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Lake Effect

A luxury sports complex with big-name players takes over a small town in North Georgia.

North Campus Sports Park

Traveling to sports tournaments to watch your kids compete usually means staying at limited-service hotels, wolfing down fast food and lugging coolers full of drinks onto the field. But the new LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson, Ga., offers a vastly different experience. The sprawling 1,400-acre complex, parts of which are opening this spring, features state-of-the-art venues for 32 sports, and 5 million square feet of mixed-use commercial development. Fredi González, manager of the Atlanta Braves; is developing LakePoint with Bobby Cox, former manager of the Atlanta Braves; Ned Yost, manager of the Kansas City Royals; and dozens of other professionals in real estate and sports. All the business partners are familiar with the shortcomings of the traveling sports lifestyle, and they created LakePoint to be the country’s premier tournament vacation destination, with a host of high-end conveniences. Here, preview the luxe grounds from the visionaries behind it.

For fans of outdoor adventure, LakePoint will offer ziplines, a ropes course, mountain biking and hiking trails, as well as the Terminus Wake Park, which is already open. This unique 16-acre venue—the largest wakeboarding park in the country—uses a cable system that enables visitors to go wakeboarding and water skiing, without a boat, through a series of obstacles and trails. LakePoint is opening in phases, with the baseball, lacrosse and volleyball venues hosting tournaments this summer, and many of the entertainment amenities opening in late 2014 and 2015.

The sporting venues will feature cutting-edge technology, such as live video streaming and video downloads, so you can capture family memories and create video résumés. Coaches can preorder team supplies like snacks and drinks, which will be delivered to the dugout, and a valet service will pick up team uniforms and have them cleaned and pressed for the next game. “It’s the small amenities that enable families to really enjoy the destination once they’re off the field,” says spokesperson Judy Sparks.

Fourteen laser-cut, synthetic turf fields will host soccer and lacrosse with a FIFA-qualified stadium for viewing matches. Twelve softball and youth baseball fields are also nearby.

There will be plenty to enjoy entertainment-wise including a 40-lane bowling alley, arcade, the Southeast’s tallest roller coaster, a 13-screen movie theater, and approximately 29 on-site hotels, restaurants and retail shops, including a 100,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops.

The complex will host the iconic golfer’s second school, a 30-acre facility with a full-service practice range, a nine-hole par-3 course, and coaching and instruction. The academy will include indoor training bays equipped with V-1 video equipment and the latest swing analysis technology; extensive on-site custom club fitting technology; a Cybex equipped gym; practice greens, bunkers and practice tees; as well as classrooms for on-site and online education programs.

Take it from Fredi, Bobby and Greg: The pros weigh in on their new project.

“LakePoint will set a new standard for the travel sports industry. I’ve been to a lot of ballparks as a player, a dad and a coach, and there’s nothing else out there that compares to LakePoint.” —Fredi González, development partner and manager of the Atlanta Braves

“This project will be a one-of-a-kind development, and will be anchored by three major sports tenants that are market leaders in their industries: Perfect Game USA, LB3 Lacrosse and NASA.” —Bobby Cox, development partner and former Atlanta Braves Manager

“The academy will provide top-flight instruction and customized programs to help a player at any age, and at any skill level, become a better golfer. LakePoint is totally different than any facility in the world because it offers instruction, education and on-the-field experiences in so many different sports disciplines. I could not think of a better place for GNCGA to build our second golf academy in the United States.” —Greg Norman, Hall of Fame golfer