Large Sports and Entertainment Development in New Orleans Lower Garden District Set To Open in August
Louisiana’s first standalone Pickleball facility is nearing completion prior to their opening in August 2023. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country and The Exchange will be the hub for all things Pickleball in New Orleans. The Exchange is a totally unique space in the city featuring six air-conditioned indoor Pickleball courts, an outdoor court, plus a food and specialty cocktail menu provided by hospitality partner, Messina’s Catering. One-on-one pickleball lessons, clinics, open play, and social and corporate events will also be available.
A Local Venture for Economic Growth
The Exchange took over a vacant 20,000 square-foot warehouse in the LGD, at 2120 Rousseau Street, near the Tchoupitoulas Street Walmart. VergesRome designed a beautiful building that makes the most of both indoor and outdoor space. Jos. R Labadot Inc. is the contractor facilitating the build out of the venue.
This venture is a majority woman owned business bringing jobs and revenue to the lower garden district. Founder, Renée Melchiode says “I believe that business development is so important for the future of New Orleans. From the design through the build and opening The Exchange brings 500 jobs, in addition to the several million dollars of money pumped into the economy from a local group of investors. We believe in our city.”
“I believe that business development is so important for the future of New Orleans. From the design through the build and opening The Exchange brings 500 jobs, in addition to the several million dollars of money pumped into the economy from a local group of investors. We believe in our city.”Renée Melchiode
The Exchange will bring in not only local pickleball fanatics, but tourists as well as corporate groups and conventions. Promoting economic growth in this area of the city is important for bringing in stable jobs and revenue into the city.
Opening in early August, The Exchange will be ready for visitors before August 8th – National Pickleball Day, which coincides with the Brees Dream Foundation’s “NOLA Pickleball Fest” on August 10-13th.
Building A Great Team
Management staff at The Exchange includes Head of Pickleball Operations and Certified IPTPA Pickleball Instructor, Scott Robinson. Robinson is a dill-ight on the courts! He joins The Exchange after 25 years of experience teaching tennis. His tennis coaching experience includes working as the Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at Tulane University, Assistant Tennis Director at Cross Gates, Head Coach Nicholls University, and Head Coach at Country Day School when the team won 3 state championships!
Robinson will direct The Exchange’s overall programming and teach private lessons, clinics, and junior programming, as well as organize leagues, ladders, and social events. His main goal is to make Pickleball fun for everyone, regardless of age, experience, or athletic ability. Robinson will be hiring assistant pros and coordinating with national guest pros to round out the teaching program at The Exchange.
“I have been teaching tennis for most of my life but find Pickleball to offer greater opportunities to a broader population. It’s easy to learn, fun to play, and is well suited for people of all different athletic abilities,”Scott Robinson
The Exchange General Manager is Phil Papillion. Coming from a family of restaurateurs across Louisiana, Papillion has always had a deep relationship with food. With multiple years of food and beverage experience throughout Louisiana, Papillion brings a focus on operations and customer service to The Exchange. He worked in various concepts and venues covering multiple food types from Creole to Jamaican before starting his career with Messina’s Catering and Events, who will be providing the food and beverage service in partnership with the Exchange. As the General Manager for The Exchange, Papillion will focus not only on the operations of the venue, but also making the guest experience one to remember. He hopes all his guests will relish the moments they share at The Exchange.
Joining the team as the Catering Sales Manager, Kaya Koban is a New Orleans native. Kaya has been in the hospitality industry since 2004 and is a graduate of the University of New Orleans’ hospitality program. She has extensive hospitality experience in Louisiana and internationally. Kaya brings a customer first attitude and fun event ideas to The Exchange. As the Catering Sales Manager for The Exchange, Kaya will focus on helping you create dill-icious events. She can help you make any corporate event, bachelor(ette) party, or birthday a night to savor.
The Exchange is the only dedicated pickleball facility in Louisiana that combines both indoor and outdoor courts with food, drinks, and live music. Bringing pickleball to New Orleans just makes sense: what’s a better pair than sip + serve? The Exchange combines a love of sports and NOLA-style entertainment to create an incredible experience for New Orleans residents and tourists alike← Blog