Trailside roller rink will add skate park
April 2, 2010
Local skateboarders will soon have a new playground at their disposal.
On March 17, the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District approved the addition of a modular pre-cast concrete skate park on the existing in-line skating rink atop Trailside Park. The project, which will take up little more than a third of the facility, is expected to be completed by late May.
"We just see that the rink is not being used," Program Manager Brian Hanton said. "We tried (roller hockey) camps, we tried leagues there was just no reception. So we’re going another route."
The district will use $100,000 from its capital budget to fund the project, with hopes that a RAP (Recreation, Arts, Parks) tax request will add $30-$50,000 worth of features to the layout if the grant is accepted next week.
Five local skaters met with recreation department officials and skate park specialist Jason Stouder on March 25 to discuss the new park’s layout with skaters clamoring for a flatter "street-style" course that would accommodate both beginners scared away by the daunting hits at the Park City Skate Park and the more experienced skaters hoping to improve their technical abilities.
"They know what they like," Hanton said. "They can do some different things here than they have at other parks, and that’s probably the intriguing thing for some of the more experienced guys."
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Officials wanted to keep alive the facility’s original "multi-use" mission, opting to contract with Joplin, Missouri’s American Ramp Company (ARC), which specializes in portable skate-park elements that do not need to be anchored into to the rink’s surface.
(The ARC’s sister company, Hardcore Shotcrete, built the Park City Skate Park.)
"It went really well; the skaters’ input was very helpful," Stouder said. "There’s a lot of street-type elements."
Stouder said the skate park will include "stock" elements like a mini-ramp, a bank ramp, a quarter pipe and a pyramid as well as replica pieces that mimic some of the world’s most famous street-park features.
Of critical importance, said District Business Manager Rena Jordan, is that the park will not be too advanced for the Basin’s local youth to use.
"Right now, those parents are sending their kids over to Park City to use the skate park, and that’s a long way," Jordan said.
Slightly less than two thirds of the rink will remain unaltered to serve Wasatch Roller Derby (WRD) events during the summer. Additions to the skate-park portion might be considered if it is used at a much higher rate than the derby’s portion. Only two WRD events are scheduled for this year.
"I think we would have been interested in going a little bit bigger with this, but we heard from that group, so we kind of have to see how it’s used and go from there" Jordan said.
In the meantime, the recreation department said the new layout won’t affect the roller derby participants since a normal track does not take up more than about half of a regulation hockey rink. Plus, Jordan said, most of the participants are adult women from Salt Lake City not the demographic the recreation department was aiming for with the facility.
WRD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that contributes much of its proceeds to charity, counters that Trailside is the only venue it can use in the Park City vicinity, and the lone outdoor rink in the state.
"We’ve been really confused by the whole thing," said captain Lacie Matthews, a.k.a. "Honey Delunatic." "We’ve just really never understood it. It’s not like they are going to make any money with the skate park. It’s weird, because nobody was using it for years, then we start using it, and now they want to make it something else."
It’s not the first time. Administrators once considered installing a refrigeration unit under the rink, allowing it to serve as an ice rink in winter, but that proposal was scrapped when it became apparent it would fall short of Park City’s need for an accessible ice rink.
When the Park City Ice Arena was built, it started cutting into Trailside Park’s usage even before the ice was installed, as roller hockey leagues used the arena’s concrete surface rather than brave the outdoor elements.
After the in-line skating rink was finished in 2002 for more than $150,000, the district touted its ability to be transformed easily into tennis or basketball courts because of its concrete base which also facilitates a tidy turnaround for the skate-park conversion.
The skate park is slated to open within 45-60 days of signing the final contract with the builder, with a soft opening likely before a larger event to christen it possibly on Memorial Day weekend.