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Patrick O Brien, General Manager, , East Hempfield Twp.
Q: Tell us about Spooky Nook Sports.Patrick O'Brien
A: At fourteen acres under roof, Spooky Nook Sports is the largest indoor sports complex in North America. Our mission is to bring families together through sports, entertainment and events. Nook Sports focuses on three core competencies: service, product and cleanliness. We offer programs and activities for children, teens, adults, families and seniors. Spooky Nook Sports is comprised of a fitness center, four group exercise rooms, an indoor rock climbing gym, child watch, family entertainment center, sports performance center, indoor turf fields, a full-size indoor baseball infield, eight batting cages, six cushioned acrylic indoor tennis courts, ten hardwood courts, martial arts studio, smoothie bar, food court with five different stations, professional-grade kitchen, retail store, nearly 70,000-square-feet of multipurpose sport court and professional meeting rooms with full food and banquet service. Our Family Entertainment Center includes an arcade with over sixty games, a bounce house and Clip n Climb. Clip n Climb is a fun and challenging climbing area that is great for the entire the family. Spooky Nook Sports also offers youth sports academies in volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, girl's lacrosse and fencing. Our sports academies focus on improving and developing the athlete while instilling communication skills, sportsmanship, academic discipline, camaraderie and having fun. We provide opportunities at the developmental level through the elite level in most sports. Our academy teams participate in internal and external tournaments representing Nook Sports locally, regionally and nationally. Nook Sports also offers a performance tennis program which has some of the best players in Pennsylvania. In addition, we offer youth recreational programs that focus on having fun, learning new skills, being active, improving and making new friends. These programs include leagues, clinics, camps and special events. Nook Sports also offers adult recreational leagues in Ultimate Frisbee, women s and men s basketball, flag football and dodgeball. There will be more adult recreational sports offerings in future as well. Spooky Nook Sports also hosts many different types of events. These events include tournaments, trade shows, expos, banquets, corporate team-building, professional receptions, speaking engagements and more. We have two full-time chefs, excellent food with numerous options, upscale meeting rooms and over 110,000-squae-feet of space to accommodate large events. Nook Sports is also partners with Orthopedics Associates of Lancaster (OAL) and USA Field Hockey. OAL provides casting, MRI, physical therapy and athletic trainers. Having one of the best orthopedic groups in the region in our building offers our guests a professional medical presence that very few facilities across the country have. Spooky Nook Sports is honored to welcome the USA Field Hockey Team to Lancaster. We are extremely excited to provide first-class training facilities for the team as they strive towards an Olympic berth in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Nook Sports will be hosting a series of international field hockey matches in February of next year that will feature the U.S. Women s National Team.
Q: What is unique about Spooky Nook Sports?
A: Spooky Nook Sports is unique in many different aspects but the three most important reasons stem back to our core competencies as a business: service, product and cleanliness. I have had the privilege to see and experience sports facilities all over the U.S. and one, two and/or three of these critical aspects are often overlooked. This creates an experience for the participant or guest that does not meet their expectations. Nook Sports is committed to providing an excellent product, great service, in a clean environment. These competencies separate us from our competition in the marketplace.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your workplace, or what would you change if you could?
A: My favorite aspects of working for Spooky Nook Sports is the team that I have the privilege of working with, the quality of life impact we make on our guests and participants, the economic impact our facility has on the region and the fact that I work for a company and in an industry that I am passionate about. The team we have assembled here at Nook Sports will be one of the driving factors in our success. We are fortunate to have some of the best employees in this industry in my opinion. One of my favorite things about working in sports, entertainment and events is that you have the opportunity to positively impact someone on a daily basis. That is a very powerful reason to be motivated at work all the time. We estimate that we will bring over 100,000 room nights to the area, have created over 150 jobs and we will have a significant impact on surrounding businesses as well. Meaningful economic impact is one of the many positive threads of our business. Sport provides people with platforms for growth in so many areas and channels energy into a positive activity. Another one of my favorite aspects about sport is the lasting relationships that are developed and cultivated. Entertainment and events provide an opportunity for people to create impactful and positive memories with people that you care about.
Q: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be a manager or leader?
A: Show initiative, be honest and genuine, don t be afraid to make mistakes, don t make the same mistake twice, treat people, colleagues and stakeholders, the way you want to be treated, work smart and hard, generate meaningful results, do the right thing and strive to get better in some aspect of your job every day. Some additional key traits that are important in a leadership role are providing clear direction, being a great communicator, not being satisfied with where you re at, always being responsive to the marketplace and cultivating a fun working environment.
Q: What is the most fun part of your job?
A: The most fun part of my job is two-fold: We have the privilege and opportunity, every day, to positively impact our stakeholders. I have the opportunity to help grow and develop one of the best sports, entertainment and event facilities in the world with a phenomenal team and have a lot of fun doing it.
If you would like to be considered
for a 3-minute interview and answer a few questions about your
experiences and insights as a business or non-profit leader, please send
us an e-mail to and in the subject area please include "3-minute interview."
You can find Trade Talk, Central Pennsylvania Business Awards, 3-minute interviews and Midstate Real Estate Transactions and Business Openings every Friday at 12 p.m. at .
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