Ripken Experience

BobcatBomber

Active member
My son's been invited to join a local National-level team this fall to play down in Pigeon Forge at the Ripken Baseball complex. Any of you guys done one of these tournaments? Can you offer any reason why we shouldn't participate? Looking forward to the experience.
 

SLAGuy

Member
Is this a special tournament hosted by Ripken or one of their normal "experiences"?

If it's the latter, you can be matched up against almost any level of competition. If the team is that good, don't expect much competition.
 

winbypin

Well-known member
I hadn't known they opened one up in Pigeon Forge. I had looked at taking teams to the one in Myrtle Beach but it was too cost prohibitive for us. I would have loved for my kids to have this experience. The nice thing is if baseball isn't going well for you there is plenty of things to do in the area.

Do they require you to stay in a certain hotel or resort down there? If not, you could PM me if you want. We had stayed down there in some nice cabins (cabins is a loose term...they had home theaters in them). There are enough cabins in that resort where your entire team could stay there for socializing, etc. Heck, there are 1 or 2 cabins at the resort where the entire team could stay in one house. Parents could get their own cabins. Close enough to the strip to do those things too.

I love that area.
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
Is this a special tournament hosted by Ripken or one of their normal "experiences"?

If it's the latter, you can be matched up against almost any level of competition. If the team is that good, don't expect much competition.
Not 100% sure. I'm guessing it's just their normal Halloween tournament. I have no idea how good the team will be. When I say National, that's the highest level of competition in our league (SWOL). But since this will be fall ball for the team, some will have other commitments and won't be joining the team. That's why my son was invited. He tried out for the team, got an offer, but ultimately chose another team. During that conversation with their coach, he offered for us to join them, knowing that several of their kids will be playing football.
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
I hadn't known they opened one up in Pigeon Forge. I had looked at taking teams to the one in Myrtle Beach but it was too cost prohibitive for us. I would have loved for my kids to have this experience. The nice thing is if baseball isn't going well for you there is plenty of things to do in the area.

Do they require you to stay in a certain hotel or resort down there? If not, you could PM me if you want. We had stayed down there in some nice cabins (cabins is a loose term...they had home theaters in them). There are enough cabins in that resort where your entire team could stay there for socializing, etc. Heck, there are 1 or 2 cabins at the resort where the entire team could stay in one house. Parents could get their own cabins. Close enough to the strip to do those things too.

I love that area.
They do not require the kids to stay on "campus" like in Cooperstown. I have no idea what the lodging arrangements will be because we were just invited last week. I'm looking into our own lodging, but now you've got me wondering if they will push for the kids to stay together. I'll have to find that out. I'll PM you.
 

winbypin

Well-known member
They do not require the kids to stay on "campus" like in Cooperstown. I have no idea what the lodging arrangements will be because we were just invited last week. I'm looking into our own lodging, but now you've got me wondering if they will push for the kids to stay together. I'll have to find that out. I'll PM you.
Got it. Sent you one back.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
We just got back from the week long experience recently.

Fantastic fields and setup.

Competition? Saw some very good teams, and some average and below average.

Cost for the week long is steep. From those who have done cooperstown and this say they prefer this place better in terms of setup, fields and where to stay.

Lodging..most stayed in cabins and some in hotels and such around the area. VRBO seemed to be the best options.
PRetty much the whole team stayed within 10 minutes of the place
The biggest issue is their propensity to play through terrible weather. They stopped only for lightening but played through some very heavy rain so they could stay on schedule.

Tremendous views with the mountains in the backdrop and the fields were fantastic. Umpiring was solid. We didnt play well but it was a very good experience and if cost isnt an issue then I recommend the Ripken experience.

and for things to do in the area...plenty but I suggest more Gatlinburg over Pigeon Forge.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
The biggest issue is their propensity to play through terrible weather. They stopped only for lightening but played through some very heavy rain so they could stay on schedule.
The same thing for their games in Myrtle Beach. Playing through downpours is expected. Can be interesting when the field gets very wet and someone slides 5 feet passed the base they were sliding too. Kids were hanging on to the bases like it was a flotation device.
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
We just got back from the week long experience recently.

Fantastic fields and setup.

Competition? Saw some very good teams, and some average and below average.

Cost for the week long is steep. From those who have done cooperstown and this say they prefer this place better in terms of setup, fields and where to stay.

Lodging..most stayed in cabins and some in hotels and such around the area. VRBO seemed to be the best options.
PRetty much the whole team stayed within 10 minutes of the place
The biggest issue is their propensity to play through terrible weather. They stopped only for lightening but played through some very heavy rain so they could stay on schedule.

Tremendous views with the mountains in the backdrop and the fields were fantastic. Umpiring was solid. We didnt play well but it was a very good experience and if cost isnt an issue then I recommend the Ripken experience.

and for things to do in the area...plenty but I suggest more Gatlinburg over Pigeon Forge.
The Halloween weekend tourney is $750/team. 3 game guarantee. Luckily, I think the team is going to foot nearly all of the bill. I’ll just have transportation and lodging to worry about.
 

Peak

Member
My son's 12U team just completed the week long experience in MB. Very fun time for the kids and the families. The facilities were great! We did have to stay at one of the "Ripken" resorts, which was costly. I would have rather rented a house/cabin for the week vs the resort, but in the end the boys had fun and saw some good competition. it was fun all around. I know our team would do it again if they could.
 

winbypin

Well-known member
The Halloween weekend tourney is $750/team. 3 game guarantee. Luckily, I think the team is going to foot nearly all of the bill. I’ll just have transportation and lodging to worry about.
The bad news is that might be considered a peak period for the area. I just checked the link I sent you on those cabins and they call it high season for the entire month of October.
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
Not looking to rent for the swimming. But AirBnB seems the more affordable option, as it is peak season for tourists. Any other suggestions?
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Not looking to rent for the swimming. But AirBnB seems the more affordable option, as it is peak season for tourists. Any other suggestions?
Well, neither is anyone else in October......that is kind of the point. There are many options for houseboats on those TVA impoundments. Not sure about price, or proximity, for that matter. Just wondered if it was a cool affordable option in October. Your kid is fairly young, right ?
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
We are actually headed to Gatlinburg next week with the family. Looking forward to swinging by the complex on our way there.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Oct is big because of the tree foliage.
The week long tournament is like 600 bucks a kid!

Unfortunate playing in the downpour as ball isnt meant to be played that way.
Do the OBER up the mountain, lotw to do up there.


PIgeon forge really sucks with the tourist crap, but Gatinburg is much, much better.
Day 0 was sklls competition, opening ceremonies or what I call it, a money grab getting everyone walking through their gift shops and food all day.
Good thing..can bring you own drinks and food nto the park so that is good.

Overall, very nice place, top notch.
 
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