USTA Florida Advocates for Continued Investment in Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Fla., July 12, 2023 – USTA Florida this week met with the City of Cocoa Beach Leisure Board to recap its nearly six-year investment in operating the Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach and encouraged the city to renew their successful partnership for another three years.

USTA Florida Executive Director Laura Bowen highlighted the exponential growth in participation at the tennis center since the USTA Florida took over operations in December 2017.  Using technology to track participation, the organization now has more than 1,000 players on its contact list – up from just 188 when the organization assume operations in 2017.

“I’ve been involved in this facility since the very beginning. The Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach has grown tremendously,” Bowen said. “Our partnerships with local schools, new adult beginner and adaptive programs, combined with outstanding instruction from an elite tennis professional, continue to underpin our success.”

On the financial side, Bowen shared that the non-profit has more than fulfilled its promise to return every penny in revenue back to the facility.  Since the inception of its operations, USTA Florida has spent about $170,000 more on the operation than it has collected in revenue. The organization shared that it absorbed all financial impacts during COVID-19, while adhering to city guidelines.

When several courts were unplayable due to construction and a hurricane last fall, USTA Florida not only absorbed the loss, but it got to work immediately on securing funding to repair the damaged courts. In May, the USTA Florida Section Foundation (sister organization to USTA Florida) provided the city with a commitment letter for $200,000 in grants to renovate the six hard courts at the front of the facility. It is the largest Hurricane Relief Grant to come out of the Foundation to date.

We are unique in that our primary business is to improve tennis facilities, grow programs and to ensure everyone can play this sport.  That’s our mission, and it’s what makes us an ideal partner for the city of Cocoa Beach and all cities we partner with. We have never considered this partnership as a way to make money,” Bowen said.

USTA Florida Head Tennis Professional John Sanders and USTA Florida Board Members Chuck Gill and Marcelo Gouts also spoke directly to the Leisure Board about the model for tennis operations.  With more than 80 years of combined experience managing public and private tennis facilities, the trio shared why USTA Florida’s commitment to employing the best tennis professionals and meeting high standards for programs provides the best and safest experience for the community.

“Safety and service will always be our top priorities. All tennis professionals we hire are required to be certified, Safe Sport-approved and trained every year, and they must adhere to the highest professional standards,” said Gill. “Combined with our financial transparency and accountability to the city, we feel that we are an excellent partner to public tennis centers.”

USTA Florida is currently working with four different municipalities in the State of Florida to operate public park tennis centers. The group says their long-term experience at the Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach has helped provide best practices that they can share with other cities.

“I’m really proud of what we have accomplished here in Cocoa Beach with this partnership. To see the participation grow across the board, and to see how much our employees care about every person who plays here is special.  This is my community, and I want to keep the Racquet Club growing for many more years to come,” Sanders said.

For more information on programs and activities at Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach, visit

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About USTA Florida: Established in 1949, USTA Florida is a section of the United States Tennis Association. It is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with approximately 30,000 members, 500 organizational members and a $7 million budget. As the official governing body of tennis in Florida, USTA Florida operates from an executive office in Orlando, with more than 30 staff members and more than 600 volunteers throughout the state working towards a mission to promote and develop tennis for all in Florida. To learn more about USTA Florida visit

For more information, contact: Jaret Kappelman, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, USTA Florida: