Pickleball is growing in more and more areas, and venues are putting real dollars towards investing in the sport. Plaza Hotel & Casino can be considered another pioneer in this direction, including building the first dedicated pickleball courts in a Las Vegas hotel. So when you visit Las Vegas, you don’t have to leave your pickleball paddle behind!
After major investments in facilities, events, and high-end, professional broadcast media coverage, the venue debuted the inaugural Las Vegas Pickleball Open in September. Collaborating with Pickleball Channel, we were able to bring this event to the entire world and learn more details about this unique venue from players, staff and even the CEO of Plaza Hotel & Casino to find out why they chose to gamble on pickleball at this legendary site.
While covering the Las Vegas Pickleball Open, we had a chance to learn more details about this unique venue. Rusty Howes, executive producer of Pickleball Channel spoke to players and staff and even the CEO of Plaza Hotel and Casino, and find out why they chose to gamble on pickleball at this legendary site.
Rusty first spoke with Grant Garcia of Plaza Hotel and Casino. Grant expressed the excitement that Plaza Hotel and Casino has about the fastest growing sport right now, pickleball! Grant specifically talked about when they first built the courts and what they have planned for them in the future. Grant said, “We built these courts a little over 2 years ago for locals to enjoy as well as it being an additional amenity for the hotel guests. We’ve got camps, clinics, additional tournaments planned for the future, so we’re very excited for the future.”
Rusty then interviewed some guests and players at the tournament. First he spoke with Jason and Sheri who flew in with their three children from Soldotna, Alaska to enjoy the hotel and the pickleball tournament. Jason had this to say about the event, “We’re having a lot of fun. Enjoying the pool. We’re enjoying a bunch of rec play. It’s great.”
Brian and Valerie, pickleball tournament gold medal winners in mixed doubles, were very impressed with everything the tournament had to offer. Brian said, “This is one of the best tournaments we’ve been to. We literally have the best room in this whole hotel. We’re literally feet away from the pickleball courts. We can watch it from our room. We are steps away from the jacuzzi, steps away from the pool. And this has been awesome.”
Finally Rusty sat down in Oscar’s Steakhouse with the CEO of Plaza Hotel and Casino, Jonathan Jossel. Jonathan listed all of the unique qualities this diverse property has to offer. It’s in the center of downtown Las Vegas. So much is happening in downtown Las Vegas right now including new development and events. Recently they hosted the Life is Beautiful Festival that brought 35,000 people to downtown Las Vegas. Before that Las Vegas sported the Nascar races. The Plaza hotel itself boasts a bingo room, Oscar’s Steakhouse and a new musical extravaganza called “The Mob Story” which tells the tale of how the mob created Vegas.
Jonathan spoke about how pickleball came to The Plaza. “Pickleball just made sense. And we had this perfect space up on our 5th floor pool deck that wasn’t being utilized, and I had the opportunity to meet with a few, I guess they call themselves, pickleball ambassadors. And they blew me away with their enthusiasm and their passion for the game. When they told me that no hotel and casino had dedicated pickleball courts, I said, ‘We’re going to be the first one.’ It just seemed like something we should jump on and get behind, and that’s why we built these courts.”
And it’s payed off! The Plaza gets people staying at their hotel because they offer pickleball! And in 2018, the Plaza launched the Las Vegas Pickleball Open. Jonathan said, “I hope we have many, many more events here and grow the community supporting this game because it’s a fun game. I love it.”
To find out more about the Plaza Hotel and Casino, visit their website at www.PlazaHotelCasino.com
========== WATCH THIS RELATED VIDEO ==========
Watch our highlight video from the Las Vegas Pickleball Open to get a sense of the event and this unique venue through slow motion shots and amazing aerial drone images. Plaza Hotel & Casino has set the standard high with this brand new pro pickleball tournament. They provided a fun and exciting venue for players to not only compete (with 25K in cash prizes!), but relax and enjoy other activities before and after. With the tournament itself, they went over the top making a major investment in a broadcast truck, and collaborating with Pickleball Channel, to provide the best live stream possible for players around the world. Check out all the fun here!
==== GOLD MEDAL MATCH FROM LAS VEGAS PICKLEBALL OPEN ====
Check out this high energy match from the first annual Las Vegas Pickleball Open. Callan Dawson and Tyler Loong take on Kyle Yates and Ben Johns in this pro match-up that goes to three games. Previously live-streamed during the tournament and with insightful commentary from Dave Benz, Melissa McCurley and Mark Renneson, this match brings the excitement of the Las Vegas Pickleball Open directly to you.
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The pickleball facility at the Plaza was great. I didn’t play; I watched games. The championship court was accessible, open, and shaded by the hotel. Talked with vendors and some players.