A $30 million golf and hotel complex is planned for a seven-acre Ganson Street site. Doug Swift along with Carubba Collision President Joe Carubba and OnCore Golf CEO Keith Blakely are planning the facility that is south of RiverWorks. The investment group purchased the property in late-August.
The OnCore Buffalo facility will include a Top Golf-like, three tier driving range and a 120 to 160-room hotel on the north end of the complex. The driving range area will be elevated with parking underneath. It will also be heated, so the facility will be open year-round without the need for a dome, and would employ 500.
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OnCore Buffalo will have similarities to the popular Topgolf venues: a three-tiered driving range designed for golfers and non-golfers alike, a bar area and various entertainment options. It will also incorporate other sports experiences – from virtual baseball, basketball and hockey to a possible indoor wave machine for surfing – intended to attract participation from a wide range of consumers.
For golf enthusiasts, each hitting bay will provide comprehensive data – both ball and club – including swing speed, ball speed, smash factor, distance, spin rate, launch angle, apex and more. Customers will also have the option of recording their swing and receiving instructional advice in real time, with all information saved and available for retrieval and review on mobile devices and a cloud-based website.
The range itself is elevated, a proprietary design that features targets at distances ranging from 50 to 170 yards. The back wall of the range has 250-yard targets. Customers will be able to play a variety of games, some competitive and others purely for enjoyment, that will be shown on the high-resolution monitors that are in each bay. There will be extensive food and beverage options throughout the facility, including service at the hitting bays.
Additional augmented and mixed-reality sports and activities will take place in separate simulator bays, with visitors able to throw balls at virtual batters, shoot basketballs through virtual hoops, take slapshots at virtual goaltenders, or shoot arrows at virtual targets. Other add-ons under consideration include skateboarding, a ski-training simulator and the wave machine for indoor surfing.
In an effort to encourage and expand golf participation among juniors, the headquarters of the First Tee of Western New York will eventually be brought into the facility at no cost. In total, the clubhouse for the OnCore Buffalo facility will be about 120,000 square feet.
Pending approvals, the facility is expected to open in 2021. The project team is planning similar elsewhere including Knoxville, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York, Denver and Washington.