The team proposing a $2 billion sports and entertainment center in Delaware County has apparently split, raising questions about who is moving forward on the 350-acre development planned for U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 and Interstate 71 west of Sunbury.
The development company Blue Horseshoe Ventures announced Oct. 9 that it is pursuing the project -- which has been called Planet Oasis -- without David Glimcher, who has been its public face. But Glimcher insists he is still in charge and moving forward with plans announced in June.
In a news release, Blue Horseshoe Ventures of New Albany, founded by Tony and Alex Sekulovski, said it had "entered into discussions with David Glimcher about the possibility of Mr. Glimcher becoming one of the owners in the development group. While these discussions were taking place, Mr. Glimcher provided some limited assistance to the company. Since the company and Mr. Glimcher were unable to reach agreement on the terms of him becoming an owner, the company is moving forward without him."
Glimcher, however, said such assertions are "100 incorrect" and he has "retained counsel that's dealing with the situation."
Glimcher said he has put together the partnerships for Planet Oasis and remains in charge.
"Mr. (Tony) Sekulovski is no longer involved with the deal," said Glimcher, who calls himself chief executive officer of Blue Horseshoe Ventures. "We believe other things will surface that will involve improprieties."
Sekulovski and Glimcher both say they didn't do due diligence on the other before entering into a business relationship.
Blue Horseshoe Ventures' spokesman, Ryan Stubenrauch, said the Sekulovskis, through Blue Horseshoe Ventures, have a contract to buy the 350 acres and also are in contract with the other companies that have signed on to the deal.
Stubenrauch said Joe Ciminello, a Columbus developer who was involved with the Pinnacle development in Grove City, is representing four property owners who are in contract to sell to Blue Horseshoe Ventures.
Ciminello did not return phone calls from The Columbus Dispatch last week, but Stubenrauch shared copies of text messages with Ciminello in which Ciminello appeared to confirm that the Sekulovskis' Blue Horseshoe Ventures is in contract to buy the land for the entertainment complex.
According to the plans announced in June, Planet Oasis is to include indoor surfing and skydiving, an e-sports venue and a large saltwater lake surrounded by sandy beaches and hotels. Other draws are to be a "state-of-the-art electric go-kart venue featuring Indy-designed courses, video games, virtual reality, a unique indoor skydiving experience, an indoor/outdoor adventure experience, a shooting-gallery experience with experiential dining, and many other attractions."
One major partner announced for Planet Oasis was UltraStar Cinemas, an upscale digital-theater company. Reached by phone last week, UltraStar President Adam Saks said he had "no comment on the situation at this time" because he also was trying to assess the differing claims of the Glimcher and Sekulovski camps.
In announcing the split from Glimcher, Blue Horseshoe Ventures also announced a campaign to change the name of the development from Planet Oasis, a name that Glimcher locked up in a corporation created in May.
"This project will be the largest action sports and entertainment complex in Ohio and one of the largest entertainment and recreation destinations in the world," Stubenrauch said in a news release. "We know the community will play a big role in making this dream a reality, which is why we want to develop a strong community partnership. That partnership starts with naming the project."
Those interested can submit a name at BlueHorseshoeContest.com. The winner will receive a $1,000 Visa gift card and help cut the ribbon on opening day.
Meanwhile, Glimcher said he is moving forward on the project with his own team and still hopes for a groundbreaking this year.
Stubenrauch said that's unlikely because the property hasn't been purchased yet.
Blue Horseshoe Ventures was incorporated in December 2017. Glimcher's similarly named company -- Blue Horseshoe Development -- was incorporated on Sept. 27 this year.