Towpath's History & Philosophy
In the late fall of 1967, a small group of men broke ground on a plot of land located alongside Akron-Peninsula Road in the Cuyahoga Valley. Towpath Racquet Club was to be the first indoor tennis facility in Northeast Ohio. Towpath opened that winter with three indoor courts under one bubble. As a pioneer for the sport of tennis in Akron, the person most responsible for growing the game was Towpath Owner and Head Professional, Frank Marias.
Entering our second decade, the original bubble was replaced along with a new two-court bubble, and growing pro shop. On September 14, 1979, a devastating flood collapsed the bubbles leaving Towpath un-operational for about a month. Down but not out, Towpath set a precedence to persevere and make a commitment to provide the best tennis experience in the area for many years to come.
The club grew to nine indoor courts under four bubbles with two outdoor courts and an expanded pro shop. Towpath had changed ownership to Dallas & Nancy Aleman in 1984. However, after nearly 25 years, the Cuyahoga River again flooded Towpath in 2003, and just 10 short months later in 2004. With expansions plans already in progress, and complications with flood insurance on the air structures, Dallas & Nancy researched the possibility of moving the club to another site. After deep consideration, and repeated requests from members to “make it work” in the valley, Towpath decided to raise the elevation and rebuild at our current location.
In June 2006, Towpath broke ground on the first phase of a redevelopment of the club. A few months later, Towpath officially changed our named from Towpath Racquet Club to Towpath Tennis Center and introduced a new logo. In the spring of 2007, three courts opened in a new steel structure, and a second phase of three additional courts was completed in the fall of 2010. With two phases of our new tennis center complete, Towpath faced our most challenging time period with three floods in July 2011, July 2013 and May 2014. Even faced with significant interruption to say the least, our new buildings have been safe from the flood water, and we have good plans to continue expanding and moving forward with our phase 3 clubhouse in 2016.
Towpath is a family where tennis brings us together. Our loyal members are with us even through tough times, but we always rise up and continue to grow stronger. We will be approaching our 50th anniversary in 2017, and are now serving a third generation of players. Grandparents, parents, and now their children have experienced tennis as a lifetime sport at Towpath. Over the years, Towpath has received numerous awards such as the 2008 USTA/Midwest Facility of the Year, Tennis Retailer of the Year by Tennis Buyers Guide, Top 50 Tennis Welcome Center Facility of the Year and more. We’ve had juniors compete at prestigious Midwest Sectional Championships, men & women qualify for USTA National Championships, Junior Team Tennis sectional championship teams, numerous high school state championship players, and many individual staff awards. What sets us apart is our philosophy of how we treat people and our goal for each person. We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. We truly want you to get fit, have fun, make friends and play tennis. You will see this theme over and over again in all we do. Come join us and make your own “tennis history” at Towpath. It can last a lifetime no matter where you start!