New skatepark in Steamboat almost ready for riders | SteamboatToday.com

New skatepark in Steamboat almost ready for riders

Parks supervisor: Workday could help to take care of facility’s final details

Skateboarder Abraham Douglas skates at Howelsen Hill Skate Park on Monday afternoon. Ernie Jenkins, Steamboat’s parks supervisor, said local skateboarders can look forward to an early-May opening of a new skatepark west of town near Shield Drive.





Skateboarder Abraham Douglas skates at Howelsen Hill Skate Park on Monday afternoon. Ernie Jenkins, Steamboat's parks supervisor, said local skateboarders can look forward to an early-May opening of a new skatepark west of town near Shield Drive.
John F. Russell

— Local skateboarder Ryan Yankowsky has spent 10 years waiting for this day to come.

"When I moved here, they kept saying we are going to get one, we are going to get one," Yankowsky said while skateboarding at Howelsen Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

It looks like Yankowsky will soon get his day, and the city of Steamboat Springs hopes there are many more like him. Volunteers are needed during a workday at the new concrete skatepark on the west end of the Yampa River Core Trail behind the Routt County Jus­tice Center. The workday is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 1.

Ernie Jenkins, parks supervisor for the city of Steamboat Springs, said the construction of the concrete structure was completed in the fall but that there are still a lot of details to be completed before the park can open this spring.

"We still need to take care of some fencing and landscaping," Jenkins said. "We want to give the park the feeling that it is complete and make it safe before we open it to the public."

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Yankowsky said he didn't have a chance to use the new concrete skatepark when it was opened briefly last fall following the completion of the first phase, but he hopes to attend the volunteer workday in an effort to get the new park open sooner.

"I didn't really know about it until just now," Yankowsky said. "But I'll be there if I can."

A company called Team Pain built the park, which is a concrete bowl with features including ramps, walls and rails for skateboarders. Team Pain has built similar structures in Aspen, Silverthorne and Colorado Springs. The park in Steamboat Springs was funded by the Skatepark Alliance, which initiated the effort. More than $60,000 was raised to build the park, including a $10,000 grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs contributed $2,000, the city contributed $50,000, and the project received a $200,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

The park has been closed to the public with the exception of the soft opening just before it started snowing in the fall. Jenkins said an official opening of the park would depend on how quickly the final details are competed. He said no official plans for a grand opening have been confirmed, but if all goes well on the workday, the park could be open the following week.

Jenkins said once the park opens, public access will be from the Yampa River Core Trail off Shield Drive.

Access to the new park via Lagoon Court, which connects to U.S. Highway 40 near Downhill Drive, is not available for public use. Scott Contracting has heavy truck traffic on the road because of the downtown repaving project, and there are no plans to make that road the main access to the new skatepark.

Jenkins said the city also plans to keep the existing skatepark at Howelsen Hill open. He said the park is very popular and offers skateboarders a different venue.

That comes as good news to skateboarder Will Hunter, who says he will stay true to the Howelsen Hill Skate Park.

"I tried the new park last fall, but I still like this one more than the new one," Hunter said while skating Tuesday afternoon.

Yankowsky is happy the new park will provide a choice for local skaters.

"If that one is busy, I'll come here, and if this one is busy I will go there," Yankowsky said. "Both parks offer different things."

For more information or to volunteer for the workday, call Jenkins at 879-4300, ext. 325.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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