Over the past decade our Sports Academy has had a lot of experience finding the perfect fit for a sports facility to serve the various needs of our camp population. For over 35 years we were located in the Catskill Mountains of New York, perched lakeside with a large field house and courts, fields and housing to serve over 500 campers.
In 2008, due to the pending sale of that property, we moved our camp to the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts. There we purchased a camp site on 55 acres, but it had no existing sports facilities. We purchased the camp in March and, unbelievably, we opened camp that summer in June. During the interim we built 9 tennis courts, 4 basketball courts, 2 soccer fields, 2 baseball fields, a golf range and a 300 meter running track. It was 7am to 7pm seven days a week for three months, and we had times where we rain danced with hopes that our fields wouldn’t dry up and wither, but we made it. We ran a full program that summer without a hitch.
A few years later we began construction on a 20,000 square foot indoor field house. That project took over three years to finish, but it now stands complete with two basketball courts, a full gymnastics area, a weight room, fitness rooms and two full locker rooms. It is insulated and heated and serves the community throughout the year.
So, with all of that accomplished and behind us, you can imagine that when we were approached to run our Sports Academy program at a resort in the Dominican Republic, my first two thoughts were, “What facilities do you have?” and “What facilities do you need?”
We visited and we were blown away! After more than 30 years of running programs on “camp” type facilities (good, but not top-end) we were now being asked to upgrade to world-class facilities. The best tennis courts, the best lodging and dining, and one of the top golf courses in the world! We knew that with the combination of these type of facilities with our established program we could be up and running a fantastic camp business in no time at all. We signed on as partners and did just that in the summer of 2016.
However, there were few things that still needed to be built, and we found ourselves once again planning additional facilities. Exciting… but as they say, “been there, done that”. While we were waiting on construction, word of mouth traveled quickly and we were approached by another resort in Panama to run the same sort of operation at their property. The difference was, this resort was already building their “Sports Club”, a project within their resort that included all of the sport areas our Academy employed. And so, another visit!
The end result is yet another location for our Sports Academy to thrive. Buenaventura in Panama will be our main hub, with all of the areas covered throughout the year, and we will still be using our site in the Dominican for special projects. The best of all worlds! As our exciting journey continues, we now have facilities in three different countries to serve campers all over the world and give them exactly the program they are searching for throughout the calendar year.
Check out our new Panama facility, opening in July, 2017. We will be running programs for children and adults throughout the year. and we hope to see you there sometime soon!