Tennis Resorts

Date: Jul 8, 2019

Abstract

Tennis is one of the most popular kinds of sport that has fans all over the world. Millions of people follow the games of Wimbledon Championships, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and ATP Tournaments. Many of them play tennis as they like it very much.

In this research two well-known resorts with tennis facilities have been analyzed: La Manga resort situated in Spain and Saddlebrooks Resort located in Florida, the USA. These are the most famous tennis centers on the continents. They provide high quality trainings and have the coaches with a very good reputation and extensive sport experience. Except for tennis courts, the resorts have other sports facilities, SPA zones, swimming pools, beaches, accommodations, and restaurants.

The main sources of information on the resorts are their official sites: http://www.saddlebrook.com and http://www.lamangaclub.com. The research shows common and different features of both centers and provides their comparative analysis that helps to make a choice of the best place to learn and play tennis, and also to develop one's skills.

The task of the paper is to provide a detailed overview of each resort, distinguish their advantages and disadvantages, analyze the level of prices, the locations, and the challenges that their management may face.

La Manga Club Resort, was opened in 1972 and it has been considered to be the best sports and leisure resort in Spain. The resort has received various awards, among which there are Europe’s Leading Golf Resort, the Best Golf Hotel in Spain etc. It was also recommended by Sunday Times as the Best Family Friendly European Resort in 2011 (2014, n.a.). The resort is located near the Mediterranean Sea and Calblanque Natural Park, which grants gorgeous landscapes and views over La Manga Club. This is not only a perfect place for those who want to play or learn to play tennis, golf, football, rugby, cricket, and other sports, but also a nice spot for family leisure time, vacations, and SPA activities.

The resort is situated on the territory of 1400 acres and it accounts for a 28-court tennis centre, The SPA and Fitness Centers that takes 2000 m2 of professional facilities and the properties that can be bought for any taste.

La Manga Club Tennis Centre was founded 20 years ago and it has provided the best training and playing facilities both for amateur tennis players and for professional sportsmen since its opening. The prices vary from low price-points to higher ones. If a person just wants to play tennis, he or she may come on Sunday and work from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for only 15 Euros per hour. Potential learners have the choice among the following programs:

  • Adult 10-hour academy that works all year and costs from 200 to 300 Euro.
  • 25-Hour gold academy (from 235 to 465 Euro).
  • 10-Hour week-end warriors academy (from 190 to 275 Euro).
  • 32 hours per week (from 305 to 525 Euro).
  • 17 hours per week (from 300 to 395 Euro).
  • Junior academy (from 110 to 275 Euro).

In order to improve the skills, every player of La Manga Tennis Centre may take private lessons the cost of which varies from 35 to 50 Euro per hour.

La Mange Club resort attracts the visitors, players, and tennis fans by such well-known and prestigious events as Devis Cup, the Fed Cup, and ATP tournaments. The resort is a partner of the European Tennis Federation and LTA overseas training base (2014, n.a.). La Manga Club has its own methodology of teaching tennis and it can boast of numerous international juniors and WTA ranked players. The resort was also given the Best Conference Hotel in Spain award in 2012. Thus, the place is famous not only for tennis tournaments of world level but also as a venue for business meetings, conferences, and workshops of big international companies. One more attractive thing about La Manga is its discount system that can be used not only in tennis academies, but also in the restaurants, SPA, and other services.

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In my opinion, the biggest challenges for the managers of the resort are to control different branches of the business, provide equally high-quality services in all the spheres that La Manga Resort operates, and to support shared-ownership concept. The managers have to be able to manage more than 400 employees, who work for the resort, and monitor their performance. It is also a challenge to find the most talented trainers, masseurs, chefs etc. Also, it is not easy to be highly competent in such spheres as restaurant and hotel business, real estate, and sports business. The manager should always follow the trend and foster constant professional development. Another big challenge is to compete with Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy, situated in Barcelona, which gave birth to such renowned players as Daniela Hantuchova, Juan Monaco, Feliciano Lopez,  Janko Tipsarevic and others. This school has developed a unique training technique called “Spanish drills” and provides professional tennis teaching that has got the second place in top 10 tennis academies in the world (Webb S., 2013).

