Tran’s gym may soon capitalize on that demand. Once the improvements are finished in early October, Tran said, he plans to offer reserved time slots for pickleball every weekday until about 4 p.m. His current price to use badminton courts is $36 an hour, and he expects the charge for pickleball (which would be divided among four or more players) to be similar, he said.
Tran doesn’t play pickleball but would like to learn, he said—and he’s also looking to partner with pickleball coaches and event sponsors.
“It’s all about the passion of providing the services to folks that play racquet sports,” he said.
Badminton Center Court is at 3699 Industry Ave., Lakewood.