In 1989 Volleyball Of The Rockies (VOTR) started as a 12 team grass volleyball league in Washington Park. By 1994, VOTR had grown to over 200 four-person coed teams, we had added SOB Volleyball Vacations to our programming, and the late night talks of constructing a year round indoor facility had begun.
Four years later in June 1998, The Island Beach Volleyball Facility opened in Southeast Denver with five bands playing at the inaugural Beach Bash Doubles Grand Opening Tournament. Proceeds from the event benefited the Denver Active 20/30 Children's Foundation. Indoor beach volleyball had arrived in Denver. The facility boasted 6 indoor and 4 outdoor sand courts with a full bar and restaurant. VOTR’s background in 4 person coed grass leagues helped drive the early programming at The Island and the “grass volleyball” community slowly embraced the beach game.
Programming slowly grew and by 2003 winter leagues were full and by 2004 summer leagues were also full. Over the years, The Island has seen a number of changes, as the facility “evolved”. In 2001, the second floor deck was enclosed. During 2002 two of the outdoor courts were eliminated and replaced with grass and an outdoor patio. 2003 saw completion of the murals on the south wall by artist Bob Stuhler. In 2007 a tent was erected to shade and enclose the outdoor seating; after it's collapse during a snowstorm in 2009 it was replaced with a new, stronger replacement. 2014 saw the walls in the north end of the building insulated, enclosed, and the east windows removed. 2015 The Island improved it’s lighting with modern energy efficient LED lighting throughout the facility. Artist, Allison Frost, began work on murals for the “North End” during 2016 to have a little life. Up next in 2016 for The Island is taking out 9-12” of sand and adding 12-16” in the building followed up by the construction of additional outdoor courts.
The Island has become a beach volleyball fixture not only in Denver, but regionally and nationally. The beach volleyball community that has evolved around the building is as rich as any in the country. The original Beach Bash tournament has grown to include over 300 teams, with over 75 teams competing in the open division alone. The addition of programs like the Winter Beach Series have established a conduit for Colorado’s top players to train, compete and represent our state well on a national level. On the other end of the continuum, weekly Wednesday clinics provide an easy and convenient introduction to the sport for new participants.
Whether you are a weekend warrior, ex-college player, drop-in regular, aspiring pro, or full on volleyball addict, The Island has a league, tournament or clinic to get you on the sand. Check out all we have to offer via our new website.