3 behind-the-scenes moves at mega Hamilton sports development

  • Mike Rutledge
  • Staff Writer
12:00 p.m Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 Hamilton
A rendering of what the former paper mill along North B Street in Hamilton will look like once it becomes a mega sports complex known as Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill. CONTRIBUTED

It may be hard to see any radical transformation outside the former paper mill along North B Street that will become a mega sports complex known as Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill.

But the Journal-News has learned exclusively about efforts happening behind the scenes to move the project along.

MORE: We traveled to Spooky Nook in Pennsylvania. Here’s what we saw

“There are things happening behind the scenes, and on the interior level, to move the project forward,” said Mackenzie Bender, Spooky Nook’s communications and public relations director.

Here are the 3 of those behind-the-scenes happenings:

1. ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES UNDERWAY

“The process is still moving along,” even though it is not outwardly visible, said Jonathan Snavely, Spooky Nook’s marketing director.

But there is one small outward sign of progress: Clear plastic tubes are sticking out of windows at the former Champion Paper Mill as part of a ventilation system for a small number of workers inside.

MORE: Sports complex to mean hundreds of Hamilton jobs

Environmental studies are being conducted at the former paper mill, according to those working on the project.

2. SPOOKY NOOK FOUNDER, LEADERS VISITING HAMILTON

For many months, Spooky Nook founder Sam Beiler and others with his leadership team have been making the eight-hour drive to Hamilton to meet with city leaders and athletic organizations to develop relationships.

“We have people coming out who are looking for sponsorship opportunities, meeting with some of the brands that are in this area that may want to come and reach the audience that will come to our facility,” Snavely said.

3. EMPLOYEES REACHING OUT TO SPORTS GROUPS, BUSINESSES

Spooky Nook employees who direct relationships with various sports, such as softball, have been making trips to Butler County, as has the director of athletic operations, according to Snavely.

MORE: What Hamilton’s proposed indoor sports center could look like

“If you were a tournament director who was coming in to host a tournament, and you decided you wanted us to handle your housing for you, we’re the ones that are reaching out to the local hotels, our staff, to get the relationships, get the rates, lock in the rooms for them as well,” Snavely said.

The hotel at Spooky Nook’s Pennsylvania facility has 135 rooms. Hamilton’s is to be “slightly larger than that,” he said.

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