Newest signal of Spooky Nook progress in Hamilton: Truckloads of steel

The steel that will be used to build the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex has started arriving on the property, in the latest sign the project is making progress.

“Obviously, it means the project is full speed ahead,” said Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “They wouldn’t be delivering steel if they weren’t building the complex.

“We know the complex is happening. We’ve been excited about this, as you know, for a couple of years. I think it’s great for the community to see the steel arriving, because now they can see that whole complex is being built as an economic engine.”

Sam Beiler, the project’s owner, was unavailable to comment, but in October he said he was looking forward to when 700 tractor-trailer loads would start arriving at what will be North America’s largest indoor sports complex. It will be located west of B Street, with a hotel and convention center in the other part of the former Champion Paper mill that’s located between B Street and the Great Miami River.

One of the first things construction workers will do is put a roof on the sports complex “so they can work inside throughout the rest of the winter,” Beiler said in October.

“It’s a sign of only more activity over there,” said Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson. “Within the next couple of months, I think you’ll see a lot more traffic of construction vehicles, and much more construction going on. So it definitely is encouraging.”

Existing companies have been ramping up, while others have been moving in, anticipating the increased number of prospective customers who will be in the city when the estimated $144 million Spooky Nook opens in late 2021.

The complex is expected to attract more than 10,000 athletes and their families from a several-hour drive some weekends. The original Spooky Nook facility in Pennsylvania filled 61,000 hotel rooms in 2017. The Hamilton facility should employ 100 full-time staff, plus more than 400 part-timers.

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