After researching several business ideas, Caryn and Clark Vitek decided to start Evergreen Tennis in Camas. The company opened its doors in 2015 and the couple was excited about the opportunity to create an atmosphere where people could come and learn the sport of tennis, get a work out and have fun.
Caryn explains that their business journey required a little bit of research and plenty of planning.
“We were looking for a business opportunity with a real-estate component during the last recession,” she said. “After being outbid on an apartment building, we weren’t upset, we were relieved. We realized we wanted a business that would be more fun and something our family could get involved in. The idea for Evergreen Tennis quickly became our preferred choice but we had to solve two big hurdles to make it a reality: finding the right land and developing a viable business plan.”
They looked for property for 18 months and found an ideal parcel in Camas, located at 5225 NW 38th Ave., near the quickly developing 192nd Avenue area. The Viteks began a mentorship with a person on the East Coast that operated two successful tennis clubs, so they decided to model the facility and business after that.
Clark and Caryn had a diverse business background that included engineering and finance, which has served as a winning combination so far.
“While the facility was under physical construction, so was nearly every aspect of the business that we wanted to bring to our community: our vision for a tennis club that would provide great service and would be accessible to the whole community, a place our kids could play and be proud of,” Caryn said.
Evergreen Tennis is now in its fourth year of operations and employs 11 people, including three full-time tennis pros. The club consists of four courts with a tensile fabric translucent ceiling that allows natural light in, similar to the Wimbledon’s center court. There are giant cargo doors that overlook a natural wetland that are opened during the summer months. This open design allows for the look and feel of playing tennis outdoors.
The club has approximately 130 members and 400 junior members, and more than 2,000 people have come in to play or take lessons, with more than 500 juniors and adults taking lessons each year since opening. All programs are developed based on player demand that are changed regularly. There are a variety and customization options for lessons, memberships, and activities and all programs are available to the public with no membership required.
Caryn shares that their mission is to provide each person an excellent experience each time they come into the club.
“We realize that the time people spend here could be the best hour of their day, so it’s got to be good,” she said. “Players tell us how much they enjoy the courts, you never miss out on an ever-changing Pacific Northwest day.”
Caryn goes on to say that it’s their joy to get to know players and the Clark County community.
The future of Evergreen Tennis looks exciting. Caryn said that there are some proposals in the works for residential and commercial developments that they expect to help drive business growth. In addition, the company also intends to add two more tennis courts in the future.