(WHBC) – The man now at the helm of the long-delayed Hall of Fame Village project provided the community with an update on the ambitious endeavour.
Mike Crawford, the CEO of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, addressed a packed conference room at The Hall on Tuesday for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Stark Forum Luncheon.
Crawford, who became CEO in December, says he understands the concerns and skepticism about the project because of the delays, and knows that people always want to see progress.
“I think now we’ve got that right plan, we’ve scoped it the right way, we’re phasing it the right way and it will create this wonderful, new destination that Canton and the region will be very proud of.”
He says the nearly 900 million dollar mixed-use project around the Pro Football Hall of Fame will grow in phases, constantly providing something new and entertaining for people to enjoy.
“When you build in phases, people have something to get excited about next year, and the year after.”
He cited how Cedar Point works to add a new attraction each year that gets visitors excited about returning.
Visit Canton’s Tonja Marshall is confident the project will take off.
“I feel confident that we have all the right players in the room with the right appetite to move this project forward.”
She also liked how Crawford said that “a rising tide lifts all boats” in reference to the success of the Hall of Fame Village meaning more visitors to the area, which will help all businesses.
Among other things, the Hall of Fame Village will include a hotel and conference center, a performance center with an indoor football field, an amusement park and a promenade with retail, dining and residential areas.
We asked Crawford how confident he is that the project will reach its full potential.
“This is happening, I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”