Mar 15, 2013

Will Erie County build an indoor sports complex?

I heard numerous rumors about a indoor sports complex going up at U.S. 6 and Ohio 2 and also around the Cedar Point entrance the past few years, but I have never seen any progress or any truth to these stories. Are they just rumors? I think it would be great for the kids to have something to do in the winter months when they can't go outside such as baseball and volleyball practice. Adam from Sandusky.

The most recent update about a proposed sports complex came nearly a year ago.

Since then, there hasn't been much of an update on the project.

Here's a brief summary on the project for those unaware:

Erie County tourism officials proposed building a $12 million commercial indoor sports center.

A $40,000 study — paid for by Erie County's tourism bureau, Lake Erie Shores & Islands — indicated in May 2012 a sports complex would usher in about $52 million a year as up to 300,000 people each year would stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and spend money in shops.

The whole idea of the project revolves around filling hotel rooms during the winter time when Cedar Point and other outside area amusement parks shut down.

There are, however, many questions about the 162,000-square-foot-facility, including:

• When the complex could be built?

• Where the complex would be built?

• How would construction be funded?

A year ago, county officials vowed to not raise the 6.5 percent county sales tax rate.

One funding option includes increasing the county's 2 percent bed tax rate to 3 percent. That tax is assessed each time a person stays in a hotel or motel.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on SanduskyRegister.com. Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

The Answer Person

Didn't Sharon and the Watchdogs put the roadblock/kabosh on this plan?

Tribester

Probably...their mission in life is to quash any and all ideas that might move Sandusky forward. See Marina District, Paper District, Indoor Sports Complex, New City Hall, etc. Eventually people stop trying and take their business plans somewhere else.

Phil Packer

Would we finally have our ice skating rink?

The Bizness

Older people don't realize the amount of money there is in Youth sports now. A huge indoor sports venue could bring in massive amounts of money.

themomx6

Yea, from the taxpayers, in order to build the thing!

The Bizness

Yep, either local taxpayer money or from tourists, and your point is? A one time investment could bring in a steady flow of year round sporting events...sounds terrible!

BW1's picture
BW1

If it's such a sure thing then private investors with PROVEN ability to judge such matters would be lining up to invest.

Good 2 B Me

Say Whhaaaaatttt?

Local politicians putting a stop to money making plans? Say it ain't so!!

donutshopguy

Biz,

Be the first to step forward and donate a million dollars to the project. Keep your hands out of my pockets.

Not Yer Pa

I bet you'd change your tune if you had a hole in that pocket! :)

The Bizness

I thought you don't live here anymore, so what is your problem with this?

donutshopguy

Biz ,
I live in Erie County. This project is to help hotels and restaurants fill their establishments. Let them chip in. It's not just the responsibility of taxpayers.

The Bizness

I guess we will just agree to disagree.

What if it also had a rec/fitness center that would be cheaper for county residents than local gyms, and benefits the community by getting people active, thus lowering our health problems in the county?

BW1's picture
BW1

It's not the government's responsibility to provide gyms. As Donutshop said, is there ANYTHING for which you are willing to hold people responsible rather than have the government provide it, tovarich?

donutshopguy

Biz ,
You going to force people to go to the gym?

What don't you want the government to do for you ?

Do you have any self esteem? Can you be responsible anything in your life ?

The government supplies food , housing , utilities, transportation , education, and now recreation. Oops, I forgot communication .

bored reader

You forgot cell phones! The gub'ment supplies those also. Of course WE pay for them.

donutshopguy

Biz,

We are poar opposite. I believe in personal responsibility . You believe the government needed to supply everything for everyone.

Do you believe the government should put private industry out of business? You are advocating that philosophy with a government subsidized recreation facility to replace local private gyms.

The Bizness

Did I mention the government forcing anyone to work out? No. Some times I wish that was possible, to get rid of obesity though.

City rec centers are all over the country and work out great. Many offer a great product, and have facilities that private industries don't.

BW1's picture
BW1

"Did I mention the government forcing anyone to work out? No. Some times I wish that was possible"

And here we see the fascist lurking inside every socialist.

donutshopguy

So you advocate the government putting private industry out of business ? What do you think a government recreation center will to local gyms and health clubs that provide a similar service?

