Written by Marilou Giammona, Manhasset@antonnews.com Thursday, 01 August 2013 00:00
Visitors to Christopher Morley Park may be witnessing the dawn of a new tennis experience. As part of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s initiative to launch public/private partnerships, Christopher Morley Tennis, a private club owned and directed by local pro Cory Parr, is nearing the final stages of construction.
“We won the bid to build a tennis center at Christopher Morley Park,” Parr said.
The facility will be housed on the south end of the park, at 500 Searingtown Road in Roslyn. Parr had originally hoped to open in September, “but realistically right now we are guaranteeing a January 1 opening,” he said, adding that he may be ready for a “soft opening” with five courts in October or November.
The indoor facility will boast two state-of-the-art structures, one of which will house five deco-turf (hard) courts, while the other will be home to five har-tru (clay) courts. The center will also have a viewing area and a clubhouse, as well as a pro shop and stringing center on site. The Christopher Morley Tennis trailer that currently sits in the parking lot, adjacent to the park’s entrance, will temporarily continue to serve as the center’s administrative office. The trailer will be replaced by an office inside the club, when it officially opens for business.
Parr plans to offer many programs, including private and group lessons, tournament training, men’s and women’s leagues, junior and adult programs, match play, seasonal courts, and holiday and summer camp programs. Additionally, Christopher Morley Tennis will host United States Tennis Association tournaments. “We’ll have a tournament director who will run tournaments at the club,” he said.
Registration for programs or court time is not limited to Nassau County residents. “Anyone can register, just like at a regular tennis club,” Parr said, adding that there are no membership fees. The center is open for all ages, and players can rent seasonal court time. Parr expects to employ 10 to 15 pros.
A Long Island native, Parr attended Jericho High School and has been playing tennis since he was a young child. He was ranked No. 1 in New York from 12 years-old to 18 years-old, and then went on to play at Wake Forest University, where he was a three-time All-American. Parr played professionally for a year before embarking on a coaching career. The next logical step was opening up a club.
“I wanted to still be involved in tennis and give back to the community with tennis. I want kids coming up to experience the same thing that I was fortunate enough to experience,” he said. “The goal of our club is to just be different [and] to do the right thing for people in the area who are involved in tennis.” Parr emphasized his commitment to running a “customer friendly” club. He envisions his pros to be “true advisors,” who will help young players accomplish their goals. He wants to foster an environment in which those on the junior development side don’t simply “come in to be on the tennis courts for a tennis lesson [but rather] come to try and better themselves and their lives and actually have goals that they want to accomplish. That’s what we’re trying to do with the club.”
An administrative employee will be on hand in the trailer in the coming weeks to answer questions and accept registration forms. For additional information, visit www.cmttennis.com or call (516) 214-1900.