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Happy Trails hosting pickleball bash in Surprise

18th annual tourney for 50 and over set for mid-January

Posted 12/26/23

Happy Trails Resort is set to host its 18th Annual Happy Trails Pickleball Classic

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Happy Trails hosting pickleball bash in Surprise

18th annual tourney for 50 and over set for mid-January


Happy Trails Resort, 17200 W. Bell Road, is set to host its 18th Annual Happy Trails Pickleball Classic, arguably the longest running pickleball tournament in the country for 50 and over players from Jan. 15 to 19.

The event, which originated in 2005, has become a landmark in the pickleball community, drawing players from across the nation and Canada to the vibrant and scenic setting of Happy Trails.

Happy Trails holds a special place in the history of the sport as it was the venue where pickleball made its debut in the Arizona Senior Olympics in 2001. This inaugural event, featuring 100 players, marked the largest pickleball event at the time, setting the stage for the remarkable growth of the sport in subsequent years.

The Happy Trails Pickleball Classic spawned from these Senior Olympic events and has experienced exponential growth in participants, consistently exceeding 400 registrants. This year’s event promises to continue the tradition of fostering camaraderie, skill and sportsmanship among players of all levels.

Pickleball, recognized by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association as the fastest-growing sport in America for the second consecutive year in its 2022 Topline Participation Report, has witnessed unprecedented popularity. In 2022, pickleball emerged as one of the hottest trends in the U.S., earning extensive media coverage from major domestic and international outlets.

The 18th Annual Happy Trails Pickleball Classic is not merely a tournament. It’s a celebration of the sport’s rich history, the dedication of its players, and the vibrant community that has formed around it. Happy Trails Resort is once again eager to welcome participants, spectators, and enthusiasts to join in the excitement of this iconic event.

“Don’t be fooled by the age of the players,” Tournament Director Doug Smook said. “Us seniors still have some great game. Come check out the Western-themed tournament, take a ride in your own personal shuttle to and from the venue and meet some of the friendliest hosts around.”

For information, contact Tournament Marketing Director Al Dutcher at 507-382-3001 or dutcher1958@gmail.com.