Monthly Archives

May 2018

Beach Spotlight: Weather Guru Mike Russell

By | Blog

Who is Mike Russell? According to Volleyball Beach proprietor Howard Barewin, “Mike Russell is a longtime player and Volleyball Beach fan – and our very own ‘Weather Guru’! When we get it right, it’s all Mike. When we get it wrong, it is all me!”

Mike first got involved with Volleyball Beach back in 1989 when he and other members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce put together a team at Volleyball Beach. Before then, Mike said he didn’t have much concrete knowledge of sand volleyball and all that comes with it. Almost 30 years later, it’s safe to say that once Mike started he was hooked!

Mike’s interest in weather and sand volleyball collided about five years after he started playing at Volleyball Beach. When arriving for a game he found all remaining night sessions had been cancelled because of approaching thunderstorms. Mike, a software engineer, was curious and decided to take a look at the weather radar himself. Studying the radar, Mike predicted the storms would be out of the area in time for 7:15 games to be played. It turns out Mike was absolutely correct!

Kansas City’s unpredictable weather had long made deciding to play or cancel an evening’s games a tricky proposition. With a prognosticator like Mike around, it didn’t take the former Volleyball Beach owner long to ask Mike if he wouldn’t mind helping make the call on weather cancellations on a regular basis. Mike said he’d be happy to lend a hand. Now, over twenty years – and one owner – later, Volleyball Beach is still proud to have the services of Kansas City’s one and only outdoor volleyball weather guru!

Mike has always had an interest in the weather. In fact, being a weather forecaster was one of his top three career choices growing up! Ultimately, Mike chose a career with Garmin as a software engineer, but he never stopped pursuing his love of predicting the weather. Over time, he learned weather behaviors by monitoring the metro area with the use of weather models, radar and satellite – online tools all available to the public through the National Weather Service.

“No one can tell you exactly what’s going to happen in the next two or three hours in real dynamic weather situations, but you can get to better than an 80% accuracy level which is still useful,” Mike says.

Monitoring and making a call on the weather is a very time-sensitive endeavor. Mike said he and Howard communicate throughout the day, checking weather models and the radar hourly. According to Mike, “Howard is very intent on not having people show up when we’re going to have a weather problem.”

By the time 4:00 pm rolls around, the two can come to an “executive decision” on whether the games will be cancelled or playable for the night.

Although weather can be unreliable, Volleyball Beach is extremely thankful to have the extremely reliable Mike Russell on our side! Thanks to Mike, thousands of extra matches have been played over the years that otherwise would have been cancelled and, on countless other nights, hundreds of players avoided the trip to Martin City only to be met with a torrent of inclement weather.

So, the next time the sun bursts through dark clouds and the perfect night for sand volleyball emerges, after the game, take a moment and have a toast to Mike. Thanks to him, the game is on!

From everyone here at Volleyball Beach, thank you for all that you do, Mike!

KC’s Only Beachside Happy Hour – and You’re Invited!

By | Blog

Why celebrate Happy Hour indoors when the country’s best inland-beach beckons? Break the “chains” of everyday and mundane restaurant happy hours and celebrate the end of the workday in style – with sand between your toes and an ice-cold island-style beach beverage in hand? But where?

Look no further than the one and only Happy Hour at Volleyball Beach! It’s the next best thing to booking a flight to an exotic beach-front bar, but much more convenient, less expensive and, if you squint your eyes just right, you’ll swear the ocean is on the horizon. So, save a buck or two and a whole lot of travel with KC’s own gateway to beach side bliss: Happy Hour at Volleyball Beach!

Our fully-stocked Beachside Bar not only has just about every adult libation you might imagine, you can also enjoy a wide selection of delicious bites – from pizza and nachos to chicken fingers and wings, there’s plenty of tasty options to satisfy even the pickiest of palates.  And Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 not only can you enjoy our Happy Hour specials but also FREE open play sand volleyball!

Happy Hour specials include amazing deals on hand-crafted cocktails, margaritas, cold beers and delicious appetizers (each day’s specials are a little different – ask your bartender for specials of the day!). We might suggest trying the crowd favorite, “Blake Juice” – a surefire island taste explosion, topped to the brim with Malibu pineapple rum, Malibu banana rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and lemonade! Suh- weet!

And don’t forget to try the enigmatic Volleyball Beach “Mystery Brew.” Take the challenge and see if you can guess what the 20-year-old secret mystery brew is! (We’ll never tell!)

No matter your choice of refreshments once you’re at the Beach, the first step is showing up! So, what are you waiting for? Your Happy Hour fun-time in the sun-time is just a few moments away! Grab a few friends – or make a few new ones – at the best and most unique Happy Hour this side of any coast! Escape the ordinary and make OUR happy hour YOUR happy hour – at the one and only, Volleyball Beach!

Free Agent? Summer Session Team Openings!

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Looking to add some fun to your Hump Day this summer? We’ve noticed the need for single players new to Volleyball Beach looking to join teams and we’ve got the answer! We’re dedicating Wednesdays at 9:15 pm for all of you free agent volleyball lovers! For only $40 you can secure your spot in the 10-week summer session beginning June 13th. Space is limited…only 24 spots available, so register today! Don’t worry about skill level at this point…we’ll match you with similarly skilled players by our June 11th registration deadline. Please keep in mind this is an opportunity for single players not already on a team! We can’t wait for you to join in on the fun and become a member of our Volleyball Beach family!

Sign up here before it’s too late!

Join us for Free Play and Happy Hour at our Beachside Bar and Grill weekdays from 4:00-6:00 pm! We have a delicious selection of great eats – from nachos to pizza and everything in between. In need of a refreshing cocktail or ice-cold beer? Our resident mixologists take pride in their craft and are happy to help you quench your thirst.