Walid Fattah is CEO and Co-Founder of Kourts, the largest tennis marketplace in the United States. Walid and his Co-Founders have a combined extensive experience in the worlds of technology, finance and in scaling online businesses. With those skills, they are building Kourts, INC. as the premier technology system to help tennis facilities make tennis more accessible to players. Throughout his career, Fattah has built solid relationships with key actors in the tennis world, mostly driven by his passion and love of the sport.
To All Our Kourts Family And Friends
by Walid Fattah
We can confirm that so far 92% of clubs using the Kourts platform have had to shut down due to COVID19. Most of the clubs have furloughed their permanent staff (pros and admin) sadly. Some clubs have shared with us that landlords have not been unwilling to cooperate and are requesting payment for the lease. If payments are not met, they risk losing their leases and might never be able to re-open. Out of the 29 States across the country where Kourts is active, only 5 states still have active tennis facilities. For the ones that have stayed open, they’re exclusively using the Kourts app and the Kourts website booking abilities as they are not manning their front desk to protect their staff from exposing them to unnecessary risk. A limited number of those clubs are offering clinics, but limiting them to 4 people on the court, the player can only bring their racket on-court (no bag, no extra clothing). Facilities have removed fountains, players must come with their own water bottles.
In the public parks using Kourts, initially, cities gave the order early on to shut down the facility, but as some didn’t follow the orders, courts were then locked up with chains to make sure no one gets on those courts and play. In some parks, nets have had to be removed as players tried every possible solution to play, jumping the fence wasn’t something that stopped all of them!
In the past week, we have seen more and more inquiries about the Kourts platform from clubs that have not gone digital yet. The industry is slowly realizing that the new normal might very well be different from the one we have known till now. They are looking to invest in technology to offer a "contactless front desk" operation. Through Kourts’ digital solution, you can have your players book and pay for all activities through the Kourts player app or the Kourts website and not have to take cash or credit cards at the front desk.
Over the weekend, our first club in Ventura County has re-opened. But this has come with certain conditions, such as no front desk, no locker room, not more than 5 people on a court. The appetite for players is there, as that club was immediately fully booked for the following day.
At this particular time, we have put a stop on our instructor search function against our will. We realized that many players were reaching out hoping to find a pro that has access to a private court so that they can continue playing.
We believe that the industry will have to find solutions going forward, as an example clubs might have to shorten play from 60 minutes to 50 minutes, to allow players to leave the court before the next players come to play.