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Shovels in the ground for Topgolf in Cranston – company says it’s Topgolf Providence “for now”

Over 4 years since the first mention of a giant golf and entertainment venue was mentioned, and delayed by significant community concerns – and a pandemic – it was a perfect weather day yesterday, July 27th – for the ceremonial hard hat and shovels into the dirt ceremony in a huge graded dirt field behind the iconic “old Citizens building” on Sockanosset Cross Road, next to Chapel View in Cranston.

On hand were corporate representatives from Topgolf, the construction companies, and family members, employees and trustees of the Carpionato Corporation. Kelly Coates, CEO of Carpionato acknowledged the widow and mother of Alfred Carpionato. Alfred, the founder of the company, passed away in 2000.

In the speaking portion, Coates took the program welcome, acknowledging Governor McKee, Mayor Hopkins, former Mayor and Congressional candidate Allan Fung, as well as other political dignitaries, including Cranston City Council members, current and past.  

“I am extremely excited to attend the groundbreaking for this destination that will bring families and visitors to the City of Cranston,” said City of Cranston Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins. “I have been working on this project since my time on the City Council, and I know that Topgolf will be an outstanding attraction in our city.” Hopkins added that this project, with hundreds of new jobs, may bring new residents into the city and he welcomed them to enjoy all that Cranston has to offer.

Neither Coates nor Hopkins mentioned the Garden City homeowners who waged a four year battle against Topgolf out of concern over increased traffic and safety for their children and families. Several members of the Garden City Alliance were in attendance at the ceremony.

Coates acknowledged that traffic had always been a major concern and noted a TIGER grant that had been secured to assist in RIDOT’s planning and construction of an extension and redesign of Route 37, which creates an exit right into the TopGolf facility.  He noted that there will be another “clover leaf” construction happening on the other side of Chapel View, referred to as the Cranston Canyons, to address traffic and safety further up Route 37 as it approaches Route 295.

In a statement from Topgolf, “The three-level, open-air Topgolf venue will be part of the Chapel View redevelopment project by Carpionato Group and will feature 102 climate-controlled outdoor hitting bays, chef-inspired signature menu items, top-shelf drinks, music and year-round programming for all ages. The venue will be fully equipped with Topgolf’s latest technology, including the company’s signature Toptracer technology. Toptracer is the most trusted ball-tracing technology in the golf industry, powering the experience at the venue and enabling Players at Topgolf to enjoy favorite games like Angry Birds and Jewel Jam.”

The venue runs along Route 37 within Chapel View and near Garden City Center. There will be tall poles holding netting to contain any stray golfballs that will be over 100 feet tall. The developers have also told the community that the large powerful lights will be turned downward, to not light up the entire area.

The venue will employ roughly 400 and Cranston Mayor Hopkins noted that priority would be given to Cranston residents for 200 employees. The company refers to their staff as “Playmakers” or “Associates”.

Topgolf Chief Development Officer Chris Callaway noted, “We are focused on bringing more play to more communities, and Cranston is an excellent location to kick off some of our early efforts in New England.”

“Cranston continues to see great interest from businesses and industries that want to develop due to our economic climate, sound infrastructure and our stable workforce,” Hopkins added.

Topgolf Providence – in Cranston? – What’s in a name?

What the Topgolf facility will be called is unclear. The company refers to the new facility by different names – when asked to clarify they responded, “the name is Topgolf Providence – for now”. Other iterations include references to Greater Providence Topgolf, Topgolf Greater Providence, Topgolf Cranston, Cranston Topgolf, Rhode Island Topgolf, and Topgolf RhodeIsland.

The tone of the speeches and news release leaves the door open for other Topgolfs being located within the state in the future. The company notes that people will be coming “from New York” and all around “New England” to come here.

Topgolf in Cranston will be the first in New England, with the closest facilities on Long Island and in New Jersey.

When reached by RINewsToday, Mayor Hopkins said he didn’t like the “Topgolf Providence” name and he would be reaching out to the company to try to stop it.

Cranston municipal services will be providing fire and police response to the new business and the traffic patterns will impact Cranston most directly.

A cursory look at other Topgolf names note, as an example, “Topgolf Cincinnati – West Chester” is the name of one venue located in West Chester, Ohio, but assuming people from out of state would not recognize where, exactly, that was, one suggestion for the new Rhode Island facility is: “Topgolf Providence – Cranston”

The last line of Topgolf’s press release was:

Follow @Topgolf on social media for updates on Topgolf’s progress in Greater Providence. Topgolf Entertainment Group

About Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf Entertainment Group is a technology-enabled global sports and entertainment company that brings joy through more ways to play the game of golf. What started as a simple idea to enhance the game of golf has grown into a movement where people can experience the unlimited power of play at the intersection of technology and sports entertainment. Topgolf Entertainment Group’s brands include Topgolf venues, Topgolf Media and Toptracer technology. To learn more, visit topgolfentertainmentgroup.com or follow Topgolf on social media.

About Topgolf Venues
Topgolf venues bring people together to play in a dynamic, technology-driven golf entertainment experience. With an energetic atmosphere, Topgolf venues feature high-tech gaming, outdoor hitting bays, chef-driven menus, hand-crafted cocktails, music, corporate and social event spaces, and more. Topgolf entertains more than 20 million Players annually at nearly 80 locations across the globe. To learn more or plan your visit, visit topgolf.com. 

COSTCO update: An attorney for COSTCO who had attended Cranston City Council meetings during the discussion about being built on the Mulligan’s Island property, was seen in the audience at the Topgolf ground breaking. Mulligan’s Island was on the mind of a savvy reporter, Joe Calabro, from Golf News RI who captured this comment from Mayor Hopkins (https://golfnewsri.com)

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