Leader: Hamilton Spooky Nook facility can be more successful than original in Pennsylvania

Butler County Visitors Bureau executive director Mark Hecquet said he believes the Hamilton Spooky Nook facility can be more successful than the one in Pennsylvania, whose visitors during 2017 booked nearly 61,000 room nights.

“I actually anticipate it doing a little bit better,” Hecquet said. “Nothing against the one in Pennsylvania, but this one will have more of a focus on the weekday business as well, with the convention-center piece, which the one in Pennsylvania has not really put a strong focus on.”

“So we think we might exceed what they’re doing in Pennsylvania right now,” he said.

Spooky Nook’s founder and owner, Sam Beiler, whose original Spooky Nook location, near Manheim, Pa., is North America’s largest indoor sports complex, agreed with that assessment.

“When we first started back east, our focus was on sports,” Beiler said. “What we realized over time was that there was a strong demand for large, open space, for business events, trade shows and those kinds of events. So in planning this out here, we’ve thought through and created more space for those kinds of non-sporting events.”

“So I think we’ll be much better prepared for it out here,” Beiler added. “We do quite a bit of business in Pennsylvania that is non-sporting related, but we’re building for it out here.”

Hecquet said more hotels will be needed in Butler County and surrounding areas to serve the need.

“There are another six new hotels that are actually in the pipeline, coming in today into the area, but this project will no doubt drive new hotel growth,” Hecquet said. “Just the volume of people coming in, the time of year they’re coming in, we expect we’ll see a lot more growth from the hotel standpoint.”

He believes the facility will draw people from Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

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