Since kicking off a hefty fundraising campaign last spring, members of the Greater Eagle River Tennis Association (GERTA) have been hard at work pounding the pavement and scaring up funds for the $250,000 reconstruction project at the Eagle River tennis courts.

Taking part in community events such as Cranberry Fest as well as planning various fundraising events, GERTA President Sue Richmond said that the club is confident to start the reconstruction this fall.

“Through many generous donors, pledges of members, and the hard work of the members at various fundraisers, we are confident to start the reconstruction this fall because we have reached $210,000,” said Richmond. 

“We are so very close to our goal and believe that we will be able to meet the remainder by spring. We want to thank everyone who has so generously donated.” 



Court disrepair

After Vilas County quit claimed the courts to GERTA a year ago, ensuring that any long-term projects funded by the club would be protected, members began work on crafting a sweeping plan to rebuild the four aging and damaged courts.

The current courts were built in 1975, making them nearly 50 years old. Although two of the courts have been resurfaced, the average lifespan for a tennis court is only 25 years so much of the understructure of the courts is not stable. The other two courts were overlayed with VersaCourt, an interlocking plastic tile grid system, as a fix to help improve the playing surface. 

GERTA volunteers were at the courts Oct. 3 taking up the VersaCourt, which is now for sale to any organization who can put it to good use.

Richmond noted that the VersaCourt would be a great addition for a local resort or camp to improve an aging court, adding that VersaCourt can not only be used for tennis courts, but also for basketball courts or to redo a patio. 

For information on purchasing the VersaCourt, contact greatereaglerivertennis@gmail.com.



Reconstruction project

According to Richmond, now that the VersaCourt is removed the demolition for the project is set to start this season.

“Pitlik (& Wick of Eagle River) can begin the breaking up of the courts this fall,” said Richmond.  “They will let it settle over the winter and then begin the final phases of reconstruction in the spring of 2022.”

The reconstruction project will include removal and replacement of fencing, removing and/or adding to the underlayment of gravel and sand to improve the base for the courts, appropriate grading and sloping of the courts, and adding new asphalt  in two layers which will total 3.5 inches of surface. All courts also will be surfaced and lined for 78-foot courts as well as 60- and 36-foot courts.

Plans also are in place to replace the existing lights with LED lights, and upgrade the electrical to include a new light box which will function for both north courts and both south courts independently.



Upcoming event

GERTA is hosting a Prohibition-themed fundraiser event Saturday, Nov. 6, at Eagle Waters Resort as its final push to secure the remaining funds needed to finish the project.  

Richmond invites the public to come out and enjoy a “roaring” good time from 7 to 11 p.m. 

The event will feature music by Bogfoot from Sugar Camp alongside a 50-50 raffle, raffle baskets (some worth more than $300), wine/booze pull drawings, and a prize for the best costume, which is optional. 

Advanced tickets cost $50 and include two drinks (“prohibition punch” or beer), appetizers and live music. Tickets also will be available to purchase at the door for $60.   

Tickets can be found online at eventbrite.com by searching for the GERTA Prohibition Fundraiser, or by sending a check made out to GERTA Fundraiser, P.O. Box 1714, Eagle River, WI  54521.  

“We hope to see the community come out for this fun event!”  said Richmond. “ A lot of work has gone into this event and we want it to be a success.”

For more information on the fundraising efforts, reconstruction project or joining the club, visit gertatennis.org, email greatereaglerivertennis@gmail.com, or find GERTA on Facebook.