“It is bigger than the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, it’s bigger than the one at the National Underground Freedom Center, it’s bigger than the one at the Newport Aquarium, and Sharonville, which is the one I’ve been to probably the most since I’ve been here, it is three times larger than the convention at Sharonville. And that is a huge statistic.”
“This really, I think, changes people’s perspective when they think about this project,” he said.
Aside from the athletic, fitness and training aspects of the sports complex, it will have the convention space, restaurants, hotels and retail that serves the facility’s customers and non-customers from the Hamilton area.
Smith, who recently marked his eighth year with the city, thanked the many volunteers, city employees and others who have been creating a rebirth for the city.
This is one of several images that were on display at the former Ohio Casualty complex, now rebranded as Third + Dayton, of what the building’s work spaces and common areas can look like. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF
This year’s speech was offered at the approximately 450,000-square-foot former Ohio Casualty complex, which once housed 1,000 employees and has been rebranded as “Third & Dayton.” In recent weeks, Industrial Realty Group LLC, more commonly known as IRG, had transformed parts of the building to a more modern office space than what existed there before the complex closed in 2010.
Next year’s speech will be even more eye-opening, officials said. Somehow, they plan to have it in what will be the under-construction Spooky Nook at Champion Mill complex, Smith announced.
He cited economic-impact statistics a consulting group released based on financial operations at Spooky Nook’s existing complex, the largest in North America, near Lancaster, Pa. Among them, it attracted 1.1 million visitors last year, 470,000 from outside the immediate area.
“The off-site spending in 2017 was almost $40 million,” Smith said. “Forty million dollars that currently is not being pumped into our local economy — $40 million that is not being used at the convenient store, at the restaurants, at the coffee shop….”