John Letts was all about keeping his remarks short at the Grand Opening of the Arcadia Tennis Center.
"We want to get you people onto the courts," he told the crowd gathered to celebrate the official opening of the tennis facility after Letts' company iTennis took over last June.
The contract to run the center at Arcadia County Park became , when patrons of the center, many of whom had been playing there for over 20 years, became concerned that iTennis would raise fees and create a membership-only or pay-to-play facility.
"I went to the meeting," said Bob Giering, who has been playing at the Arcadia center since 1957, about the January meeting for concerned patrons.
Giering said that he even spoke at the meeting to protest the new management company, but that his concerns were mostly about having to pay for court time and fear of change.
"I'm retired," he said. "I didn't want to pay to play."
Others at the grand opening event said that they had not been happy with the previous management, with one man remarking before running back to a drill, that he had called the county more than once to remove previous manager Rusty Miller.
Richard Jones said that he had played at the facility under the previous "regime" and hadn't liked it.
"It was almost like a membership," he said, adding that reservations for court time were hard to get or only available at odd times. He also had complained to the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation about the previous management. "I'm excited about this new management."
Giering said that since iTennis took over the operation of the tennis center on June 1 of this year, not only have his fears about membership fees been allayed, things have definitely gotten better at the facility.
"I'm very enthusiastic," he said. "Everything they've done is positive. I think they're good for tennis."
Letts said the company held off doing a grand opening until some of the facility upgrades, including fence repairs and new nets, were in place.
"We haven't been in a rush to get started," he said.
But now that school is starting again, it was time to make the opening official.
The main activity of the day was a series of group lessons for both adults and children, however, activities also included a Hit For Prizes contest and an exhibition match.
Facility General Manager Uran Wu said that almost 200 people had RSVP'd for the event and that he expected about another 100 on top of that to visit.