Please don’t miss this opportunity to help shape the future of indoor sports in Antrim County by taking a few minutes to complete the Area Seniors, Inc (ASI) online survey.

A Proposed Indoor Recreational Facility for Antrim County by Area Seniors, Incorporated (ASI)

ASI envisions a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility in the heart of the Village of Bellaire, Antrim County, Michigan. The aim is to create a community facility for a variety of indoor sports activities, with a primary focus on the game of pickleball. The facility will promote community health and fun activities for year-round use. ASI is seeking to determine the demand for this facility to serve all ages. The plan is to build the facility on Area Seniors, Inc. property, entirely funded through grants and donations.

We ask that each individual or family complete only one survey. Thank you for your interest and support.

Compliments of Wolverine Pickleball


Area Seniors Inc. formed in 1994 and became a 501(C)3 non-profit organization in 1995 interested in promoting the well-being of senior citizens in Antrim County. Over the years, ASI continued to expand their vision to incorporate more ways to benefit the community by providing walking paths around the grounds, outdoor shuffleboard and pickleball courts, the gazebo for relaxing, the pavilion for the Farmer’s Market, and the community center for Bingo, billiards, family gatherings, movie night, and now home to the winter farmers market.

Being located in Northern Michigan, winter weather conditions limits many popular outdoor activities such as walking, corn hole, and pickleball. ASI is proposing an indoor recreation facility that provides access to the community at large to continue these activities during the winter months and expand options for year round use by youth, young adults, and adults and seniors of all ages. The current ASI survey is to determine how much interest there is to have a facility in Antrim County that provides a low cost location to continue winter activities, available to folks of all ages.

Initial proposed plans would include a building on ASI property adjacent to the current community center roughly the size of a basketball court, big enough to house up to three pickleball courts and a surrounding walking area. Depending on the results of the survey, this space would be adaptable to a variety of indoor sports activities. One of the focus areas is pickleball.

Why Pickleball?

ASI currently has offered two outdoor courts to both Members and Non-Members since 2016. The courts are heavily used during the summer months. Reservations for these courts can be made through the ASI Office.

Pickleball players in the Bellaire area must travel to Helena (Alden) and Clearwater (Rapid City) Township halls to play indoors during the winter months where courts are limited and it can be difficult to reserve court times. Further away are indoor facilities in Kalkaska, Gaylord, Acme and Traverse City with various memberships and court fees.

Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity. There are now nearly 11,000 locations on the USA Pickleball’s Places2Play map. The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities. The sport continues to grow worldwide as well with many new international clubs forming and national governing bodies now established on multiple continents. The fun, social, and friendly game is easy to learn. People of all ages can quickly learn the simple rules and begin play and the low cost of entry (paddle and balls) is appealing to most.

USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) Facts

USAPA membership numbers reached the 70,000 mark in February of 2023, a 30 percent increase in membership growth in 2022. In its 2023 Topline Participation Report, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) named pickleball the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year in a row. According to the report, pickleball is now up to a total of 8.9 million players in the United States over the age of six years old, an increase from 4.8 million in 2022. See for more information.

Michigan ranks 7th in the nation for the most Pickleball players. For more statistics go to

Large numbers of younger people are playing Pickleball.

The percentages by of Total, Core and Casual participants in 2021 are:

Why Pickles?

In the summer of 1965, pickleball was founded by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Within days, Joan Pritchard had come up with the name “pickle ball”—a reference to the thrown-together leftover non-starters in the “pickle boat” of crew races. Many years later, as the sport grew, a controversy ensued when a few neighbors said they were there when Joan named the game after the family dog, Pickles. Joan and the Pritchard family have held fast for decades that the dog came along a few years later and was named after the game.

What you can do to help:

ASI wants to hear from you. What is your interest in pickleball? How about other sporting activities – for all age groups? Please Click below for the Survey and let us know. And Thank You for your feedback.