Local Business Hopes to Create Safe and Fun Space for Whatcom Residents to Enjoy Washington’s Official State Sport

An old furniture building behind Whatcom Community College Cedar Residence Hall will get new life as one of the few pickleball arenas in Washington state, starting this summer. This location was chosen because it was the only vacant building in Bellingham that had tall enough ceilings. 

Volli will include eight painted concrete pickleball courts, two golf simulations, two shuffleboard tables, darts and cornhole games. Additionally, they will offer beer and cider by the bottle and single-serving wine and partner with local food trucks.

Karyn Cowperthwaite, a Whatcom student and Cedar Hall resident, is excited for Volli to open. For her, exercise is the main source of happiness. “When I’m feeling uneasy or anxious, getting my body moving helps,” she said.

Originating in Bainbridge Island, Wash., pickleball has quickly gained popularity. Earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill making pickleball the official state sport. 

In February, the game was announced as the fastest-growing sport in America for the second year in a row, according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2022 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report. Washington residents have taken the sport more seriously by participating in activities and clubs.

Dave Jones, Kathy Middleton and Allan Jones outside their sport gaming center Volli.
Volli’s three owners (L to R) siblings Allan Jones, Dave Jones and Kathy Middleton. Photo Credit: Madeline Bauman

Volli’s three owners, Allan Jones, Dave Jones and Kathy Middleton, are siblings who started playing pickleball less than five years ago, and now it’s their livelihood.

“You are unlikely to stop playing because … you just get addicted,” said Dave Jones. Volli isn’t Jones’ only recreational business. He also owns a trampoline park called Summit Adventure Park.

Whatcom student Gavin Tomlinson said it can be difficult to play pickleball in Washington where it’s always raining. When informed about Volli, he was surprised. “I can’t wait, pickleball is so exciting.” 

Demand for the courts will determine if student discounts will be available. 

Contact Volli at info@vollibellingham.com

One thought on “Local Business Hopes to Create Safe and Fun Space for Whatcom Residents to Enjoy Washington’s Official State Sport

  1. “exercise is the main source of happiness” This is bourgeoise propaganda. The proletariat will not be happy until we surmount the capitalist class and liberate us from our suffering?

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