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Bend sand volleyball courts likely closing by summer’s end


A popular summer sport in Bend is on the way out, at least for now.

The sand volleyball courts in the Old Mill District south of Les Schwab Amphitheater likely will be closed by the end of the summer, those involved say.

The courts have been a staple of the area for the last 10 years. I n 2009, Bend Beach Volleyball raised about $20,000 to build the courts on a 12-acre lot owned by the Old Mill District.

Players say they were originally told the courts were temporary, and would likely only last a year. S o they said they are all thankful the courts have been there for this long. An estimated 12,000-15,000 people use the courts every summer.

” I was a newbie at volleyball when they first started. It’s now kind of my life, ” said player John Kelly. ” I’m down here all the time. So for me, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have so much fun here — the social part, the exercise, everything. It’s just a great place. ”

North Pacific Juniors Volleyball Club acquired the courts two years ago. Owner Adam Ellis said the closing of the courts is not a surprise.

He said the Old Mill District has been very good at communicating its plans for a few years now, but he was still disappointed to learn this summer would be the last summer for sand volleyball at that location.

” They’re in a great location, and it’s great for the community, not only just for our kids that are in the club, but also the community that’s able to play there. I think it’s a great environment, ” Ellis said.

Ellis said he plans on moving the courts in October. He has been in contact with Bend Parks and Recreation to find a new location.

Representatives from the Old Mill District have not yet confirmed why the courts are closing.

The city of Bend Planning Division said a formal pre-application request has not been filed for that property. That means the city could not confirm what may be going there in place of the volleyball courts.

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