NORTH HAVEN, CT — North Haven’s beloved sports facility, North Haven Health and Racquet, will resume operations on Sept. 13, officials announced Thursday.
North Haven Health and Racquet, located at 100 Elm St., has been owned and operated by the Tagliatela family for more than 40 years. Tricia Tagliatela announced on Aug. 14 that they decided to close the club.
“As with many other family businesses we have been hard-pressed to meet the competition of national chains,” she wrote in a post on Facebook at the time. “Covid 19 added greatly to the strain. It is my hope that we served your needs well. It is with great sadness that we have decided to close the club.
“The future remains uncertain.”
That uncertain future started to come into focus a couple of days later when Tagliatela posted that there was a “ray of hope for reopening the club.” The family offered to gift North Haven Health and Racquet to the town, according to Tagliatela.
“We made this offer because it has always been my wish that the club would be available to serve the people of the community for tennis and fitness,” Tagliatela wrote. “Mike [First Selectman Michael Freda] and the other town officials are considering this offer. Of course, this offer came as a surprise to the town and merits serious thought by town officials. Operating a large facility like NHHR requires considerable effort and commitment. However, another development is likely to help the town in reaching its decision. Many individuals and some organizations have expressed interest in operating NHHR.”
In response, First Selectman Michael Freda worked in partnership with the Tagliatela family to “develop a solution that will keep the club’s facilities and services accessible to the residents of North Haven and all club members and clients,” according to a news release.
“A new, capable management team with years of experience in tennis club operations called ‘Tennis for All’ will assume the management of the club,” officials wrote in the release. “Anna Mobarak, who currently manages Tennis Central in Woodbridge will lead that team, supported by tennis pros from Tennis Central and her husband Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics and Management at Yale.
“This new management team will work closely with the Town of North Haven, including the North Haven school system, to make the club’s facilities more accessible to all North Haven residents, designing new sports and health programs for our school children and for the elderly. They will also introduce talent identification and youth development programs to nurture promising athletes in our community. All of this is made possible by the generosity of the Tagliatela family, and a unique public-private partnership with a mission to build healthier, inclusive communities in North Haven using sports.”
North Haven Health and Racquet has offered six full indoor tennis courts, five racquetball courts, a full-sized basketball court, two fitness centers, group exercise classes and spinning classes.
The new management will communicate with North Haven Health and Racquet members over the next few days about specifics of the reopening plans, and the procedures for booking courts. They are currently devising a system for facility access that is consistent with the state’s guidelines for reopening business in a phased manner to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to officials.