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Tennis and aquatics see rewards, growth at Waterville Valley club

By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent

May 17. 2017 9:44PM
Tom Gross Jr., right, president of the White Mountain Athletic Club, and Rene Schwartz, general manager, inspect the progress of an outdoor aquatic center being built at the club. The Waterville Valley Tennis Center, shown below, was recently recognized by tennisresortsonline.com as one of the Top 25 resorts in the world, coming in at No. 22. The WVTC was ranked No. 1 for Best Value and No. 5 for Best Setting. (JOHN KOZIOL/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

WATERVILLE VALLEY — As it nears completion of an outdoor aquatic center, the White Mountain Athletic Club is also celebrating the naming of its Waterville Valley Tennis Center as a Gold Medal Resort in an annual survey of tennis resorts worldwide.

In 2014, the WMAC undertook a $700,000 project that included construction of two indoor pools as well as an overall renovation of existing facilities.

Last September, heartened by the success of the indoor aquatic center, the club began work on its outdoor counterpart, which will be located on the southwestern side of the WMAC, said Tom Gross Jr., WMAC president and also head pro and director of the WVTC.

Expected to open in late June or early July, Gross said the new facility will feature a 1,600-square-foot splash pad with a variety of water-soaking features and a 62,000-gallon pool with 25-meter lap lanes, family play areas, underwater benches, deck jets, underwater color lighting, a whirlpool spa, and views of the surrounding White Mountains. Gross did not give specific cost information but said it was a “seven-figure” project.

Rene Schwartz, who has been the WMAC’s general manager since 1995, said the project represents a continuation of the club and Waterville Valley’s commitment to improving the guest-and-resident experience in the four-season resort community.

This summer, for example, the Waterville Valley “Freedom Pass” will let guests access several activities daily for one price, including nine holes of golf at the Waterville Valley Golf Club; mountain biking; boating on Corcoran Pond; skating at the Waterville Valley Ice Arena; unlimited court time at the WVTC; a chair ride up Snow's Mountain Lift; and full run of the WMAC.

“When the golf course does an upgrade, it’s good for the valley” as are any upgrades at the ski area, the athletic club and or the tennis center, said Schwartz, because they cumulatively “raise all boats.”

Built in 1985 by the Waterville Co., the WMAC, in addition to its indoor and soon-to-be outdoor pools, offers two indoor tennis courts, a jogging track, a racquetball court, cardio room, weight training facilities, steam rooms, saunas, locker rooms, yoga/stretch studio, a pro shop, a game room and massage spa. The club is also home to the Coyote Grill.

About a half mile up the road from the WMAC is the Waterville Valley Tennis Center, which in 2017 was recognized by tennisresortsonline.com as one of the Top 25 resorts in the world, coming in at No. 22. The WVTC was ranked No. 1 for Best Value and No. 5 for Best Setting.

Gross and Schwartz proudly noted that the WVTC, which from July 14-16 will host the 36th annual New Hampshire Open men’s championships, was the only New England tennis resort recognized as a Gold Medal Resort, and was the only New England tennis center recognized in two individual categories.


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