43 Fields, iFly open­ing this sum­mer

The Avenue News - - Front Page - By DAN BALD­WIN dbald­win@ches­pub.com

There is plenty to see and do this sum­mer in eastern Bal­ti­more County. To high­light all the great at­trac­tions that can be found in the county, the Ch­e­sa­peake Gate­way Cham­ber of Com­merce hosted Ch­e­sa­peake Gate­way’s Boom­ing Tourism In­dus­try: Some­thing Big is Hap­pen­ing on Wed­nes­day, May 18.

Busi­nesses from around the area gath­ered to share the in­cred­i­ble fun that ex­ists within 15 min­utes from Es­sex and Mid­dle River back­yards. High­light­ing the event were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from iFly In­door Sky­div­ing and the 43 Fields project, two highly an­tic­i­pated at­trac­tions ex­pected to open this sum­mer in White Marsh.

“There is one thing that ev­ery per­son has dreamt of do­ing,” said Ni­cholas Romeo, na­tional sales man­ager for iFly In­door Sky­div­ing, “and that’s fly­ing.”

Ex­pected to open in about 30 to 45 days, iFly will pro­vide an in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for ages 3 to 103, Romeo said.

“Any­body can do this,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Romeo, the iFly fa­cil­ity cre­ated 30 to 40 tem­po­rary jobs dur­ing the six to eight months of con­struc­tion, and is ex­pected to cre­ate about 55 per­ma­nent jobs once the fa­cil­ity is com­plete.

For $69.99 fly­ers will be pro­vided with all the proper equip­ment; hel­met, gog­gles, ear plugs and sneak­ers (if sneak­ers are not al­ready be­ing worn). While there there will only be two one-minute long flights in the 120 mph wind tun­nel, the whole process of will take about an hour and a half to two hours to com­plete. Fly­ers will need to com­plete waivers and learn how to con­trol them­selves in the air with an in­struc­tor prior to their flight time.

While in the air, fly­ers can ex­pect to fly any­where from six to eight feet into the air, and as high as about 20 feet, Romeo said.

While some may think the cost is high com­pared to the amount of flight time be­ing of­fered, it is still more af­ford­able than sky­div­ing out of plane, Romeo said.

Ac­cord­ing to Romeo, for some­one to go sky­div­ing, they first need to pay $200 for the air­plane. Then, when you jump from the plane, the av­er­age adult is only in a free fall for about 46 to 48 sec­onds.

Peo­ple are ex­pected to travel from as far as 100 miles away to try out iFly, Romeo said. The in­door sky­div­ing fa­cil­ity of­fers a great en­vi­ron­ment for team build­ing ex­er­cises for cor­po­rate events, as well as of­fers a STEM pro­gram for stu­dents.

Ac­cord­ing to Romeo, iFly of­fers a physics pro­gram de­signed for stu­dents in sec­ond grade through high school. Stu­dents can see ob­jects fly in the wind tun­nel and fig­ure out how they are able to fly. Af­ter which, the stu­dents will take to the wind tun­nel them­selves.

Once it is of­fi­cially open, iFly In­door Sky­div­ing will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Reser­va­tions are highly rec­om­mended. It is lo­cated at 8125 Honeygo Blvd. at the Av­enue at White Marsh. 43 Fields “We want more kids to play more sports, longer,” said Athan Sunderland, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Pinkard Prop­er­ties.

Pinkard Prop­er­ties is the de­vel­oper be­hind what is be­ing called the 43 Fields Project at White Marsh. Lo­cated on Route 43 across from Tang­ier Drive, 43 Fields will fea­ture six ar­ti­fi­cial turf sport­ing fields, one prac­tice field and an in­door ice rink.

Ac­cord­ing to Sunderland, par­tic­i­pa­tion is strongly en­cour­aged, as is keep­ing fam­i­lies to­gether. That is why there will al­ways be on field open at all times for kids to play on.

The first field is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Au­gust. The re­main­ing fields are ex­pected to be com­pleted by spring 2017, and the ice rink by win­ter 2017.

Once com­plete, 43 Fields is ex­pected to bring in 3,500 lo­cal fam­i­lies ev­ery week, Sunderland said.

The fa­cil­ity will also be host­ing 70 event days per year which will bring in 300,000 vis­i­tors from more than 60 min­utes away to the area.

“We were asked, ‘ Why [build in] White Marsh?’” Sunderland said. “Be­cause its al­ready here.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sunderland, the White Marsh area al­ready has the needed in­fra­struc­ture to bring in the needed 300,000-plus vis­i­tors a year. Along with the din­ing es­tab­lish­ments, re­tail stores and ho­tels as well.

43 Fields can be the No. 1 des­ti­na­tion in the MidAt­lantic, Sunderland said, and the No. 1 des­ti­na­tion for youth sports in the coun­try.

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