La Manga Club S.L is the owner of Hotel La Manga Club Pr?ncipe Felipe, Las Lomas Village, sports, and leisure facilities at La Manga Club. The company is registered in Los Belones Cartagena Murcia, Spain and its headquarters are also located at the same place. It means that the top-management is able to remain alert and react quickly to the issues that arise or to the changes that occur. It is a profitable organization that owns sports and leisure facilities and also a couple of communities of accommodation.

La Manga Club works in tight cooperation with Universidad Cat?lica San Antonio de Murcia, European Tennis Federation, and LTA British Tennis. This cooperation helps to attract more people to La Manga Club and advantageous to this resort. Having well-known world organizations as partners helps to build a positive strong image of the company and produces benefits for it. The cooperation with British Tennis widens the borders of La Manga Club and brings customers from other countries.

Davis Cup (a competition for men) and Fed Cup (a competition for women) are considered to be the main tennis tournaments. Those competitions, together with ATP tournament, are held every year and have fans and adepts all over the world. They all take place in La Manga Club and make it even more famous. This is also a question of prestige and high quality of services and facilities when such sport events of world importance take place on the territory of the resort.

In addition to the famous world tournaments, La Manga Club also organizes its own competitions for all the students of their Academy and for all the volunteers. They call it La Manga Club Cup and it takes place in June-July. This year the 4th championship will be held. So, there is a possibility to check one's professionalism in the sphere f tennis there. As a matter of fact, this event is also a good motivation for those who take lessons in La Manga Tennis Academy. These people know that if they train well and master their skills, they will be able to compete for La Manga Club Cup.

This resort will be comfortable for a wide range of tennis players with different needs and possibilities. One can hone his/her skills during the individual lessons, another may take an intensive course, rent an apartment, enjoy a week in the gorgeous nature . It is worth mentioning that SPA zone, a combination of hotel complex and sport facilities, brings great advantages to La Manga Club. The managers of the resort have decided not to limit the range of sport facilities only to tennis and offer the possibility to learn and to play golf, football, cricket, rugby, and triathlon. The wide range of choices attracts more visitors and fans of different kinds of sport.

La Manga resort has a very favorable location. It is situated on the crossroads from big cities of Spain and there is an airport nearby. The flight time from the capitals of European countries to this resort varies from 1 hour up to 3 hours, which is quite short and comfortable. The resort can boast not only of good infrastructure but also of gorgeous nature. There is the Mediterranean sea from one side and Spain’s largest lagoon with salty water from the other. The visitors of La Manga Club will not only enjoy the views and the time on the beach but also have a possibility to go sightseeing. There are a marine reserve, Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas Natural Park, and Cartagena that attract thousands of visitors every year.

So, it is a perfect place for anyone who would like to have a comfortable rest and play tennis, using the best tennis facilities in Spain, enjoy the time on the beach, and visit the sights.

People who live in the USA and do not want to fly to Europe may choose Saddlebrook Resort, situated in Florida. The resort was founded in 1981 and in 1988 it was sold to Mr. Dempsey, who has remained the Chairman, CEO. and constant resident of the resort (2013, n.a.). Saddlebrook reinforces the concept of a car-free resort and promotes eco-friendly lifestyle. Such a concept can be explained by the fact that the resort is situated on the territory of the nature preserve. The flora and fauna of this place are unique and together with the lagoon they constitute one of the centre's competitive advantages. The resort consists of tennis and volleyball courts, fitness centers, training lanes, and SPA salons. Saddlebrook Resort occupies the territory of 480 acres and creates all the conditions for calm and fancy family rest, corporate team buildings, business meetings, and sport activities. It operates throughout the year, which is comfortable for the visitors that can plan their vacation and enjoy sport activities any time of the year.

Saddlebrook Resort is a decent option to consider when one chooses the place to learn how to play tennis because it provides a unique method of teaching, developed by Hopman, one of the most successful tennis coaches in history. That is one of the aspects of their differences. Such famous tennis players as Jim Courier, Pit Sampras, Martina Hingis, James Blake, and Mike Bryan love to train on its courts (2013, n.a.). Moreover, Saddlebrook Resort has developed special Kinsio Tapping Method that helps to treat muscular problems and prevents over contraction. These facts are also good reasons to choose this resort to acquire tennis skills. The spot has 48 high quality tennis courts, including Four Grand Slam Surfaces and 25 persons of experienced coaching staff that has trained the winners of different tournaments.

