Sports complex to mean hundreds of Hamilton jobs

Not only will the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill attract athletes from about a 3½-hour drive from Hamilton, but it also will create hundreds of jobs.

The mega sports complex is being built at the former paper mill along North B Street.

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For an idea of how significant the number of jobs can be, the existing Spooky Nook near Manheim, Pa., had 636 employees as of this month, including full-time, part-time, seasonal employees and interns at the sports complex and its attached restaurant and hotel.

If all components of the proposed facility open simultaneously — company officials are not prepared to announce a ground-breaking date, or expected opening date — Hamilton’s complex would begin with about 300 workers, said Jonathan Snavely, Spooky Nook’s marketing director.

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The facility, like the one in Pennsylvania, works with athletic teams, families and leagues to offer sports and fitness training. It also hosts large tournaments, with teams traveling from hours away to face competition. It also hosts large corporate events.

“We can host an event for 10,000 people in our field house,” Snavely said. At the banquet hall, 1,000 people can be seated for a formal dinner.

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

While Spooky Nook’s Manheim facility will remain the nation’s largest sports complex under one roof, Hamilton’s location will be on the same scale.

But rather than being in one structure, “This is more of a campus, in my mind,” with walking paths linking the buildings, said Mackenzie Bender, Spooky Nook’s communications and public relations director.

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