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  1. #1
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    Default Menlo Park: Badminton may bloom in industrial park

    Publication Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    Menlo Park: Badminton may bloom in industrial park

    By Rebecca Wallace
    Almanac Staff Writer

    The Almanac

    Among the warehouses and office buildings of Menlo Park's M-2 industrial zone east of U.S. 101, a new sports facility is being born.

    Badminton enthusiasts Mike Yang and Ben Lee are planning to open the Golden Gate Badminton Club at 190 Constitution Drive, in a warehouse just down the street from the biotech company Geron Corp. and a Sun Microsystems office.

    They're hoping to attract a range of players, including workers needing a stress break from their lab or computer, and kids from the nearby Belle Haven neighborhood. But their aspirations don't stop there.

    "Our goal is to produce high-level, Olympic-caliber athletes out of the club. We'll be working closely with the U.S. Olympic committee," said Mr. Lee, who competed in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona.

    This will be the first club for the two, who met while playing Bay Area tournaments. Mr. Lee has taught badminton classes in South San Francisco for several years.

    The plan for the club, which was unanimously granted a use permit by Menlo Park's Planning Commission on September 13, includes having eight courts and a shop where rackets, shoes, bags and other sport accessories will be sold.

    Planned hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., with classes, drop-in play and periodic tournaments.

    City officials are also working with the club to plan classes through Menlo Park's community services department, which currently doesn't offer badminton.

    "It's an Olympic sport now, and it's so fast-acting," department director Curtis Brown said enthusiastically. He added that he hopes to have some classes offered at a discounted rate for Belle Haven residents.

    The club is expected to open by the end of the year, after some work on the building, Mr. Lee said. Originally used as an indoor tennis facility, the structure houses a printing company that will be moving out.

    The most important thing is to do something about the concrete floor, Mr. Lee said: "With the wear and tear on our knees, we'll need a more cushioned flooring."

    While several letters were sent to the planning department in support of the club, including one from Mr. Brown, Menlo Park developer David Bohannon voiced concern about the site not having enough parking for the club.

    The site has 22 parking spaces, which meets zoning-code requirements, but a badminton club is not a typical use in the area under the code, which is why a use permit is required.

    Mr. Lee and Mr. Yang say they expect no more than 16 players to use the club at once, and that tournaments should attract few spectators. They are also working with the owner of a neighboring business park on an agreement to use parking there in the evening.

    Mr. Bohannon said last week that he didn't know whether he would appeal the Planning Commission approval to the City Council. Any appeal would have to take place by the end of September.

  2. #2
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    Badminton clubs are sprouting everywhere over the bay area. I think I might check out these gyms some time.

  3. #3
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    maybe a little rivalry here, vancouver vs bay area on who has more badminton court per capita

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    [size=-1]......
    Mr. Lee and Mr. Yang say they expect no more than 16 players to use the club at once,.......

    Is this level of playership enough to sustain such a facility? With 8 courts, it sounds like they are targeting singles play maybe.

  5. #5
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    Default parking

    this is just a tactic to get the city approve their facility with an onsite parking of 22 spaces. if they were to inform the city council that they will have the crowd of bintang academy, there's no way the city will approve the parking permit requirement.

    just imho.

  6. #6
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    there will be 3 clubs in the bayarea pretty soon..i wonder where people will start playing...and i wonder if all 3 clubs can sustain enough membership..to stay in operation..its gonna be interesting..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubbycu
    there will be 3 clubs in the bayarea pretty soon..i wonder where people will start playing...and i wonder if all 3 clubs can sustain enough membership..to stay in operation..its gonna be interesting..
    it will be interesting. i don't know about others, but i'll keep going to bintang. i like the environment and the people there. bintang opened to promote the sport. the owner is very passionate about badminton and he's always there to help everyone. there have been countless times when i've seen him put down his dinner or not play a game, so he can string someone's racket right away. he'll play games with people of all ages and levels; he's not stuck up like many of the good players in the area. i've heard that the other two clubs are opening because those owners want to make a business out of badminton. that's not how bintang has operated, ever since i've been a member there. i'm going to support the club that truly cares about the sport and the community.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilkaryee
    it will be interesting. i don't know about others, but i'll keep going to bintang. i like the environment and the people there. bintang opened to promote the sport. the owner is very passionate about badminton and he's always there to help everyone. there have been countless times when i've seen him put down his dinner or not play a game, so he can string someone's racket right away. he'll play games with people of all ages and levels; he's not stuck up like many of the good players in the area. i've heard that the other two clubs are opening because those owners want to make a business out of badminton. that's not how bintang has operated, ever since i've been a member there. i'm going to support the club that truly cares about the sport and the community.
    I didn't know that there's a lot of people from here that go to Bintang. When do you go?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph
    I didn't know that there's a lot of people from here that go to Bintang. When do you go?
    It's pretty random. On some days, I go right after work. On other days, I go later, like an hour prior to closing.

  10. #10
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    Default Anyone knows the new gym in Palo Alto/Menlo Park?

    Is it open yet? wanna go and check it out. Thanx.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJguy
    Is it open yet? wanna go and check it out. Thanx.
    it will be opened sometime in 2005...the owners will eventually do advertise for it

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