When demand for storage space at his Grand Junction warehouse dropped off dramatically, Ray Scott found another use for part of the operation. He constructed an indoor sports facility with a soccer field and batting cages.
Demand of a different sort has quickly increased since Skyline Sports opened in January — this time from soccer, baseball and even cheerleading squads anxious to use the facilities for practice and competition.
“We’re off on the right foot, the right direction. It’s going well,” said JW Cline, manager of operations.
Play is under way in adult co-ed and women’s soccer leagues, and a youth soccer tournament also is scheduled, Cline said. The batting cages are used nearly every day. And there’s been interest in using the facilities for everything from lacrosse to flag football to dodgeball, he added. “It’s been of word-of-mouth. It doesn’t take long for it to get around.”
Skyline Sports is the latest venture for Scott, an entrepreneur who also operates three other businesses: Skyline Warehouse, Gas Products and Coolwater Homes.
Scott said a change in the business model for his warehouse operation was needed when demand dropped 50 percent in the aftermath of the recession. “If you don’t change, you die. … This is an example of change or die,” he said.
Located at 2522 U.S. Highway 6 & 50, Skyline Sports offers a rounded soccer field measuring 100 feet long and 75 feet wide. Cline said the field features the same synthetic playing surface used at the outdoor soccer facility at Walker Field at Mesa State College as well as the football field at Stocker Stadium. Skyline Sports also offers two lanes of batting cages with netting and dividers that can be adjusted for different types of practice, he said.
Netting, bleachers and a scoreboard will be installed at the indoor field. A concession stand also is planned, he added.
Cline said Scott visited indoor sports facilities in Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City and incorporated the best of what he saw into Skyline Sports.
Cline brings to his duties a degree in sports management from Mesa State College as well as experiences as a personal trainer and high school and collegiate athlete.
Skyline Sports constitutes something of a monopoly as the only indoor sports facility of its type between Denver and Salt Lake City, Cline said.
Moreover, the operation meets what’s turned out to be strong demand for a place in which athletes of all ages can practice on a year-round basis, he added. Right now, athletes seek a warm refuge from winter cold and snow. But Cline also expects athletes to seek respite from the summer heat.
For competitive teams, the facility offers an opportunity to use the same types of facilities as opposing squads from large cities, Cline said. “It gives us the same playing field, so to speak.”
For young athletes, Skyline Sports could host pee wee football and T-ball games, he said.
In addition to sports activities, though, the facility offers a venue for birthday parties and other special events, Cline said. “There’s a lot of room for a lot of things.”
Given sufficient demand, there’s room in the warehouse to expand the sports operation, he added.