Fred Streck, Early Racquetball and Sports Club Developer, and Co-Owner of CourtSouth, Passes Away
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Fred Streck was a one-in-a-million kind of guy. A former U.S. Army Pilot during the Vietnam War, Fred landed in Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-1970s. There, his entrepreneurial talents as a developer and owner of several very successful night clubs, "The Stone Pony" and "Xanadu Night Club," led the way and made Fred quite wealthy in the years before he became involved in the racquetball and sports club development and operation business, partnering with Rich Boggs, Ray Irwin and this author, Norm Cates.
Sadly, on Father's Day, Sunday June 17th, our friend and former partner, Fred Streck, passed away after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer. A memorial event was held at the home of his daughter, Danielle, in Marietta, Georgia on June 30th.
It was a Wednesday night in early 1977 when Rich Boggs, Ray Irwin and I had gathered with our potential architect, Peter Hand, to discuss the creation and building of the first racquetball club in the Southeast. The only problem was that none of us had enough money to take on and complete this project. We were then introduced to Fred Streck by the bankers we were talking to about helping us finance our first racquetball club. All we had were ideas and energy, so needless to say that, when Fred Streck pulled into the driveway sitting in his crème color Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible, at Rich Boggs' home in Dunwoody, we were all very excited, and to say the least, impressed.
At that time, what we had in hand was a set of blueprints for our first racquetball club, which was designed to be a 10-court club with locker rooms for men and women, each with steam baths, whirlpools and sauna rooms, plus a small workout room with only five Nautilus Machines, a few free weights and a couple of exercise bikes (This was shortly before Ray Wilson and Augie Nieto brought Lifecycle to the marketplace). The meeting that evening, in which we reviewed the blueprints for the proposed club and discussed the warehouse building we had found in which we wanted to build the club, owned by BoBo and Bennie Auerbach, lasted for about one hour.
Suddenly, without a partnership deal at all, Fred Streck said, "Okay, let's make a deal! I want to be under construction on Friday Morning!" Shocked somewhat, since this was a Wednesday night, Boggs, Irwin and I all looked at each other and said, "Let's do it!" Fred agreed to provide the balance of the funds we were going to need, and we were on our way! On that Friday morning at about 10 AM, I went to the warehouse on Delk Industrial Boulevard in Marietta, Georgia to check on what was going on, and low and behold, Fred had the side wall for the first racquetball court already eight feet high!
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