Tennis showcased in LH with new training company
By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal
Tennis players and residents alike were pleased to see the new renovations iTennis has made for the local tennis courts. So much so that they came in droves just to check out the brand new remodeled facility in La Habra at the official opening Saturday.
What was previously the La Habra Tennis Center is now iTennis La Habra with a newly remodeled clubhouse, a tennis pro shop, 12 full-size night-lit courts and two children sized courts.
People of all ages and skill levels were invited to attend the opening ceremony with free on court clinics. They held a raffle with an ultimate prize of a signed tennis racket and games with free tennis gear giveaways. A live band played in the background and the group gave food and refreshments such as pizza, water and cookies to ensure the community could still beat the heat.
The ownership group, iTennis Inc. began in Pasadena by former Stanford All-American and Wimbledon competitor John Letts on only one court back in 1998.
Today, they have expanded to Pasadena and South Pasadena, Arcadia, El Monte, Riverside, West Hollywood and now, La Habra.
“We are a company of tennis lovers, and the last thing we want to see is a nice venue like this, change use, go unused or be empty, so we are going to do our very best to make this be a huge community asset,” Letts said.
The company, iTennis made a bid at an auction for the site and, according to the owners, were pleased to have won. Co-owner Selwyn Brereton then began six-weeks of hard renovations beginning in early June.
The clubhouse was completely remodeled.
“We try to make it look like a living room where you want to come home from work and sit and relax. They can watch their matches, talk to their friends,” Brereton said.
He added that they installed air conditioning, something the clubhouse never had.
Letts and Brereton introduced themselves and shared how excited they were to service the community, hoping to produce many pro tennis players from La Habra in the future.
The former tennis center was beat up, not well cared for and run down, according to several residents and the iTennis staff.
La Habra Heights resident Jessie Hernandez used to use the courts before iTennis arrived and testified the courts were in bad shape
“It’s a big improvement. It’s like day and night. It looks nothing like it did before. Before, it just looked empty, run down and not taken care of. But now you can see that even just the lobby,” Hernandez said. “It’s very clean, more modern, more activity. You see a lot more people. It looks like they transformed it overnight.”
Hernandez has played tennis ever since he was in high school and now enjoys playing with his wife, two daughters and is excited to introduce the sport to his youngest son when he grows a little older.
The center will provide free United States Tennis Association membership for kids 10 years old and under, group or private lessons for people of all ages and abilities as well as courts for public use so long as the courts are available.
Membership with iTennis also include court reservations, clinic and merchandise discounts and invitations to club activities and events.
“We want people who have never tried the game to come out and try out [tennis] for the first time, and this event is geared to anybody… of all levels. Tennis is a great family sport,” said Letts.
Emily Jett contributed to this article