Skate park expansion to reduce show stoppage accidents

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STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Say goodbye to spectacular pebbles.

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw, City Parks Superintendent John Kearney and others cut the ribbon at a new Guy Coles Skate Park expansion this week.

The expansion includes a quarter pipe with a bowl corner and a bank with a border on top.











Juerg Stauffacher, Neil Bradshaw, Tal Roberts and Andy Gilbert were among those who took part in the ribbon cutting.





“It’s really fun, it adds more stuff,” said Brody McBee, who estimates he spends at least an hour in the park every day with his friends.

“The new part is pretty cool. It’s fun to grind,” added scooter rider Wyatt Stone.

The expansion adds about 2,000 additional square feet of concrete to the park, which was 15,000 square feet previously, Tal Roberts said. But, more importantly, it covers an area of ​​land that once bordered the park.

Dirt and rocks penetrated the bowls, stopping skateboards and scooters when they hit them.








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Wyatt Stone rides his scooter in the new part.





“The addition will fix many maintenance issues,” said Juerg Stauffacher.

Up to a few hundred youngsters use the park every day during the summer, making it the busiest park in the community, according to Andy Gilbert, a snowboard coach with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation who has championed the park for his beginnings.

Ketchum Skate Park was Idaho’s first public skate park and one of the first in the country when it was built in 1995. It was added in 2017. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk skated there a few times , and professional tours regularly test their skills there every summer.

It features a few large bowls, a vertical wall, rails, and a pyramid in the center.








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Baldy provides the backdrop for the skate park.





Gilbert noted how easily the skateboarding community was able to push this expansion forward, compared to the first days.

“It’s easier to sell now, and it won’t be the last addition,” he promised.

Although its size is limited on two sides by the Warm Springs and Saddle Roads and on the other two sides by the Big Wood River and Big Wood Church, it is as good as anything Gilbert has seen when he goes to other parks.

“The parks are all pretty unique, and we’ve got one of the best – he’s got it all together,” Roberts said.








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The skate park features a pyramid outlined in blue.





“They say, if your town doesn’t have a skate park, your town is the skate park,” quips John Kearney, Recreation Director for the Town of Ketchum.

Many people and organizations in the community were involved in the expansion, Roberts said. The expansion was funded by donations to the Guy Coles Skate Park Trust Fund and donations from the Board Bin and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

Roberts donated his time, contractor Jesse McDowell did the concrete work, and Carl Rixon loaned heavy equipment for the project.

Bradshaw congratulated those responsible for the addition.





“It’s a cool thing, a real community effort,” he said. “Hopefully it will add to the excitement around the park.”

Gilbert added, “I just think it’s good to see the next generation of guys benefiting from it.”




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