Nod to sports complex study

CATLETTSBURG November’s meeting of the Boyd County Fiscal Court saw some big news for the county portion of the Camp Landing Entertainment District project, with the court green-lighting a feasibility study on the sports complex.

The study will be conducted by the Huddle Up Group, an Arizona-based consulting firm that studies the economic impact and viability of sports complexes and arenas across the nation. Boyd County Economic Development Director Hunter Boyd said the study should be complete within 45 to 60 days.

Boyd said while there is a lot of focus in Kentucky on adventure tourism, such as attractions in the Red River Gorge or even Boyd County’s own Rush Off-Road, sports tourism is increasingly a huge component in growing the overall tourism industry.

“You have to think about it, so many people take their kids out of town to play in a sports tournament, they go out and spend money at hotels in other communities, eat in restaurants and shop,” he said. “With this opportunity, we could have them coming right here.”

The location of a sports complex at the entertainment district could be key to its success, Boyd said.

“Anyone who has played in a state basketball tournament knows that you might play a game at 11 a.m, then you have a lull until 6 p.m,” he said. “In some towns, it might be hard to find something to do to kill the time. If you have it with all the attractions coming into the entertainment district, that’s a game-changer.”

Huddle Up’s study will go through several steps, according to Boyd.

First, the firm will analyze the “sports tourism index” for the area, meaning the type of sports that are played, how many people play them and the what the market looks like in terms of competition from neighboring areas — Boyd said they gather the raw data on sporting activities in the area.

Then they look at the facility plans to see what sports it can accommodate, according to Boyd, analyzing factors such as the size, whether it’s indoor/outdoor/both, if it’s multi-purpose. The firm will then conduct a site visit to the area to see what the market looks like on the ground, Boyd said.

After that, a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis is done to see where they can improve the plans.

Finally, an implementation plan is drawn up and the firm will be on hand to help the court see the plan through if the court decides it’s viable.

Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney said the study “should answer all the questions people had about this a few months ago.”

“Huddle Up will give us an accurate answer,” he said.

But that’s not the only news about Camp Landing coming from the meeting:

• The court approved a $300,000 release of bond money to go toward paving at the county-owned portions of the entertainment district, beginning with the remodel of the exterior of the Sears building and survey plans on the future farmers market.

• The court approved a construction management bid from Trace Creek Construction to oversee the construction of the civic center, the farmers market and the animal shelter. Part of the bid package included the sports complex and the roads department, but Chaney said that was removed due to the potential use of ARPA money and the different rules and standards for federal procurement.

 

(606) 326-2653 |

henry@dailyindependent.com

Source: Einnews

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