Plans are underway to draw tourists and more businesses to Crawford County by building an Entertainment/Sports Complex near State routes 598 and 30. This economic driver will be a game-changer for Crawford County! 


Currently, the Event and Wellness Center is the engineering and design phase, and the site is going through preliminary environmental assessments. The Sleep Inn, which increased its investment because of this project, is now open and other businesses are looking to locate in the 598/Brandt area of Galion as well!


Why an Event and Wellness Center will improve our economy and our quality of life

By Gary Frankhouse
Executive Director, Crawford Partnership for Education & Economic Development

“If you build it, they will come….”

This famous movie quote (from Field of Dreams) can apply to any community’s potential… and right now, it speaks volumes about what’s in store for Crawford County.

I’m a firm believer in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and I’m proud to be leading the Economic, and Community Development efforts of a community as proactive as ours.

When our community wrote the Crawford: 20/20 Vision Plan in 2010, we began with the End in Mind.

We asked ourselves: What do you want your community to look like 10 years from now? What types of businesses and activities does that include? How do we make that happen?

That’s why one of the actions outlined in the Plan is to develop an Entertainment and Sports complex (A Community-Driven Vision for Crawford County, pg. 32). The community believed such a complex would create more activities for families and attract more businesses to the area (restaurants, hotels, retail, and tourist destinations). When I became Economic Development Director for the Partnership, this project was one of the first things I set out to accomplish. I believe it is exactly what our area needs in many ways.

As a parent, and a coach, the benefits of having an all-year sports complex near Route 30 will have its benefits. As a Galion resident, business owner and community leader, there are so many more advantages to having an indoor complex-- above and beyond the sports themselves--which is why we are now calling it an Event and Wellness Center:

  • In communities similar in size to Crawford, building a complex generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in retail and tourist income.
  • Regional events—entertainment and sports-related events-- will draw visitors to our area and attract new businesses;
  • Health and fitness programs at our local YMCAs and elsewhere in the community will have room to grow.
  • Families and businesses will look to locate in an area with more things to do on evenings and weekends.


So, when I began tackling this project, I had to Put First Things First: we needed to be sure that such a project can work in Crawford County. The last thing our economy needs, is to invest in something we don’t need, and that won’t be sustainable.  

Sure, other communities have made billions of dollars after building something like this, but is it right for us? Can it work here, now? Will it lead to an upturn in our economy? Will programs that already do well at the Local YMCAs, hospitals, and schools, still be able to thrive?


Now it’s our turn!!

First, we need YOUR support to get this done.

Second, we want you to believe in it. If you need more information, or more convincing—call me, 419.563.1809, email us,, or talk to any of our Crawford: 20/20 Vision leaders and volunteers.

Third, synergize! Join us as we educate the community about HOW this complex will, literally, be a game-changer for Crawford County. But don’t stop there—tell them about WHY we’re doing this. …

It is similar to the WHY for all of Crawford: 20/20 Vision—we want Crawford County to be a place where people SEEK to be. Imagine the growth our county can support with a venue like this! It’s win-win!

Up next:
The Crawford Partnership was recently awarded a USDA Rural Business Development Grant with the help of engineers Nate Hatfield and Aaron Heydinger, originally from Crestline, of Gandee and Associates.  
They are really excited to be able to work on something that will make a difference in the community they called home for so long. The design work has begun and we have some initial renderings of what the center could look like! 

Stay tuned for more!

We will keep you posted as this exciting project develops. We encourage your questions and support!

Thank you for all you do to make Crawford County a place where people SEEK to be.



Gary Frankhouse, Jr.