Indoor volleyball court takes summer inside

It may be hard to believe but theres barely two months of summer left. Eventually the weather will get cold (colder) again, it will start to rain (more), and leaves will fall off the trees.

Total bummer man.

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So its a good thing Richmond has Jeff Cheng and Barry Law at its doorstep.

The two entrepreneurs are hoping to cash in on peoples winter-time blues after building B.C.s first indoor beach sports complex, aptly named 6-Pack Indoor Beach.

Located on Mitchell Island beneath the Knight Street Bridge the 18,000 square-foot warehouse full of immaculate professional beach volleyball grade sand may appear to be a mirage or some sort of ruse. But its there, in-between a shipping facility and a car parts recycling centre.

We built this thing from nothing but just an empty warehouse, said Law, 33, a former hair-stylist who discovered the potential for 6-Pack after playing volleyball last summer on Vancouvers beaches.

The facility opened in early June and is a massive cavern of concrete but the pair has been doing their best to make it an urban oasis for beach bums. A large lounge with beach chairs make it easy to watch the action on the five courts. And a BYOB barbecue makes private or corporate events that much more appetizing. The pair hope to have a liquor licence by the end of the year as well as a small restaurant.

With promotions like Ladies Night Thursdays and BBQ Sausage Sundays, as well as a closing time of 1 a.m. Cheng and Law hope to draw in a young crowd. They have taken to social media as a means of advertising with the 6-Pack Facebook page already nearing 1,000 fans.

This weekend 6-Pack will be a sponsor of the Vancouver Open beach volleyball tournament, which draws some of North Americas best professional players to Kitsilano beach.

Admittedly Cheng, 36, is fairly new to beach volleyball after quitting his job as a day trader. He says its something that easily grows on someone.

Its a very social sport, you can meet a lot of people. Its also a no contact sport. You can dive into sand and not get too hurt. Its good on the knees, he said.

Cheng said the business has been growing as word of the facility spreads. Whether the business takes off will largely depend on how busy it gets in the fall and winter months when the true purpose and need for it comes into effect.

We got the idea from other facilities from around the world. Its very popular around the world and there are three in Toronto so Vancouver needed it because it rains half the year, Cheng said.

This weeks rainy weather is what brought 21-year-old Richmond resident Vincent Tong and his friends to 6-Pack on Wednesday.

Its raining today, you cant play on the beach, so if you want to play some beach volleyball you got to come here, he said. View the facility at www.6packbeach.com.

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