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Sugar House Journal

Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club to Expand

Apr 08, 2016 09h47 ● By Bryan Scott

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

Sugar House - The Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club has asked for a 20-foot buffer on the north side of their property line, and got the approval. 

“Currently the club is a collection of smaller buildings added on to each other over time,” Judi Short, the chair of land and zoning in Sugar House, said. “This would allow them to expand to the north and add a second story for a portion of the existing building.”

The club is looking to add a community room and a tennis shop above the current buildings, with additional exercise rooms and weight-training facilities. 

“We have two courts outside that will be going away,” Winston Morris, front desk manager, said. “And we’ll be building a two-story fitness facility.” 

This is only the first phase of the changes that are coming, but it should make a big difference to Sugar House. 

The second phase would include building an indoor pool, which means it will be available year-round and swimming lessons can be taught even during the winter. 

The man with the plan is Laury Hammel who actually grew up attending  the club. He worked and played there while he was on the tennis team at the University of Utah. 

“The expansion is transforming our club that has been a tennis club for 104 years and a tennis and swimming club for 53 years,” Hammel said. “The new expansion will replace two of the outdoor tennis courts and have two floors and be 30,000 square feet in size.” 

The expansion on the club will include a yoga studio, group exercise studio, new lobby and renovated café, cardio machine area with multiple state-of-the-art exercise machines as well as small group and personal training areas. 

According to Hammel, the expansion will cost $5 million, but it will be beneficial to the club’s success. Hammel said the tennis club caught his eye when he learned that the club was going to go out of business and might be turned into condos. Even though Hammel lives in Massachusetts, he felt that one of his favorite childhood places needed to be saved; he played a No. 1 ranking tennis player on court number 13, and he knew it had to be saved. 

“The Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club is an iconic institution in Salt Lake City and in the state of Utah,” Hammel said. “It is the oldest and second largest tennis facility in Utah.”  

Members of the community have been behind Hammel in getting the renovations done. 

“Our mission is to be an affordable facility that supports people of all ages, genders, abilities, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations to achieve optimum health, add life to their years, add years to their life and have fun,” he said. 

The first phase of renovations is set to be completed by Jan. 1, 2017, with more plans in the future. 

Hammel has saved three failing indoor tennis clubs and built one from scratch by making them all tennis and health clubs, which is similar to what is being done with the Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club. 

“It’s difficult to have a tennis-only business be profitable,” Hammel said. “A one-stop shopping health and recreation club is ideal.”