Where to Play Pickleball? Head to Fair Hills!

Right in the thick of Lakes Country sits a resort just three years short of a century of operation. Generations of families have made Fair Hills Resort their summer home away from home. One of the many things that makes the resort so special is the countless opportunities to create memories.

Creative Director Emily (left) and her mother, Beth (right), The owner and operator of the resort, along with her husband (not pictured).

Meet Emily, Creative Director and Lifelong Guest at Fair Hills Resort!

“I am the creative director at Fair Hills Resort, running all of our content, social media, ads, and other ways to introduce ourselves to the community and stay connected to our guests. I graduated from the University of St. Thomas and have been officially working at Fair Hills since 2009, although as the fifth generation of my family to be working here, I have definitely worked my way up, doing everything from scooping ice cream as a kid to waiting tables and performing in the Hootenanny. In 2020, I also took the helm as the Director of Operations at Wildflower Golf Course.”

Memories are made with lake water splashes, s’mores around the fire, songs and theatrics and talent shows, and, of course, with the enjoyment of others while participating in any one of the number of activities at the resort.

For the most part, those classic summertime activities have remained the same over time. However, a new activity has recently taken the resort, and the nation, by storm. So much so, Fair Hills opened six new courts dedicated to the sport last year. No more modifying the tennis courts, as they upgraded the grounds when it came time to redo the courts’ surfaces. They are excited to bring official pickleball courts to Fair Hills Resort!

According to Fair Hills Resort Creative Director Emily Meyers, the love of pickleball has seen a fairly steady increase at the resort, concurrent with the rising trend of the sport in the FM community.

The crew from the stay and play your way pickeball tournament over memorial day weekend!

Maybe you’ve heard about the sport, maybe not. Brush up on the whos and whats of pickleball and learn where you can play in the Fargo-Moorhead area in our February issue, “What’s Your Sport?” Check it out here!

Being a staple in the lakes community, and always working to expand that reach, the pickleball tournaments and clinics hosted at Fair Hills Resort are open to the public; meaning you don’t need to be a guest at the resort to attend!

“We also want people to have the opportunity to experience the magic of Fair Hills Resort, so we are hosting tournaments when we have cabin availability for players to stay in if they choose,” Emily explained.

Two certified pickleball professionals led the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, dubbed the “Stay and Play Your Way weekend”, as attendees were welcomed to stay at the resort as well as participate in the other activities going on that weekend like a yoga retreat and special rates at the Wildflower Golf Course.

The professionals, Paul Murray and Paul Huch, helped run the tournament and provided tips, tricks, and professional insight to enhance the athletes’ pickleball game. In addition to the tournament, the duo also hosted skill-focused clinics throughout the weekend.

Learn About the Pickleball Professionals!

“Paul Murray grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota. As a tennis player, he took second in the Don Bosco conference, played at Marquette University, and was the director of tennis at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod. His philosophy of putting the fun in fundamentals and the love of doubles strategies and tactics made his transition to pickleball coach a perfect fit. He is presently the director of pickleball at Wayzata County Club and is both PPR and PCI-certified. Whether you are brand new to the game, or trying to perfect your third shot drop, Paul has the experience to help you improve your pickleball game every step of the way.”

“Paul Huch was our other professional for the weekend. Paul grew up in Hopkins, Minnesota, and has been the head tennis and pickleball pro at the Weekapaug Tennis Club since 2010. He has coached at the collegiate level at Meredith College, Connecticut College, and Macalester College. He shares his fiery competitive spirit and knowledge of the game to help raise your pickleball game to the next level!”

-Emily Meyers

The winners (left) and pros (right) at the tournament in May!

If all of this pickleball tourney talk has you itching to grab your equipment and head out, don’t worry—Fair Hills Resort will be hosting a second pickleball tournament in mid-August! And, if you need to brush up on your skills for the event, book a stay at the resort to enjoy the brand-new courts… and a few other perks!

What else can you enjoy at Fair Hills Resort this Summer?

“In between these two [pickleball] events, we find ourselves busy with lots of guests and events. Our family season, which consists of three meals a day, lots of supervised recreation activities, and lessons in golf, tennis, pickleball, swimming, sailing, and waterskiing takes place from the third week in June through the third week in August,’ Emily said.

Being that we’re from a region that only gives us so much time in the sun, you’ll find the Fair Hills Grounds are quite busy before the family season begins. Between corporate events and retreats and weddings, the resort is humming with life during the springtime!

During the family season, the public is welcome to attend multiple events hosted at the resort, like the Hootenanny & Smorgasbord on Tuesday nights beginning after Father’s Day. At this weekly tradition, the staff put together a musical show for the guests to enjoy. This 58-year- old event supports the resort’s musical history. The evening looks like this:

5-6 p.m. Embark on an hour- long cruise of Pelican Lake- ticket includes one beverage on the boat.

6-7 p.m. Eat Smorgasbord dinner in the dining room

8 – 9:30 p.m. Enjoy the Hootenanny Show

While taking a cruise around Pelican Lake is a lake-lover’s dream, the 55-foot Big Pelican Pontoon boat is a sight in and of itself. Enjoy dinner and drinks after the cruise, and end the night with some entertainment!

If you’d rather get out and do something active, hit 18 holes at Wildflower Golf Course, both a beauty to look at and to play! Check out a full feature on this course in June’s issue of Fargo INC! or head to to read about it!

Or, of course, you could go experience all that Fair Hills Resort has to offer yourself. Learn more at!

Address | 24270 Co. Hwy 20 Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
Phone | 1-800-323-2849
Email |
Facebook | /fairhillsresort
Instagram | @fairhillsresort

Written by Geneva Nodland

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