While it's sad some retailers have vacated large buildings in town - thinking of Columbia Mall, Hornbackers - I see opportunity. Namely, in the recreational field. When I drive to Fargo, I see things like many indoor turf facilities, a sports bubble, a multifaceted recreational facility hosting go-karts, a batting cage and mini-golf. We do have a lot of that here, but with recent vacancies, there's an opportunity to take our sports and recreational activities to the next level. I also took notice of the Herald article detailing future possibilities for the VFW ice rink in East Grand Forks ("East Grand Forks to Consider Changes to Public Arenas," March 13).
Should those large buildings convert for recreational use, imagine what we could do. For example, indoor go-karts with league play, combined with mini-golf, a restaurant and arcade. Or perhaps a recreational batting cage, as we had at one time? Perhaps the return of a climbing wall or large obstacle course, or maybe even another large indoor pool (as they're converting the old Best Buy building in Fargo to). How about some neat museums?
I also have a dog in this fight - I run Sundog Sports Club, an intramurals sports community, and for the last few years, we've been offering adult flag football in the winters at UND's state-of-the-art High Performance Center. I would love to see far more venues in the community using indoor turf.
From the outside, it looks as though our community's hockey needs are mostly filled. I would love to see more opportunities with turf, such as flag football, indoor soccer, broomball, knocker ball (also known as "bubble soccer") and more disability sports.
The old adage that seems to apply to just about every community is "there's nothing to do in this town" (if you believe that, tell me and I'll give you a list). There is already a lot to do in Grand Forks; we have a lot of offerings other cities of this size don't have. But in the near future, I'm fully confident that list of things to do is only going to increase.
Let's continue to be a regional draw with folk from Winnipeg, Fargo and the rural areas.