BULLHEAD CITY — Steve D’Amico said it was Annette Wegmann’s idea. Wegmann quickly returned the blame at her follow Bullhead City Council member.

Whoever made the challenge, the result was that D’Amico and Wegmann played the first “match” at the city’s new tennis court at Rotary Park.

The city celebrated completion of Phase 2 of the pickleball/tennis complex Monday morning, opening four more pickleball courts and one tennis court. D’Amico and Wegmann staged an abbreviated match, won by D’Amico.

“It’s official now,” D’Amico said after beating Wegmann 3-0.

Actually, completion of the court — and the four adjacent pickleball courts — was official when contract General Acrylics Inc., of Phoenix, and local landscaper M&M Home Mainentence and Landscaping wrapped up work at the facility, which now includes eight pickleball courts and one tennis court.

“We definitely have more courts in our future,” said Bullhead City Recreation Manager Dave Heath. “Hopefully, next year.”

Eventually, plans are for a total of 16 pickleball courts and two tennis courts at the park. Monday marked the halfway point of meeting that goal.

The complex has come a long way in a short time. The first four pickleball courts — pickleball is a game similar to tennis but with courts that are smaller than regulation tennis courts — opened for public use in November of 2017. Last October, the city council gave the go-ahead for Phase 2, at a cost of about $300,000.

“This was bought and paid for with your local (sales) tax dollars,” City Manager Toby Cotter said during Monday’s ceremony, suggesting that improvements to Rotary Park — and other city facilities — are possible “when you shop local.”

D’Amico said he had heard from a number of constituents about the need for courts in Bullhead City. He said the demand was significant.

“Some people like to play volleyball,” he said. “Some people like to play pickleball. And some people like to play tennis.”

“We have a terrific pickleball community here in Bullhead City,” added Heath. As evidence, three of the new courts — and three of the existing ones — were occupied by players within 15 minutes after conclusion of Monday’s ribbon cutting.

Heath said the addition of a tennis court was important. Previously, players seeking outdoor courts in Bullhead City were limited to Mohave High School’s facility.

“The high school has been great about making courts available,” Heath said. But, he added, those courts aren’t in great condition, aren’t always available and aren’t part of the city’s amenities. The new lighted court is.

Mayor Tom Brady said he recalled the “black forest” of overgrown trees and brush at what is now Rotary Park. He said the city and its citizens have created “one of the finest parks you can ever find.”

Rotary Park already has more than a dozen soccer fields, one football field, a baseball/softball complex, a skate park and a dog park. There also is a field set aside for radio-controlled aircraft, as well as launches for motorized and non-motorized watercraft on the Colorado River and ample room for swimming and fishing and ramadas for special events.

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