I recently played two mountain tournaments with my wife – one in Breckenridge, Colo., and the other in Carbondale, Colo. (near Aspen). Both were amazing in their own ways, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I have to give the nod to Breck.

And this being despite the fact we didn’t even get an opportunity to play on Breck’s amazing clay courts at the public recreation facility (although, in the interest of full disclosure, we have played on their clay courts in the past and we did reserve a clay court for practice).

Both facilities were top notch. Breck’s public recreation center, which has two indoor hard courts, three outdoor clay courts, and six or so outdoor hard courts is really spectacular, especially for a public facility.

The tourny in Carbondale was held at the River Valley Ranch, which I believe is a private facility, though I could be mistaken about that. RVR, as they called it, boasted four clay courts and two hard courts that were a short drive from the main club house, all outdoors.

Comparing the two; we felt the clay courts at Breck were of better quality, and the fact that they have indoor courts is a big plus. Rain was a factor during both tournaments, and having the ability to move indoors is a necessity. As far as location, Breck wins hands down. The only problem with playing there is that the beautiful scenery might distract you from the tennis – but that’s a risk we’re willing to take. The River Valley Ranch facility is very nicely appointed itself and provides a beautiful setting, but just not quite on par with Breck.

But what really set the two tourny’s apart was, oddly enough, Keystone.

When rain began causing problems at the Breckenridge tourny, which was held in early June, the tournament director was able to redirect some of the matches to a facility in Keystone. The facility was remarkable in that it was essentially abandoned by the city of Keystone, but the tournament director and his wife had fixed it up (as much as possible) and were making a go of bringing it back to life.

Though there were two indoor courts, only one was playable, as the city was still insisting on using the other to store laundry and sundry other items.

If you ever have an opportunity to play in the Keystone tennis facility, I highly recommend you take advantage. It is like no other facility I have ever played, and enjoyed it immensely.

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