A couple of years ago the Lake Erie Shores & Islands visitors bureau commissioned a study to determine whether the Northcoast region could support a league park for sports programming that would attract competitive teams in various sports.
It was our region's version of the movie "Field of Dreams" asking the question answered in the Kevin Costner film, "If (we) build it, they will come."
The most important question asked in the study was could this region provide enough opportunity to justify a massive private investment to build a sports complex, and fill hotel rooms and restaurants all year long.
The answer was an emphatic "yes." The study determined a sports complex and league programming could generate up to $54 million each year and fill 75,000 additional hotel rooms annually.
Cedar Point extended the traditional May to September season a decade ago with its introduction of "HalloWeekends," which has been wildly successful bringing visitors to the region through the end of October each year.
Just a few years after that, the massive Kalahari Resort water park and convention center opened and "winterized" the local tourism industry, bringing tens of thousands of visitors here year round.
Good planning takes time and a $500 million development never happens with lightning speed. The study, and the continued interest we see from private developers are encouraging signs.
"Location, location, location" is a rule every wise private developer knows, and we are that. The Northcoast region already has the hotels, the restaurants, the shopping centers and everything in place to make a development a success.
If you build it, they will come.