While lacrosse is his preferred sport, the SandBar SLC’s founder, Cory Merrell was seeking a business idea that incorporated a sport or activity with a strong social element. Sand volleyball checked all the boxes. The first of its kind in Utah, the SandBar SLC is over 24,000 sq. ft. with five indoor regulation-sized courts. It took over 1,000 tons of sand to fill the space.

Volleyball Lingo

Carry: Players should only have momentary contact with the ball. If the palm is facing upwards and fist is open, it is considered a carry or a “lift.”

Drink: An attacking player softly taps the ball over the net to an area not being guarded.Z

Attack/Spike: An attack strategy is to send or spike the ball over the net in a way that is not returnable.

Side Out: When a team gains the ability to serve after they score or after the opposing team made a mistake.

Floater: A serve that does not spin; difficult to predict its movement.

After completing his MBA at the U of U, Merrell made his start by setting up sand volleyball leagues and tournaments at SLC’s Liberty Park. He explained, “As all available court slots quickly filled up to capacity, the need to expand and provide a year-round option became clear.” Merrell gathered the money, then selected the future home of Sandbar SLC, in North Salt Lake.

Opening in early 2018 with five indoor/four outdoor courts, SandBar is open six days a week—80 or more games are played in a typical day. Merrell plans to expand by adding air domes or bubbles to existing outdoor courts. The SandBar has a schedule of leagues that run as 8-week sessions (2v2 men/women and coed, 4v4 coed only), ranging from open to recreational. And they serve food and beer too! 680 S. Redwood Road, North Salt Lake, 801-631-4160, sandbarslc.com.