Oct 29, 2010
Author: Scott Birke
As if former snowboard pro Jesse Fulton wasn’t busy enough. In addition to his skate/snowboard shop Icarus in Orangeville, his coaching program/TV Show Shreducation, and a few other smaller things, he’s now working on a brand new project on a really ambitious scale—a full sports facility for elite and recreational athletes that will feature, among other things, a standing surf wave, a Snowflex park and foam pit for snowboarding and skiing, and a skate vert ramp and plaza setup. Along with partner Sean Rowe they’ve raised $10 million so far (and with history as our teacher, we have no idea how he’s able to have that much money in a bank account and not touch a cent of it.)
We caught up with Fulton to hear the story straight.
What are you trying to create with this facility?
A place big enough (120,000 sq. feet) to train and have fun. Canada is seriously lacking facilities that can accommodate all the sports and training required to produce high performance athletes in multiple sports. I was sick of waiting for the government or governing bodies to raise the money for something like this and actually do it properly so my partners and I went and did it ourselves. At this particular facility you can do everything recreational or high performance. The catalyst ultimately was to create a place where a team like mine (Icarus Shreducation) could train in and out of season. It’s rare that kids get to help design something like this and it’s the kids who we are mostly consulting for our end design.
How has the project been received by the industry?
Great! We have an abundance of companies—both mainstream and action sports driven—that are really pumped. It has to do with the fact that we’re making the facility spectator-friendly. It costs a lot and takes up a huge amount of floor space but I was getting sick of going to big skate contests with marquis riders and standing practically in the course because there was no where to watch from. A unique, custom transforming bleacher system that we’ve been designing will allow big crowds to watch all the action. Another reason is that we have a 6000 sq. foot retail space going in and we can accommodate all the endemic and non-endemic brands that are associated with the sports from rock climbing gear to skis and snowboards etc. Where can you grab a pair of skis, try them off the indoor jump, have your boots fit and buy them all at the same place in August before you head to New Zealand? Nowhere. Here you can do that. Here you can do anything. Also with the millions we’re spending in state-of-the-art technology that we’re including for billing, video analysis software, HD digital projection and interactive marketing, you can’t not be excited.
Where are you looking to build it?
We’ve had lots of communities interested from Toronto, Mississauga, Orangeville, Shelburne and Collingwood. And in the end we can really build it anywhere, but we’re asking the masses where they’d like it. I am leaning towards Collingwood right now as we do a significant amount of training out of that city but in the end it is still a business and we have to make sure we’re going to be in a place that will be lucrative enough to maintain something of this magnitude. If you want it somewhere go on the site fill out the survey and vote for where you want to see it built.
Who are the key players or investors?
The investors, other than the three principle partners I can not Disclose, but the partners in the project are Sean Rowe, Derek Driscoll, my business manager Perry Meeker and myself.
What activities are you looking to have included in this facility?
You can see all the activities on the site but in a nutshell, everything you could imagine. Gymnastics and trampoline, snowboarding and freeskiing, skate park with Plaza, mega ramp and full vert ramp, rowing tank, foam pits, surfing, beach volleyball, hard courts for basketball, concert facilities, a turf for soccer, baseball, football etc and paintball. We are also integrating a full kids zone and multiple parent VIP lounges so little brothers and sisters can play while mom works in the business center with a latte and watches little Jonny do his air-awareness training or soccer camp. I always see board parents at facilities waiting for their kids and this will not be an issue with us. We are also tossing in a full athletic spa and physiotherapy centre as well as a dryland training center.
Is there anything else I haven't asked you about this that you'd like to get across?
No, were really excited and we still have a few surprises that we can’t quite disclose yet but most people know I like to big or go home and this is translating into this facility. The partners on this are awesome and after traveling to over a dozen places like this around the world and really analyzing them I can assure you we are integrating only the best of the best in a way that makes nothing but common sense and will cater to the athlete and customer well. We’d also like to thanks the supporting sports organizations who are endorsing this project they have been a great help. Check it out www.365sports.ca
CLICK on the pic below for more information.
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