South Walton Sports Complex Update

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by WCTA, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I believe the naming of the park was announced at a BCC meeting, months ago.
     
  2. Just Curious

    Just Curious Beach Fanatic

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    I think they named the park in "07 when they originally applied for the grant. The majority of the money to purchase the park came from District 5 Rec & Plat fees, so it is going back to that account.
     
  3. hoover_rc

    hoover_rc Beach Lover

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    Don't forget about the Arts Center!

    Sorry to be so late to the discussion, but I just ran across it. I was on the board of the one of the latest attempts at bringing in performing arts center to this area (namely to Seaside). The plan fell through at the very last minute do to a breakdown in the partnership with a university that was going to supply half the funding. As it happened, the economy tanked about 5 months after it all fell through so it probably wouldn't ahve gotten the private dollars necessary anyway.

    But we did an economic impact study (which is essentially what this RFP is for, not a feasibility study, which primarily is intended to determine if funding is available, and in this case, the funds are there.), and it was determined that there was a serious need for a performing arts center in northwest florida. (the OWC center was determined NOT to be a viable competitor due to its limited user groups and lack of proximity to the beaches.)

    Imagine a venue that could attract national talent, and could also serve as a home for local arts organizations (Rep, Sinfonia, NW Florida Ballet, Pensacola Opera, etc.) This would be a huge draw for our target tourist and real estate market.

    I think a sports complex would be very nice for locals and those on extended stays, and I'll be lining up to play, but the most logical use for tourist dollars (aka bed tax) is something that will attract more of our demographic of tourists. I worry about a sports complex's ability to function in SOWAL because of our lack of low cost hotel/motel options. Is the little league team going to stay at Watercolor Inn? They'd fly in to PCB, and on their way to our sports complex, are they going to pass up the tens of thousands of lower cost rooms in Bay County (not to mention another sports complex)?

    However, if we brought in Yo Yo Ma, then Watercolor Inn would be full, as would the other vacation rental options in the area. Obviously, I have a dog in this fight (the Rep), but it seems like if given the choice between a sports complex and a performing arts center, the latter would fill a void as well as attract more of the tourists that are drawn to our county already.
     
  4. DCFinSCB

    DCFinSCB Beach Fanatic

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    Hoover, I don't think it is an either/or proposition. It's up to those of us who support both to be creative as well as constructive in our vision and our approach. But I do not disagree that capturing a higher end clientel is a good idea, as it is part of the foundation, fabric, and appeal of South Walton. Affluence exists in sports, in some sports more than other sports, just as it does for the arts. We work together on this and we'll accomplish more, and end up with a better quality end product that meets the expectations as well as the needs of our residents and visitors.

    I'd say if I am an Atlanta or Nashville resident, for example, and I want my child or children participating in the "Soccer By The Surf" Tournament at the Beaches of South Walton, and I have already visited before or know much or just some about the area, I'm making every bit of this sports vacation destination about the sport, about the vacation, and about the destination, and I'm renting one of the many houses on or by the beach. And I'm telling all of my child's teammates family to do the same.

    And who knows, maybe one of the nights we'll spend some extra money, get a sitter, and go check out Yo Yo Ma, or the Gyspsy Kings, or the Rep's rendition of Fiddler on the Roof, or Swan Lake as performed by the visiting New York Ballet..... and we'll go see it at the outdoor amphitheatre that is within easy driving distance of the soccer fields my kids played at earlier in the day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  5. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    DCFinSCB,
    That sounds like a highly-desired tourist in your scenario. I'm just wondering how many of them exists, and what percentage of the total sports people they would represent. Many of the parents of these kids from here to TX pull every string possible to get their kids in these tournaments, and it takes not only time away from work, but also money that they would have spent for a vacation. They often come out of guilt. When I was a kid, we wouldn't dream about going out of state for a kids sports tournament, and our parents wouldn't have been able to afford it, without making other sacrifices. I'm sure there are families which can afford a trip to SoWal, soccer tournament, baby sitter, and Yo-Yo Ma, but I think they would be a rare breed. It is just my gut thought, and I may be totally wrong.
     
  6. DCFinSCB

    DCFinSCB Beach Fanatic

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    My reply was more specific to Hoover's post and just trying to point out that the two goals are not mutually exclusive.

    I think we have to look at all of the angles on a project like this, but not necessarily try to be all things to all people. Let's figure out our competitive advantages that allow us to create uniquely inspirational South Walton and Emerald Coast experiences, and that strengthen not compromise our foundation, and capitalize on those.
     
  7. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Well, I am no expert on the subject and just voicing my personal thoughts on the demographics, and I am glad you are posting your thoughts, too. I can always learn something new.
     
  8. hoover_rc

    hoover_rc Beach Lover

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    The economic impact study is to determine which project would have the greatest positive impact. While they may decide to do both, it is still very much in question..
     
  9. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I don't think the only reason for a sports facility is to bring in tourists - I think it would be a great asset for OUR community.

    I would like to see fine arts like the REP continue to expand, but I think a park/indoor sports facility complex to improve the health of our residents is a much more immediate need than a place where Yo-Yo Ma can perform.

    A larger theatre (perhaps near the new campus) would be a nice asset for the REP and school plays, but I don't really see a major demand for a large performance space - especially considering the proximity of many of our visitors to major cities.
     
  10. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    That all sounds good and lovely for us locals, but the TDC money isn't spent to give locals stuff, even though we may benefit. I believe their mission is to draw tourists to our area, and the way the locals benefit is by increased business revenues. The TDC doesn't make money off of the locals, and the only way they continue is by taking in the bed tax dollars.
     
  11. DCFinSCB

    DCFinSCB Beach Fanatic

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    Any chance we could get a peek at your study?
     
  12. J Walker

    J Walker Beach Comber

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    Teen Need

    Wake up and look around, great idea for this project but what do kids have to do in this area?
    Let's discuss a skate park, great to get tween and teen involvement plus revenues (surcharge to use facility) would be very good. This sport has a huge following and I dare say you would have many kids from neighboring areas coming to try it out. Keeps kids occupied and out of trouble.:blush:
     
  13. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    a skate park is part of the consideration according to the link.
     
  14. 2bohemians

    2bohemians Beach Fanatic

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    Is there any new news on this?
     
  15. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    This was briefly discussed in a meeting the other day- currently the submitted RFPs are being reviewed as I understand it, but maybe somebody with more details can chime in.
     
  16. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    I doubt that because there was supposedly quite a bit of support on the TDC board for this thing. Now if you start seeing those guys replaced, then I would say that there is some disagreement over the direction things were going.
     
  17. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Sure would be nice to have a Sheryl Crow & Friends "Concert for the Gulf" (SoWalStock) right about now.

    Anybody got a big field with a lotta porta potties?
     
  18. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Would the high school football field work?
     
  19. Independent1

    Independent1 Beach Fanatic

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    Community Center

    How about a Community Center that would include sports, arts, healthcare entities, and shops?
     
  20. LJ123

    LJ123 Beach Lover

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    Sheryl Crow & Friends "Concert for the Gulf"

    :clap:How about Gulf Place or Pier Park? Does anyone know how to reach Sheryl?
    Both venues are soo nice and close to the water, also the businesses and condo rentals would benefit from people coming to attend!

    Our wonderful local talent could participate as well.

    i would join to work with someone who has experience to organize an event like this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010

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