With the impending closure of Four Seasons Sports Complex in Hampstead, local programs will be left to find a different facility, without a field, court or pool to call home.
The Four Seasons facility at 2710 Hampstead-Mexico Road announced that, after more than 30 years in business, this summer season will be its last. The complex made the announcement on its Facebook page, causing members to jump to the comments to voice their concerns about membership they had already paid for.
Not only is there an issue of dues and membership fees, some local kids’ sports teams are going to have to relocate to a new space to practice and compete. Four Seasons has, for years, hosted indoor and outdoor soccer, lacrosse and field hockey as well as basketball teams, tournaments and camps in addition to swim meets.
“Some of our volunteer recreation councils participate in leagues or programs at Four Seasons complex,” said Jeff Degitz, director of Carroll County Recreation and Parks. “So, if that facility were to close, they would be looking to other locations to house those programs, such as indoor soccer and other indoor activities.”
According to Degitz, another indoor facility that local rec teams might consider is the Carroll Indoor Sports Center in Westminster.
“We have a number of programs participate in leagues there as well,” Degitz said. “I don’t know what their capacity is or how many more groups they would be able to accommodate.” An employee of that center declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.
The Hampstead Four Seasons has hosted such sports events as the Straehle Invitational swim meet, which included 45 teams on July 24, and it has hosted Mid Atlantic Legacy, a travel and AAU boys and girls basketball program. The Straehle meet has hosted Olympic-qualifying swimmers, including Michael Phelps, the Maryland native who has won more Olympic medals than anyone in history.
The Four Seasons complex went on the market in June for $5 million and has been reduced this month by 54 percent to $2,300,000, according to multiple real estate listings. The price dropped because they weren’t getting any offers at $5 million, but they do have some potential buyers, according to Jessica Dannettel, director of operations at the Four Seasons Sports Complex.
“I think that the sale itself probably led to the closing of the facility,” Dannettel said. “The owner decided to put the business up for sale. The reason it’s closing is purely financial. We’re a small business and we kind of work on a month to month with our finances without being able to plan for the future, plan for the fall and winter and start gaining and collecting income from that to support us currently; there just wasn’t enough money to keep things up and running. We couldn’t plan for the future without knowing what the future was going to be.”
According to Dannettel, there is no real way to tell if the complex will be the same after being sold.
“Each buyer is different and there are definitely buyers interested that are in the health and fitness industry, so it would make sense they would keep things very similar here,” Dannattel said. “There’s buyers that could potentially do other things. We don’t anticipate anyone buying it and actually really changing it.”
Mike McMullin, president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, said the closing sparks opportunity for more local businesses to rise and offer more activities to local kids.
“In this area we’re always looking for more things to do, entertainment to do, places to go, especially for kids,” McMullin said. “The hope would be that others would rise up and fill the niche because there’s always a need for entertainment in the area.”
McMullin said that after so many years in business, it is still sad to see the complex go. Hampstead Mayor Christopher Nevin shared the same sentiment.
“It’s difficult when any long-term business closes,” Nevin said.