Just like the hurt SPARC is putting to local taxi services in the area.

The Bizness

City run rec centers work all over the country along side of private gyms. Plus this thread is about a sports center with massive indoor facilities for team sports.

I still see the same taxis around town that have been here since i moved to the area. Public transportation is vital for a community to grow.

Mrjsiah1

I would love to have a rec center. Sandusky is one of the few cities around without one. I went to the rec in bellevue for my nephew basketball game and was empressed.

Contango

On a recent trip, I stayed in a hotel where add-on taxes (Tourist, Local, State, Room) placed an additional 12% onto the price of my room.

Why not pile on the taxes and help kill the tourism industry while under the illusion that "others" will pay for and help maintain the expense of a new complex?

If the locals want it, let them pay for it. Float a bond.

Secondly, let's see an objective and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for the construction of this center without all the "pie in the sky" emotionalism.

Darkhorse

Not a taxpayer will object to development as long as their tax dollars are not being used. If the hotel owners want a rec center, let them pay for it because they are the ones getting rich from the project. What I don't want to see is the county putting a tax and burden onto the taxpayer to pay for something that most of us won't use. The rec center will be built for out of towners to bring in their tournaments. The county cannot place that kind of burden on the taxpayer when budgets are so tight. If the the Erie County tourism agency can spend millions on entrance signs from the bed tax, they can build the center.

SamAdams

I agree with Darkhorse.

I have no objections to an indoor sports complex. In fact, I'd support its development! What I will NOT support is still more tax dollars going to fund things that aren't strictly necessary.

If the hotels/motels, tourism bureau, etc. can come up with a funding mechanism for the project that will provide all of the benefits mentioned here WITHOUT hurting taxpayers (and yes, that includes Cedar Point, which too many locals seem to think can be taxed to death just because it's a big draw), then I'm all for it. Otherwise, it'll just have to wait.

Consider what a normal responsible person does in connection with their own household budget: Are big screen TVs and new cars nice? Heck, yes! I could use those things myself (especially the latter). But if you need the money to do other things (like pay the mortgage or buy groceries), then any responsible person would watch their old TV and drive their old car awhile longer.

Sadly, "responsible" isn't a word people use all that often in connection with government entities, ESPECIALLY where money is concerned!

queenjhb

Sam Adams Right you are. No New taxes for this

pntbutterandjelly

Tourism is one of the best and few sustainable local industries we have in this general area. However for most businesses it is currently only a 3 month seasonal industry. With that in mind...I could see Sandusky, Erie County and beyond get a sizeable economic benefit if that season could be extended to a year-long situation. People WILL come here in the off-season as is demonstrated by our indoor waterparks and "if" other new types facilities and attractions are provided. Although we don't have the natural beauty of Gatlinburg (Tn.)we could still strive to emulate their year round success story by capitalizing on what we already have and expand it through smart decision making. That requires intelligent ideas, honest and open communication, sincere dedication and unified goals for the good of all.

queenjhb

good idea, but dont tax us

donutshopguy

I was told by the superintendent of Perkins schools that the pool, indoor walking track and gymnasium of the new school will be available to the community for their use day and night. Also, a private entrance which keeps the public from the children during school hours. Sandusky school offers their facilities for a large diverse use. The YMCA is a taxpayer funded facility.

We need another taxpayer funded recreational facility in our community like another hole in our head.

If its purpose is to increase business let business fund the project. If the project makes sense Kalahari will build it and make money.

The Bizness

The YMCA ia a nonprofit primarily funded by program fees, membership dues, community chests, foundation grants, charitable contributions, sustaining memberships, and corporate sponsors.

Not exactly what I would call a taxpayer funded facility...

Plus we are talking about indoor full size football/soccer fields to host huge tournaments, not just a typical rec center.

queenjhb

I agree

queenjhb

I agree

queenjhb

I agree w/ donut shop guy not 2 above.

The Answer Person

All the beefing about paying, which I doubt if many of these whiners do, please realize that one of the local philanthopists associated with a community foundation was behind the sports complex idea and planning...so quiturbitchin'.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

*
*
You pay the freebe people are free...

free to reck it too
*
*

donutshopguy

Answer,

Behind it not paying for it.

I'll keep commenting.

SamAdams

Beat me to it. Ditto!