Starting over with Malibu: Camp Landing Anchor, other projects to come | New
CANNONSBURG One piece of clothing will automatically increase its popularity in Ashland and the surrounding area today: a Malibu Jack shirt.
Steve Hatton, co-owner of the entertainment center, dons his business polo shirt and walks around feeling “like a rock star,” he said with a laugh.
Hatton spends more time in Boyd County than he is at home these days, he said, as Malibu Jack’s is set to open at Camp Landing later this year. .
The former Elder-Beerman space at Kyova Mall is now completely vacant. Jason Camp said that “you wouldn’t believe all the content” removed from the site in order to pave the way for Malibu Jack’s.
The former EB storefront will serve as the main entrance for Malibu Jack’s, which has sites in Louisville and Lexington. Camp Landing’s Malibu Jack’s will be the Kentucky-based family business’s largest location – 170,000 square feet, Hatton said.
Camp, the majority owner of Camp Landing, said there would be multiple ways to set foot in what it predicts to be the # 1 entertainment destination within a 100-mile radius.
You can walk between Camp Landing Cinema – where seven of the 10 theaters are currently operating, Camp said – and a future restaurant called The Refinery. Camp has stated that the 3J Group, of which he is a part, will operate this restaurant (formerly Callihan’s). There you will experience a multitude of creativity as you venture through the Artsy Fartsy Walk – a product of Elisabeth Camp’s vision. Elisabeth is Jason’s wife.
Several of Camp Landing’s 35 current employees were busy beautifying the long, wide hallway on Thursday. Jason Camp said some local artists have already contributed, such as a “World’s Strongest Child” mural. Elisabeth is reconstructing a colorful heart of peace using paint cans.
When the Artsy Fartsy walk ends, another section of the old mall will have a few retail outlets. If you turn right, you can go to the site of the former RJ Kahuna – two restaurants are interested in taking over the space, Camp said.
If you turn left from Artsy, you can go straight on towards Malibu Jack’s. If you choose this route, Jack’s Island Grill, a bowling alley, on-site restaurants with chicken, pizza and more, and a bar will welcome you. Keep walking and you will come to party halls on your left and a major go-kart track on your right. Electric go-karts cost around $ 12,000 each. Construction is well advanced on the track.
“They’re super cool, and they have a push-button booster where it takes off and really goes,” Camp said.
Continue – you’ll pass a few tropical-themed fountains, which were in the original Cedar Knoll Galleria – and you’ll reach the giant laser beacon area. Then you will come to the back of the old Elder-Beerman site. This is where it becomes even more visually stimulating.
Now, as of October 2, it’s just a gargantuan space, but imagine it in your mind: roller coasters, arcade games, miniature golf, waterfalls, palm trees and more.
“Everyone loves to have fun, so everyone is our target audience,” Hatton said. He said he was surprised how many people from all three states have visited Malibu Jack’s in Lexington or Louisville. Brothers Steve and Terry Hatton, and Terry’s son Bryan founded Malibu Jack’s nine years ago.
Steve Hatton said the timing and location was perfect when Camp approached them.
“Ashland itself, there isn’t enough population, but it’s designed to serve the tri-state area,” Hatton said. “You can exit directly from the highway. That’s for the entire tri-state area, up to Charleston and Morehead. We (Hattons and Camp) shared a bit of the same vision.
“We are very happy to be open,” he added. The timeline will become clearer, but the goal is to open around Thanksgiving.
Malibu Jack’s will get the ball rolling at Camp Landing, which will eventually create 800 jobs, according to Camp.
The Cedar Knoll Sportsplex, convention center, hotel, apartment complex, more retailers and more restaurants feature in the big plan.
The 120,000-square-foot sports complex will be a dome, much like some of the NFL’s training facilities, which is about 25% of the cost of a “brick and mortar” arena, Camp said. It will be multisport – basketball, volleyball and wrestling among them – and versatile. The hope is to attract many musical artists as well.
Camp said if the sportsplex is privately funded, it will take “a few years” before it is operational. If the Boyd County Tax Court chooses to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds on it, that would speed up the process.
“We’re just looking for the right thing and the right fit,” Camp said.
There is a 10,000 square foot area in the old mall for locker rooms and the like, he said.
Follow the Camp Landing Entertainment District Facebook page for updates on the project.
Just recently, there was an article that there had been a successful Paint & Sip event in the cinema lobby on Wednesday. A few big-name movies are set to hit screens soon – Venom, No Time To Die, Addams Family II, and Halloween Kills all release in October.
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