A hotel and sports complex project coming to Greenwood wasn’t the developer’s first plan for the property.
Jerald Good, owner of GoodSports Enterprises Global in Sarasota, Fla., planned a hotel and water park for the land when Cabela’s was going to build a destination store on County Line Road near Interstate 65.
In 2007, Cabela’s was planning to build at the southeast corner of County Line and Graham roads, and Good had planned a hotel and Splash Universe water park nearby. The hope was the outdoor retailer and water park would be the start of a new business area in the city, which would fill up with restaurants and other entertainment and shopping options.
Then, in 2008, Cabela’s dropped its plans to build in Greenwood; and the Splash Universe project went away, too.
In 2012, real estate broker Scott Langdon asked Splash Universe if the company would reconsider the County Line Road property for a water park. The company said no. Some Splash Universe projects were stopped due to the recession, and company officials chose not to build at the Greenwood site without Cabela’s as an anchor business.
But Good was working on a new idea. He is an experienced hotel developer and founder and owner of Focus Hospitality Services, which owns 20 hotels in Indiana, Michigan and Kansas, Splash Universe and GoodSports.
Good had noticed that a growing number of hotel guests were on traveling sports teams, which were increasing in popularity despite the recession, company spokesman David Lindberg said.
He developed GoodSports Enterprises Global and created plans for facilities that would include a hotel and sports complex, which could be the site of youth and other sports tournaments. Officials began scouting locations and now are planning facilities or have proposed them in 25 locations across the country. Greenwood is the fourth to be proposed by the company. Besides Greenwood, GoodSports also is building in Ohio, Kansas and Missouri.
Company officials already had the city in mind for a GoodSports hotel and field house and remembered the land when Langdon came to them, Lindberg said. Good is from Indiana, and he wanted a location in the Indianapolis area.
“It’s just a good site. It’s been on our radar,” Lindberg said.
County Line Partners 101 LLC bought the land from Cabela’s and has been marketing about 100 acres near County Line and Graham roads ever since. Langdon was involved in brokering the Cabela’s deal, and he’s been chasing leads for new buyers for the
property for the past six years or so.
Langdon had been working for years without getting solid leads for the property. Most companies don’t want to be the first to build somewhere, he said.
“You just keep going down the list every month. You never know what might change,” he said.
He’d never worked with Splash Universe, since Cabela’s was bringing the water park with it, but Langdon gave the company a call in 2012 with the hope of getting the water park project to come back.
He doesn’t think they would’ve looked at the property for the GoodSports facility if he hadn’t reached out when he did, he said.
“They need sites, and I got to them at the right time,” Langdon said.
Now, GoodSports is buying 12 acres of the former Cabela’s property and plans to build a 124-room hotel and a field house with six basketball courts, to open next year. The facility is designed to host youth basketball, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading and other indoor sporting events.
The company decided the site was better for the GoodSports facility than Splash Universe, considering the proximity to Indianapolis and plentiful youth sports leagues in the area, Lindberg said.