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Carolina Courts opens new site in Indian Trail

19 November 2013

By Marty Minchin, Charlotte Observer

Carolina Courts has opened its new facility near downtown Indian Trail.

The popular sports center was forced to move from its original location on Stinson-Hartis Road after plans for the Monroe Bypass showed the proposed road going over the Carolina Courts building.

The state bought the property, and Carolina Courts leased the building from the state while it constructed a bigger facility on the new Chestnut Parkway.

Indian Trail lobbied to keep the business in its town limits, and Carolina Courts and the town formed a partnership. Carolina Courts paid $5,000 for 3 acres of land in the town’s 51-acre Chestnut Square park.

Indian Trail residents can use the facility for free.

“We worked very hard with them to keep them in a good location in Indian Trail,” said Kelly Barnhardt, Indian Trail director of community and economic development. “It really creates a nice mix for them and our residents.”

Town leaders expect that Carolina Courts, which is estimated to bring about 240,000 people to Indian Trail each year, will be a catalyst to bring in businesses that serve tourists.

“We think it’s just a matter of time before there is more commercial development and hotels that come around Carolina Courts,” said Indian Trail Town Manager Joe Fivas. He said Extreme Ice Center, which is close by, draws several hundred thousand visitors a year.

Carolina Courts also fits with Indian Trail’s efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle. Residents can use the facility’s basketball and volleyball courts, as well as walk around the perimeter of the building’s interior.

The town also will work with Carolina Courts to host town events such as movie nights and art shows.

The new Carolina Courts is about 49,000 square feet, 5,000 square feet bigger than its predecessor. The inside is laid out differently so that its four basketball and volleyball courts can be converted into eight courts, said Scott Chitwood, president of Carolina Courts.

The building also will house Nana’s Soul Food Kitchen, which has another location at Yorkmont and West Tyvola roads in Charlotte. The full-service restaurant is known for its buffet and dishes such as mac and cheese and collard greens.

Carolina Courts soon will be working with Indian Trail to provide gym space for residents and to set up a master schedule of events.

Indian Trail residents have long been excited about Carolina Courts’ new location, Barnhardt said.

“We have a lot of residents who use the facility now, so they were pretty vocal from the beginning about making sure we kept (Carolina Courts) in Indian Trail,” she said. “From all the feedback I’ve received along the way, they are very thankful this option exists for them, and that they stayed in Indian Trail.”

Carolina Courts offers year-round basketball and volleyball training programs as well as coaching, camps, tournaments and birthday parties.

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