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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of November 20 - 26, 2002


Hailey health and 
tennis club reborn

Express Staff Writer

After months of speculation about its future, the former Ironwood Tennis Club in Hailey’s Woodside neighborhood was reopened last week with a new name—and a new look.

Jeff E. Smith, a Ketchum resident who owns the Los Angeles-based Lido Equities Group development company, has purchased the long-neglected property and remodeled it into a new facility called The Club at Copper Ranch.

Smith—with his real estate agent and project consultant John Sofro—on Friday invited the public to play tennis free of charge on one of three newly surfaced indoor hard courts at the club on Woodside Boulevard.

The day marked a renaissance of the property many Wood River Valley residents thought might never happen. A Texas-based corporation that closed the site in June formerly operated the facility. With the buildings in disrepair and Woodside property values escalating, it appeared the site would not be sold for anything other than a new residential development.

"It’s going to be a win-win situation for everybody—the people of the valley and the developers," Sofro said, taking a break between games in the completely remodeled facility. "Most people who would have bought this property probably would have torn it down and turned it into residences."

Smith said renovations on the tennis complex began in October, and immediately tennis enthusiasts began to inquire about memberships. "We had a lot of people telling us they wouldn’t go away this winter if the tennis facility was open," he said.

The tennis complex—which by itself covers 21,000 square feet—was completely reconstructed with new courts, insulation, heating and lighting.

With the tennis facility officially open, Smith explained that he now intends to renovate and redesign the rest of the 31,000-square-foot complex.

Smith said that by next fall the site would offer a fully equipped health club with modern training equipment, an indoor basketball court, training classes and possibly some spa facilities. Plans are also being prepared for the construction of an indoor swimming pool.

"It’s going to be state-of-the-art. There’s no question," Smith said.

"The city of Hailey really needed a first-class health facility," Sofro added.

Currently, adult tennis memberships cost $55 per month, plus a $150 initiation fee. Smith said the club will eventually offer memberships for the tennis and health facilities individually, and a combined membership for both.

Smith said the club already has more than 100 members, and when it becomes fully operational could support approximately 2000 members.

"This is going to be a family-oriented club," he said. "We want it to be as friendly and affordable as possible to residents of the Wood River Valley."



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.