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Entries in RDV Sportsplex (1)

Tuesday
Oct272015

MVP Sports Clubs

The president of the MVP Sports Clubs invites IHRSA 2016 attendees to visit its premier RDV Sportsplex facility in Orlando.

CBI: One of the most influential relationships in your life is, arguably, the one you have with Richard DeVos, the cofounder of Amway, and his family, who also own RDV Sportsplex, the MVP Sports Clubs, and the NBA’s Orlando Magic. How did it come about?

KARL DROPPERS: I went to college to coach and teach, but, when I got out in the early ’80s, it wasn’t a great time to go into teaching, and schools certainly weren’t paying coaches what they pay today. Fortunately, in 1989, Ben Emdin, a former president of IHRSA, gave me my first job in the industry, as the sales manager of his East Hills Athletic Club chain, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After a number of years with the East Hills group, I purchased one of their smaller clubs. At 32, I became the sole proprietor of the 40,000-square-foot Lakeshore Athletic Club, in Holland, Michigan. I’d found my dream job!

CBI: But you didn’t stick with it …?

KD: Things change. In 1995, three years into owning and operating my club, I was approached by the DeVos family to consult on a potential project—RDV Sportsplex, named for Richard DeVos—that they were considering building in Orlando, Florida. After a few visits to the city, I was hired as an operations consultant, and, subsequently, offered the job of director of RDV Sportsplex.

I brought on a partner to help run the club in Michigan and moved my family to Florida. Sixteen months later, I sold the business and committed to developing RDV Sportsplex full-time. We opened the $60-million, 365,000-square-foot facility in 1998.

Continue reading about Karl Droppers here.

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