Pickleball club, fitness center, flotation therapy to open

RYE – Pickleball courts, a fitness center and flotation therapy business are set to open in a place once teeming with boarders and cyclists.

The former 50,000 square foot Rye Airfield site is undergoing major transformation.

New England Pickleball Club, a new business founded by a sports professional, will open six indoor pickleball courts and an additional training ground alongside them. Two existing local companies will open new sites in the building: MaxEdge Fitness Workout, which is based in Hampton, and float, a physiotherapy and wellness center with locations in Hampton and Portsmouth.

Rye Airfield, built in 2001, officially moved from Space 6 Airfield Drive just off Route 1 in March of last year. It was sad news for skateboarders and bikers yesterday and today.

Today, a new generation of tenants is settling in.

MaxEdge co-owner Jay Collins said he can’t wait to go.

“What a unique opportunity to have different things like this under one roof,” said Collins, who owns MaxEdge with his wife, Nancy Collins.

Rye Town Records show the sale of the one-story property in January 2021 to Grail Real Estate LLC for $ 5.49 million. The city’s most recent valuation of the 23.9-acre parcel was $ 2.72 million.

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Here’s a look at each of the three companies coming to Rye Airfield.

New England Pickleball Club

Professional Pickleball Association athlete and Portsmouth resident Dave Velardo, also an instructor in the sport, is the founder and owner of the club. It will include a total of 15,000 square feet of space on six courts and a training ground, as well as room for seats, spectators and storage.

The opening is tentatively scheduled for March 1, Velardo said the club will offer memberships towards the end of January. It said it will also host open games and be available for reservations for members and non-members.

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“We’re going to be a club for everyone,” Velardo said. “That’s my goal and that’s what we’re going to do, because you have such a wide range of skill levels in the sport.”

The six enclosed courts will be named after each of the six New England states, each offering a color coated Novaplay surface and four court seats that fold into the wall.

A website for the project says Velardo, a former pickleball player in men’s doubles and mixed doubles, won gold at the 2018 Men’s Doubles National Championship at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California. Velardo’s victory came in the 4.5 player skill rating tournament, among the highest levels of competition, according to USA Pickleball.

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Velardo also has more than four years of teaching experience throughout New England and California, ranging from newbie pickleball players to those competing in high profile national tournaments.

The project’s website has indicated that of the three businesses located in the Rye Building, the New England Pickleball Club will be the first to open.

All new ventilation and LED lighting have been installed for the club and when the warmer weather arrives the garage and the space’s double doors can be opened for fresh air.

Having befriended other New England players on the pro tour, Velardo said the club will welcome various area competitors to play against him and more qualified local players.

“My friends are going to come to Rye to play in front of the people,” he said.

Along with a handful of instructors, Velardo will coach private and public lessons that will be offered to players of varying skill levels. Each month, the club and its charity coordinator Sue Haskell will partner with local charities and host events to benefit them.

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A few reasons come to Velardo’s mind as to why the popularity of pickleball has skyrocketed, especially due to the social atmosphere of the sport and pickleball is for all skill levels and ages, regardless of athletic ability.

“It’s just such a rare game where you can have so much fun and be really social regardless of your skill level,” he said.

MaxEdge Fitness Workout

For years, Jay Collins felt that one thing the area lacked: a “good, high end” gym. He plans to open the company’s newest location by June.

The hope for him is that MaxEdge can meet this need by opening up to Rye. He said the Hampton site will also remain open.

“It’s something that’s needed and if there was an area in New Hampshire where something like that belongs, it’s here,” he said. “And I don’t know if it can be duplicated elsewhere.”

A render of the building’s floor plan shows that the fitness center will cover almost half of Rye Airfield’s total space.

Group workouts will be offered, along with kickboxing, cardio and spin classes and programs for senior clients. The plans also include an open gym area and a strength and conditioning zone for athletes, as well as sprint lanes.

While a vendor has yet to be chosen, Collins plans to offer a cafe with seating, in addition to a workspace, complete with a fireplace and TV. A daycare will also be offered.

“MaxEdge is going to become a full service gymnasium,” Collins said.

Collins predicts that 75% of the space in the MaxEdge building will be fully utilized by the time it welcomes workout enthusiasts.

“We do group training better than anyone. We want to take that and take all these different facets of group training and do them together and do it under one roof, ”he said.


Founded in Hampton in March 2018, according to the company’s website, Flote’s core service is flotation therapy: a piece or capsule that allows people to float completely in water full of 1,000 pounds of salt. from Epsom.

“The high salt content allows you to be completely buoyant when lying in the water and creates a deep relaxation experience,” the Flote website states. “Sometimes called sensory deprivation, the practice is more precisely about minimizing external stimuli and improving awareness of internal stimuli. “

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Owned by Margaux French and Catherine Markovsky, the Flote site in Hampton includes three ‘floating suites’, five treatment rooms and a wellness studio for various classes and workshops, such as sound meditation, soulfire yoga and classes. of healing linked to the lunar cycle.

The company has expanded to a second location in Portsmouth in 2019, a site that includes thalassotherapy, an infrared sauna and massage specialists.

Other services provided by Flote include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, a “deeply relaxing and restorative” service that “works to restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the brain and spine.”

The owners of Flote did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Rye’s location.

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