Eatertainment destination Smash Park is bringing its social mix of food, drinks, and recreation – including its flagship activity, pickleball – to the Twin Cities market. It plans to open two locations in the Twin Cities area in 2023 and 2024, with construction on the first venue anticipated to begin this summer.
Over the next several years, Smash Park plans to open a number of new locations throughout the Midwest. Smash Park CEO Monty Lockyear said that customers are embracing the idea of eatertainment.
“People, especially younger generations, are looking for memorable experiences when they go out,” he says. “Pickleball and the other activities at Smash Park are complemented well by food and drink. It creates a synergy that makes the business stronger than any one element alone.”
Lockyear also said the Twin Cities is an ideal market for the Smash Park concept because of the high interest in pickleball and a shortage of quality indoor courts. “When we considered the local demographics, competitive landscape, and our offerings, we felt the community would embrace our fun and social combination of food and recreation.”
The Smash Park venues will have 30,000 square feet of indoor space to house pickleball courts, craft food and drinks, a 21-and-over “Paddle Club,” axe throwing, duckpin bowling, a private karaoke “Sing Suite,” events and live music. It’s 15,000 square feet of outdoor space will include a premier patio, rooftop bar, televisions, and yard games. There will be space for private events to host from 5-500 people.
Lockyear said that Smash Park appeals to a broad audience of people looking for a space to socialize and enjoy scratch-made craft food and drinks. “During the course of one week at Smash Park, we see all ages and demographics represented,” he said. “There is literally something here for everyone.”
Lockyear said Smash Park’s average customer age is 34, which tracks with pickleball’s exploding popularity and growing interest by younger demographics. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, with participation increasing an impressive 21.3% in 2020 according to USA Pickleball.
Local community support and charitable giving are cornerstones of the Smash Park brand. The company benefits local community and charitable organizations through regular special events and fundraising programs such as Serve Local, which allows customers to select local organizations to receive a portion of the money they spend at Smash Park
Smash Park opened its original 47,000-square-foot location in West Des Moines, Iowa in 2018.