TAVARES – The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement on April 8 that would allow The Florida Region of USA Volleyball to begin construction on the Hickory Point Beach sand volleyball complex, set to open the weekend of July 4.
The 20 sand volleyball courts will be built at the Hickory Point Recreational Facility, located on the shores of Lake Harris in Tavares, and will boast professional level net systems, lights, permanent restrooms, an intercom system, web cams and 24 inches of top-grade sand.
“The Hickory Point Beach sand volleyball complex is precisely the type of venue needed to improve Lake County’s sports infrastructure and will have a significant positive impact on the Lake County economy,” said Robert Chandler, Lake County Economic Development & Tourism director.
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved the $398,000 plan, which will be paid for in full by the tourist development tax.
“A public/private partnership with Lake County is pioneering in the sport of volleyball and will create a model for other municipalities to follow across the US,” said Steve Bishop, executive director for the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. “We applaud the leadership of Lake County for sharing our vision and we look forward to working closely with them to make Lake County the home of beach volleyball in Florida.”
The sport of beach volleyball, now commonly referred to as sand volleyball, is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to increase in popularity during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which will feature the sport.
The construction of the new venue was made possible through a partnership between the county, Florida Region of USA Volleyball, Lake County Water Authority and the Lake County Education Foundation, which is relocating their annual Renaissance Faire from Hickory Point to a new venue. The plans are pending a final vote April 23 by the Lake County Water Authority on a lease agreement with the county.
The Florida Region of USA Volleyball is a 501c3 non-profit that began operating in the 1960s to promote volleyball and to create competitive playing opportunities for volleyball enthusiasts of all ages throughout the state. The Florida Region is one of 40 regional volleyball associations under the umbrella of USA Volleyball and currently serves over 12,500 members. For more information on the Florida Region, visit www.FloridaVolleyball.org.