TUALATIN -- Tualatin resident Deborah Reiss had to commute to Lake Oswego to play tennis every week until a new wellness center opened five minutes from her home.
Stafford Hills Club opened last week at 5916 S.W. Nyberg Lane with what are thought to be the first indoor tennis courts built by a fitness center in the Southwest suburbs in nearly 30 years.
"My focus is tennis, so it's important to me to have nice, new courts," said Reiss, 57, "and the philosophy of this place is all about excellence."
The 95,000-square-foot club exudes excellence in its seven indoor tennis courts, three outdoor courts, a resort-style pool, a racquet shop and the highest of high-tech gym equipment.
Amenities range from free childcare to the ice-cold water with floating lemon slices available at the spotless granite reception desk.
Owners Jim Zupancic, a Lake Oswego land-use attorney, and his wife, Marla, say they wanted to create a fitness club where people could gather, socialize and attend wellness-based events.
They recruited Jeff Breit, who has an extensive background in hospitality and five-star private clubs, to be general manager.
The 16-acre campus, valued at about $20 million, includes buildings that are in the process of becoming LEED certified and walking trails through the surrounding wetlands at Browns Ferry Park.
The club focuses on overall wellness, through fitness equipment and classes, a salon and spa, cafe, childcare, physical therapy and lifestyle coaching.
It takes community building a step further by providing space for members to meet and socialize in the form of book clubs, cooking classes, networking events and other group activities.
"We ask people to tell us who they are," Breit said. "We want a 'welcome home' vibe."
The tennis courts are a major selling point for area residents such as Reiss and Kari Evans, 52, who said she was hoping for a state-of-the-art tennis center and spa closer to her workplace in Tualatin.
Most other local indoor centers -- including Portland's Multnomah Athletic Club, the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton and the Mountain Park Racquet Club in Lake Oswego -- are at least a quarter-century old, though all report they update their courts every few years. Sunset Athletic Club in Cedar Mill says they built three indoor courts in 2005.
Stafford Hills has seven indoor courts and three outdoor courts, modeled after the National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. A skybox lets spectators watch the indoor courts, and the ceiling lights are designed to reflect light from the courts for good visibility.
Tennis professionals Bill Fletcher and Suzie Matzenauer, a former nationally ranked college player, will lead the tennis program. The two have decades of experience playing and coaching and are nationally recognized for the sport.
"There's no way I'm going somewhere else," Evans said. The high-technology trend continues with Technogym fitness equipment designed to monitor individual results.
When members join, the club creates an electronic profile and stores it in the overall database and individual flash drives. Members can access their profiles, which contain workout logs, appointments and notes from physical therapists or trainers, at all machines via the flash drive.
The club has on-site medical resources that provide cardiac evaluations, sports-medicine health screenings and physical therapy. Wellness director Taryn Lust said the club also offered stress management courses, speakers and dietitians.
Membership packages vary; a basic adult initiation fee with all access is $900, plus $125 per month. A comparable initiation fee for a family would be $2,000, plus $265 per month.
So far, around 1,200 members have joined the club, which makes Breit confident.
"I'm excited to take part in something built from the ground up that helps people," he said.