This is the Luncheon Keynote Conversation with Sam Beiler, from the 2020 Philadelphia Smart Business Dealmakers Conference held on October 22, where he talks about dealmaking, brand-building, exits and the thrill of serial entrepreneurship.
Barley Snyder has been fortunate to have a long relationship with Sam. Barley Snyder represented Sam, as the owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, since Sam acquired the company in 2005 from the founder, Anne Beiler. Auntie Anne’s, headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is the franchisor of the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel chain. In 2010, the company was sold to FOCUS Brands, a portfolio company owned by Roark Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm.
Sam did not stay “retired” for long after the sale of Auntie Anne’s. In 2013, Sam opened Spooky Nook Sports, located just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Spooky Nook is the largest indoor sports complex in the country, with more than 700,000 square feet under one roof and visited by over 1.2 million members and guests annually. Barley Snyder assisted the Spooky Nook team that developed this unique facility.
Spooky Nook Sports is now working with the City of Hamilton, Ohio, to construct a mega-sports complex, hotel and convention center in the city’s former Champion Paper Mill, based on Spooky Nook’s successful model in Lancaster. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 25, 2018, with the opening of the facility expected in 2021. Over the last several years, the Barley Snyder team worked with the Spooky Nook team to negotiate the terms of the development agreement for the proposed $144 million facility.