Letter: Setting the record straight on Longplex

Posted 4/26/23

Longplex was opened in Tiverton in 2019. We are the largest indoor sports complex in southern New England, and one of the largest indoor facilities in Rhode Island — even larger than the Rhode …

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Letter: Setting the record straight on Longplex


Longplex was opened in Tiverton in 2019. We are the largest indoor sports complex in southern New England, and one of the largest indoor facilities in Rhode Island — even larger than the Rhode Island Convention Center. Hundreds of Tiverton residents, and thousands more from well beyond our town, visit our facility every week. Longplex hosts sporting events, leagues, and special events including a comic book convention, kid’s consignment sales, home and car shows, and more. We open our parking lots to local car enthusiasts who want to chat about their vehicles and drink coffee on weekend mornings, and Longplex routinely supports local school and community groups by hosting their events and contributing to their causes.

When planning first began for Longplex, we enjoyed a strong working relationship with the town of Tiverton, who recruited us to the town to build our complex here. The industrial park remained almost completely vacant since the town established it decades ago, and Longplex was the first major project (after the power plant) to be built there. We didn’t ask for — and did not receive — any tax subsidies in exchange for our investment of over $15 million. Today, we are one of the largest taxpayers in Tiverton, with an annual tax bill of $150,000. Longplex employs over 80 people at peak times of the season, and is hiring more.

Longplex has faced challenges with the town over the past year. Most stem from town ordinances that never contemplated Longplex being built, even though the town sold us our land and permitted the construction. The town’s special events permit ordinance is antiquated, legally contradictory, and unevenly applied. Additionally, the zoning of the industrial park is confusing — to the point where the town has now sued its own zoning board over their approval of the use of Longplex for special events. As Longplex has grown in popularity, the need for parking has increased. While we are always sensitive to any impact on our neighbors, the town has banned the use of the (very) wide streets in the industrial park for on street parking, has prevented adjacent property owners from allowing their properties from being used for overflow parking, and even prevented us from using our lawn for parking. The conflicting guidance we have received from the four town administrators, three town solicitors, two fire marshals, and 13 individual council members we have worked with in only four years have compounded all of these issues. This incredible turnover dramatically increases the cost of doing business in Tiverton. However, we have had strong, productive relationships with the majority of town officials we have worked with.

Regardless of these challenges, we remain committed to growing our business here in Tiverton. We are looking forward to working with the town council over the coming months to change town ordinances regarding parking, zoning, and events — changes that would only apply to the industrial park area. We ask for the support of our fellow town residents and business owners as Longplex continues to grow and succeed.

James Long



Long is the owner and founder of Longplex.

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