A-Way 2 Play property sold

After being closed for close to six years, the 59-acres A-Way 2 Play Family Sports Center near Woodstock has been sold by Chris and Pamela Wells.

The Wells, who also own and operate Wells Roofing in Woodstock, sold the property to Harry and Margaret Cooper for $350,000.

In a phone interview on Monday, Chris Wells said the assessed value of $1.1 million was “way too high.”

“Maybe 10 years ago, yeah, I probably could have walked away with $1.2 million,” Wells said. “But in today’s market? No.”

Harry Cooper, owner of Cooper Valley Construction in Edinburg, was unavailable for comment.

Wells noted that he has the right to first refusal — meaning that he could buy the property back at its selling price, if Cooper decides to sell it in the future.

Wells said they decided to sell the property to eliminate the remaining $350,000 in debt they had incurred as a result of opening A-Way 2 Play.

“From a debt standpoint, it was right at $1 million … that we borrowed to basically build what we did here,” Wells said.

A-Way 2 Play was opened in 2003 as a sports park that featured attractions such as miniature golf, a driving range and batting cages. Wells said they closed the business in 2009 because it “did not make enough money to support itself.”

“I just got tired of putting money into it,” he said, noting that he put “a good amount” of his own personal money into the business for construction and equipment.

Wells said he thinks a multitude of factors — between seasonal business, the economy and population — played into the lack of success with A-Way 2 Play.

“The population size, I think, had a little bit to do with it,” he said. “I mean, how many times are you going to play miniature golf?”

Prior to closing A-Way 2 Play in 2009, Wells said they were contemplating adding a KOA campground to the business as a means of supplying more income to pay off the start-up debt.

“I had to struggle or fight to get that approved, but once I got it approved, the economy started going down,” Wells said. “I just kind of put the brakes on it.”

He added the expenses for the planned campground “got out of hand” and reached as high as about $2 million by the time the project’s special use permit was approved.

Wells said, “Basically, we would have been creating more debt trying to cover the debt.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com