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Parts of SportsQuest for sale

Aaron Kremer February 9, 2012 9

Richmond BizSense reported Thursday that SportsQuest has been sued by the state of Virginia for misleading marketing practices related to the sale of memberships to a fitness club that isn’t yet built.

Although SportsQuest founder Steve Burton did not respond to calls from BizSense seeking comment, he put up a blog post  Wednesday to address the suit and give an update on the business, including stating that parts of SportsQuest are up for sale.

In response to the suit, Burton wrote:

It has also come to our attention that that Commonwealth has filed a complaint against SportsQuest related to our member fitness center. While we have experienced delays related to the economy and pursuit of the east campus, we are confident that we will resolve any issues through our on-going discussions.”

The blog post also said that various elements of SportsQuest are being split into separate businesses and that some are for sale:

“Two groups are now engaged in separate acquisitions of two of the businesses: the Academy and Membership. Its seems likely that these transactions will close in the weeks ahead. The net result will be a more sharply focused business with new ownership. We are also actively engaged in discussions with three parties who have a strong interest in working collectively to acquire the Events business and drive this forward. This process will likely take a few months to bring to a close given the larger overall scope of the transaction.”

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  1. Elle L. February 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Smoke and Mirrors. Enough said.

  2. APK February 10, 2012 at 7:26 am - Reply

    sha-dee – if they would have just sold more bingo tickets to people that can’t afford it – the dream would have been a reality

  3. Dennis P. February 10, 2012 at 7:50 am - Reply

    It’s a shame that this project is still in need of someone to “drive this forward.” That is what the developer is supposed to do. This was an ambitious and exciting project, but I fear that it is another example of a small town developer that has unfortunately taken on too large of a project. Reminiscent of Roseland. Aren’t the same well- connected, Chesterfield landowners involved? I wish the involved parties much luck in reaching the stated goals, but it should become apparent to the County that these complex, national-scale projects need to be handled by national caliber developers, so the small, local contractors and residents are not left behind to deal with empty parcels and waiting for paychecks.

  4. james February 10, 2012 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Dennis — SportsQuest is being built on land that was owned by the same family that’s building Roseland, but they sold the land to Burton’s backers and they have nothing to do with the venture itself. As for Roseland, the project was the perfect size in the economy in which it was created to exist. It met demand to a tee. It was a fabulous project for its time. But the economy changed in a big hurry. Now it’s too much. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same thing that happened to Magnolia Green happened there — that it gets broken up into smaller pieces and sold to different entities who develop it separately.

    • Bruce Milam February 10, 2012 at 10:12 am - Reply

      Although the name behind both Roseland and SportsQuest is Sowers, and they are brothers, they have no involvement in each other’s businesses. Magnolia Green was taken back by the lender several years ago and remains in one development parcel, managed locally by Atack Properties.

      SportsQuest was and remains an amazing project whose timing happened to coincide with the second biggest economic downturn in American history. If it fails and that’s still uncertain, it will not be to the blame of the developer who has worked tirelessly to see this project done correctly. It’s still a viable project.

  5. Michael Dodson February 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    The comment about National Developers is a JOKE. Several of them have coming looking for handouts and just left with taxpayer dollars too. I can think of one famous sports star on this very site whose land is being sold through the Courts.

    Word to the wise, if they promise the WORLD for nothing but small change (a million or two) but won’t put up a bond for 100% of the government contributions, kindly ask them to leave. If they banks won’t fund them, the private market won’t chip in a dime, then walk away.

  6. Chip Isbell February 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I was saddened to see this event. I have heard many trashing SQ since I joined last June. I did not buy into the Olympic Dream meaning my membership cost around 150.00 plus monthly dues. My logic was you have two questionable groups involved, construction and the fitness industry coupled with a failing economy. I felt I could risk 150.00 but would be resentful if I lost 1500.00 in a new risky business venture. THIS WAS A RISKY BUSINESS VENTURE. I have no personal regrets about being an active member of what I know to be SQ which is the High Performance Center, the Rise Indoor turf grass facility and access to 9 amazing turf grass fields. I have engaged personal training services at the HPC and have found that to be one of the best fitness decisions I have made in my lifetime. To me Sportsquest is the personal knowledgeble encouraging and helpful staff found at the High Performance Center. These are talented folks trying to carve out a living persuing their profession like the rest of us. The 9 turf grass fields are absolutly amazing and have hosted a few national and major regional events that were enjoyed by all participants and I know this as a spectator of some of the events and a participant in others. Resturants and hotels in the area were full as a result of some of these events and tax revenue realized for the county. Many have critized the county for their 3.5 million construction funding and I sense this is more about their general frustration in life rather than the personal impact of the 3+ million in tax money. Let’s face it 3.5 million in construction funds is a mere speck in a budget of a county this size and you actually have a hard asset as collateral. It is my hope that whoever takes ownership of the fields whether it be Shaw or Chesterfield or both or even a new entity that the rest of the east campus, even if a smaller scale be developed and hopefully they (residents) will come. For those that have been financilly harmed by this organization it is my hope you get the balance that is due to you.

    For those interested, the HPC is a great place to train, the fields are the best in the region and the indoor center very nice. Hope to see you there.

  7. Karl Hott February 13, 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    The county-support element has always been so speculative and just plain “sketchy” that it sounds like just another recent Richmond City build-it-and-they-will-come failure (i.e. Valentine Riverside, the convention center, canal walk, etc.). Municipal revenues, be it city or county, should be spent for projects and ideas which benefit a larger segment of the population than these recent developments.

  8. Chip Isbell February 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    The fields are fantastic and believe they will be fine over time. There are not many venues of this size and quality around the region or country. There is some truth to the saying “that if you build it they will come” in this case. As a Chesterfield resident and tax payer I feel the fields have potential and have not regreted the county getting involved. Rather than criticize the county why not find a way to use this great resource to enhance the quality of life in Chesterfield.

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