Denver just got a club that is solely for playing ping pong

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Denver just got a club that is solely for playing ping pong
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Gordon Kaye found his passion for ping pong while stuck in the locker rooms as a professional ice hockey manager in Pennsylvania.

When one of the players from his team Reading Royals, which plays in the mid-level professional league ECHL, asked for a ping pong table in the locker room, Kaye was quickly intrigued.

“I ended up playing myself for five hours a day,” Kaye said.

He started playing in a local club and at tournaments, and in 2014, he decided to step off the ice. He moved to Colorado and became CEO of USA Table Tennis, the nonprofit organization responsible for cataloging and sanctioning table tennis tournaments in the country.

He later moved into a role with the International Table Tennis Federation, then started a consulting firm for the industry and became a U.S. distributor for XIOM, a Korean table tennis manufacturer.

But he was dismayed by the lack of local ping pong clubs in Denver. So, in October last year, he opened DenverPong at 1559 S. Broadway in the Overland neighborhood.

“We want to be a vehicle for this diverse community,” Kaye said. “Most clubs in Denver closed because of COVID. A lot of the table tennis clubs are in community centers or public facilities. So, this is the first of its kind in Denver.”

DenverPong’s 3,000-square-foot space has professional flooring and seven tables, one of which is reserved for lessons.

Courtesy DenverPong via BusinessDen

DenverPong has 42 members and has hosted about 260 players since opening in October.

Unlike Ace Eat Serve, an Asian restaurant with 10 ping pong tables that opened in Cap Hill in 2012, DenverPong will not serve food or drinks, although guests are free to bring their own.

“Ace Eat Serve is a great place, but their community is built around the restaurant piece of their business,” Kaye said. “I don’t have the time or experience to deal with food and beverage, but Josh (Wolkon) has done an amazing job building the ping pong experience into his restaurant. We want to focus more on just coming in and playing ping pong.”

Visitors to DenverPong can play at any table for an unlimited time for $15 (although it’s free your first time in). There’s also a $100 monthly membership that gets players unlimited access, discounted equipment, and two buddy passes for free. Kaye said the club has 42 members and has hosted around 260 players.

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