Saddlebrook is a private family-owned resort. Its Chairman and CEO is Thomas L. Dempsey. Thomas has recruited the best trainers in the sphere of tennis and golf in order to provide high quality classes to the clients and to make them win different competition. The Tennis Program Director is a student of Harry Hopman and it is possible to assume that he is a highly-skilled professional, who also has a BA in Hotel Management, USPTA Elite Professional and RPT Master Professional. Everything mentioned above proves that the top-management has all the necessary qualifications for effective management of the business. The Director of Coaching has been a captain of Columbia’s Davis Cup Team for two years and he is known as “one of the best technical coaches in the business” (2013, n.a.). He is also considered to be a master of junior tennis training. It is a great competitive advantage to have prominent sportsmen in the top-management as it gives deep knowledge of the sphere of sport and its particularities.

The managers of the resort face the challenge due to the resort’s location. As it is situated on the territory of nature preserve, it requires special rules and policies for conduct. Supposedly, they had to receive thousands of permissions and documents before building and developing the resort. Such limitation is time-consuming and represents a list of restrictions for the future development. Another challenge for the management is a wide range of other tennis resort situated along the seaside of Florida, creating a high level of competition. The existence of those resorts makes the managers of Saddlebrook Resort create a list of different points and special offers to attract more visitors and learners. As for La Manga Club resort, the level of competition in their area is lower, although there is one more resort with sport facilities, but it is situated quite far from La Manga.

In comparison to La Mange Club resort, Saddlebrook Resort offers fewer tennis programs. Their training programs are:

  1. Adult Tennis Clincs and Camps.
  2. Junior Camps.
  3. Saddlebrook Preparatory School.

The price of the course varies from 120$ to 743 $ including accommodation, which costs more or less the same as in La Manga. For some people it may be a disadvantage that the courses are sold only with accommodation. The management has not published the rates for individual lessons, so it is not possible to confirm that such an option is available in their resort.

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One of the advantages of Saddlebrook is a tailor-made approach to their customers that enables the managers to develop an individual program or a sport event. They also can arrange the participation in the local tournaments sanctioned by United States Tennis Association. Furthermore, the company may also hold a business meeting or conference on its territory, with possible breaks for short tennis sets. The resort has never held any world tournaments but is provides an option of arranging an individual tournament for any company, family, or other group of people.

Being situated on the territory of the natural preserve, Saddlebrook has to support eco-friendly initiatives. They follow a property-wide recycling program that helps to preserve the beauty of the unique nature and environment. Such conditions can also be considered as an advantage of the resort since more and more people are becoming concerned about the climate and the nature. Hence, such a popular trend of being eco-friendly may attract this kind of people to the resort.

Another advantage of the spot is that there are various attractions not far from it. One may admire the art at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, visit Tampa Adventure Island, Glazer Children’s museum, Bush Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, and other interesting places for any taste and financial recourses.

Saddlebrook Resort provides a smaller variety of sport facilities than La Manga Club. There are only tennis, golf, and fitness facilities there. Nevertheless, Saddlebrook also has its SPA treatments, restaurants, and accommodations for a more comfortable rest of its visitors. Its distinguishing feature is the presence of S’Kids Club that gives the adults a possibility to leave their children there and let them have fun, while their mothers and fathers take tennis lessons.

So, it is possible to come to the conclusion that nowadays there is a wide range of resorts with tennis facilities and qualified trainers that can match any pocket, demand, and desire. If one need to master tennis skills, he/she should go to Saddlebrook resort as its trainers have a considerable sport experience and many of their students have won tennis tournaments. In addition to high quality services and professional staff, the resort is situated on the territory of natural preserve and it is an obvious advantage. 2-days tennis course will give one an idea of the method of training used in Saddlebrook and provide a good base for making a decision whether to take a longer course or not.

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