Carolina Courts, Indian Trail team up

INDIAN TRAIL – With a firm deal in place between the town and Carolina Courts, officials with both Indian Trail and the popular recreation business are already looking at what development could pop up in the area soon.

Indian Trail’s council approved a public-private partnership agreement with Carolina Courts earlier this month for the purchase of a 3-acre parcel of land inside Indian Trail’s 51-acre park property. That’s off Indian Trail Road near U.S. 74.

As part of the agreement approved Aug. 14, Indian Trail residents will have free access to the state-of-the-art recreation center when the 48,000-square-foot Carolina Courts facility opens, likely in spring 2013.

Indian Trail Town Manager Joseph Fivas said the partnership is a benefit for residents.

“The partnership allows for any Indian Trail resident to use this state-of-the-art facility for free during certain times,” he said. “Residents will be able to engage in recreation, such as basketball, volleyball, indoor walking. The partnership also allows Indian Trail to retain the 150,000 to 200,000 destination visitors which visit Carolina Courts. This equates into substantial dollars for local businesses.”

Included in the approved agreement is a 15-year facility user agreement providing 1,300 hours per year of open court time for Indian Trail residents, use of the Carolina Courts facility for town events and a camp for disabled or at-risk youth. Indian Trail also will be able to display information in the Carolina Courts lobby and include town branding on the inside and outside of the building itself.

Carolina Courts will build toward the back of the future park, though money for the park hasn’t actually been approved yet. Residents will vote in November on a park bond that would set aside around $8 million to pay for that park and another on 140 acres a bit further north. That money would then be paid off out of a capital reserve fund set up by the town when council voted to increase taxes by 4 cents.

“The town council has voted that there will be no (new) tax increase if the bond is passed by voters, it will be paid from our current tax base and a special capital reserve fund,” Fivas reiterated.

Carolina Courts eventually will benefit from Chestnut Parkway, a road the town plans to build next to the facility and out to Old Monroe Road, according to Fivas.

“The Chestnut Parkway will connect US-74 and Old Monroe Road and will reduce traffic congestion on Old Monroe Road and Indian Trail Road,” he said. “The Chestnut Parkway, pending town council final approval, could begin first-phase construction in late fall 2012. The town will also be a partner in trying to recruit and retain major tournaments to this area.”

Carolina Courts president and co-founder Ron Esser offered his thanks to the Indian Trail Town Council and community, saying, “I think this is a win-win situation. We’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Indian Trail community.”

Carolina Courts is a recreational sports complex that attracts more than 150,000 people to their facility annually for sporting events, regional and national basketball and volleyball tournaments, coaching clinics, youth camps and many other events.

Fivas said through this partnership, both parties hope to attract hotels and more quality restaurants and recreational venues for both Indian Trail and surrounding areas.

“Many people believe that this new location and facility could attract new hotels and restaurants,” he said. “This will bring new quality of life amenities for Indian Trail, and the associated jobs.”

For more information, visit www.indiantrail.org or contact Rebecca Carter, the town’s public information officer, at 704-821-8114 or rcarter@admin.indiantrail.org.

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