A longtime Fairhaven business is getting a major makeover.
Work began earlier this month at the Bellingham Tennis Club & Fairhaven Fitness at 800 McKenzie Ave. Remodeling work includes updating the lobby and locker rooms. The fitness area will also be remodeled and get new equipment. The remodel will cost more than $250,000. The Franklin Corporation is the general contractor; CDK Interiors is doing interior work and RMC Architects is the architect.
Both the fitness area and the tennis courts will stay open during the work, which is expected to be completed by April. When the remodeling is done, owners Robin and Doug Robertson plan to have a “grand reveal” party, which includes unveiling a new name.
The business, which was founded 43 years ago, was definitely in need of an update, said Robin Robertson, who also manages the facility. After purchasing the business in 1999, the Robertsons spent the first four years getting it back on track toward profitability. They then spent several years improving the tennis court area and establishing a fitness center.
“We feel strongly about making this investment in a business that is so good for our community,” Robin Robertson said.
In the fitness area, Robertson said, they plan to put equipment that strengthens functional body movement and ties in to torso movement used in tennis. New equipment would include cable-style machines and squat racks. In the lobby, the front desk and refreshment area will be in a new spot. Additions include a fireplace and updated furniture. In the locker room, bigger lockers will be installed.
“Tennis is a very social sport, so people like to sit and chat after a match,” Robertson said, explaining why the changes are being made to the lobby.
Running an indoor tennis center is different from a lot of businesses. To ensure quality time on the court, memberships are capped. As a sport, Robertson said, tennis is seeing steady, slight growth, particularly as access to the sport improves through its own tennis television channel. More people are interested in following the sport beyond the major tennis tournaments, she said.
“There is always something you can learn in this sport,” Robertson said.