Extending thanks to the local community, LakePoint Sports will present FansGiving Saturday. Ongoing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the complimentary event will feature games, food trucks, a car show, live music, a fire performer, five inflatables for children, photo booth, putt-putt station and sports activities.
“LakePoint FansGiving actually is an idea that came out of conversations with our community business leaders and officials,” said Mark O’Brien, president and CEO of LakePoint Sports. “It is an opportunity for us to open up our campus and say thank you to the community that helps make it all possible. It is also a day to bring people together to celebrate our veterans.
“We are the premier youth sports destination in the country, and we’ve reached that pinnacle thanks to the hard work and support of our local community, including our friends at Ely Corporation, Shottenkirk Honda of Cartersville, Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Harbin Clinic and the Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce. We’re building something special here, and LakePoint FansGiving is a way to give back to this wonderful community.”
Calling LakePoint an “integral part of Bartow County,” Cartersville resident Erika Wyant is thrilled to serve as FansGiving’s festival coordinator.
“The growth that they have facilitated for our area is something to be so thankful for,” she said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to host the out-of-state families that visit the LakePoint campus in our restaurants, our retail locations, our museums and entertainment venues. The traffic and visibility that they bring to our area is remarkable. Bartow County is easy to fall in love with, so it feels great to share its charm with people who, without LakePoint, may not ever pass through this area.
“One of the aspects that I love most about LakePoint is their dedication to our community and their willingness to invest in the future of kids who will be shaping generations to come. My greatest hope for this event is that our community shows up for a day of fun and togetherness. I love the concept of bringing everyone together to celebrate our veterans, to make new friends and to just kick back and relax. We would love for this to be an annual event that will continue to grow, so we are excited to see the support from our community.”
Situated on Stars Way in Emerson, LakePoint Sports spans 1,300 acres.
According to a LakePoint Sports news release, the destination “serves more than 30 sports year-round, including baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, cheer and lacrosse. A top economic driver in metro Atlanta, the LakePoint Sports campus features the 170,000-square-foot Champions Center with the world’s largest continuous wood floor where 12 full-court basketball games or 24 full-court volleyball games can play at once.
“In addition, the campus features eight Major League-sized baseball fields and three multi-use fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, as well as a 10-court sand volleyball pavilion and wakeboarding park.”
Serving as the Harlem Globetrotters’ training camp, LakePoint Sports also has secured partnerships with PlaySight Interactive and Prep Baseball Report.
“It’s an exciting time of growth and momentum for LakePoint Sports,” O’Brien said. “We just announced a new $39 million hotel and new infrastructure that will unlock 500 acres of development opportunities at an event we hosted last month with Gov. Brian Kemp. We have the Harlem Globetrotters playing their first game of the season on our campus on Dec. 6.
“We’ve made new investments in technology across the campus, and we just added six, new full-time team members. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our campus for LakePoint FansGiving, particularly those who haven’t experienced what LakePoint Sports has to offer.”
Referring to the event as a “family fun day,” Cindy Williams shared FansGiving is a “fantastic idea.” As the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce CEO, she is aware of LakePoint’s impact and is looking forward to more area residents discovering and visiting this multi-use venue.
“It is not uncommon for residents of any community to miss out on experiences in their own backyard,” Williams said. “Because LakePoint is a world-renowned destination, it is not far-fetched to think that many local and even regional residents do not truly understand the value of having such a robust destination in Emerson. I commend the leadership for rolling out the welcome mat for anyone and everyone to have a memorable experience on the LakePoint campus.
“In my profession, I have the benefit of traveling throughout the state to represent Bartow County in a variety of capacities. I have found that many people statewide know our county because of their experience at LakePoint. The campus has put Bartow County at the forefront of sports tourism, and along with that comes the benefit of ancillary services that our visitors desire. This includes hotels, restaurants and attractions. The beauty of this is that our local residents also get to enjoy these additions to our community on a regular basis and the increased revenue provides for a higher quality of life.”
Echoing Williams’ comments, Cartersville-Bartow County CVB Executive Director Ellen Archer underscored LakePoint’s “tremendously positive impact” on the county’s hotel industry.
“Every dollar spent on a hotel room comes with it local and state tax revenue, SPLOST and lodging taxes, which are split between local government expenditures and marketing the wonderful community of Bartow to bring in more revenue,” Archer said. “Naturally, those people in our hotel rooms spend on meals, gasoline, attractions and retail as well. Specific to hotel revenues, according to Smith Travel Research (STR), the worldwide authority on hotel performance in dollars and cents, the first year LakePoint was open, hotel revenues countywide grew 23%.
“Here are the numbers, for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2013, Bartow hotels generated $19.2 million in revenue. Revenue for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2014 — LakePoint's first year — that number grew to $23.7 million. As of Sept. 30, 2019, Bartow hotel revenue for the 12 months prior had grown to $46.4 million — an astounding 142% increase over 2013. While I would not say all of that growth is the result of LakePoint, it has had a tremendous influence on it.”
For more information about FansGiving, visit www.lakepointsports.com/FansGiving.
Proceeds from Saturday’s car show will go toward the American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42. For $25, those interested can enter a vehicle in the show. Registration will be conducted from 10 a.m. to noon.