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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2004


Ketchum plans $250,000 skate park

Facility could be built this summer

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum residents could soon have access to a state-of-the-art skateboard park comparable to one opened last year in Hailey.

Kirk Mason, Ketchum Parks and Recreation director, issued a plan to the Ketchum City Council Monday, March 1, for the city to undertake a $250,000 reconstruction of the Guy Coles Skate Park.

Kirk Mason, Ketchum Parks and Recreation director, presents a conceptual plan Monday for an approximately $250,000 upgrade to the city’s Guy Coles Skate Park. Express photo by Willy Cook

City Council members did not vote on the proposal Monday but informally agreed to allow city staff to refine the plan and research funding options.

Guy Coles Skate Park is located at the intersection of Warm Springs and Saddle Roads. The seasonal facility is currently composed of temporary structures and features.

Mason on Monday presented a project called "Complete the Vision," a plan to completely remodel the park into a facility that will rival the premier skateboard venues in the West.

Mason said the new Ketchum park is designed to cater more to "intermediate" skateboarders than the Hailey Skatepark, an advanced-level skateboard facility that was christened in 2003.

"We decided we definitely want to be different from Hailey," Mason said.

The proposed park includes two concrete bowl features, one with an hourglass shape and another with an irregular-square shape. A bridge would link the two features.

The plan also calls for enhancing the landscaping of the site.

Mason said he would like to contract with Oregon-based Dreamland Skateparks—which participated in the design—to oversee construction of the facility this summer. Dreamland Skateparks was a key partner in the development of the Hailey Skatepark.

Mason said a temporary skate park off the site of the Guy Coles property could be erected for use this summer. The reconstruction project would take "three or four months" to complete, he said.

Mason noted that he believes the park could serve as an attraction for tourists.

"Skate parks are becoming a destination-type activity," he said. "I think it will be very attractive to families."

A contingent of project supporters has established a $30,000 reserve account to help defray the $250,000 cost, Mason said.

"All our stars are in alignment at the moment," he told the council.

Councilwoman Terry Tracy, Mason’s predecessor as parks and recreation director, said she would like to ensure that the project includes permanent restroom facilities.

Other council members agreed with Tracy and Mayor Ed Simon that the plans should be brought before the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission.

Eric Herringer, a Boise-based representative of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation, said the city would likely be able to finance a $150,000 loan for the project that would require payment of a mere $15,000 interest over five years.

Mason said he would bring the plan before city planners and the P&Z in the coming weeks.



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