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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


The ground breaking crew at the Guy Coles Skate Park in Ketchum are, from left to right, Jen Smith, Doren Key, City Administrator Ron LeBlanc, Jim, Shae and Ziggy Slanetz, Kurt Mason, Andy Gilbert, Mayor Ed Simon and Police Chief Cory Lyman. Express photo by Willy Cook

Skateboarders dreams blossom

Master designer building new Ketchum skatepark

Express Staff Writer

Skateboarder and master park builder Mark Scott of Dreamlands Skateparks is in town, with wife Danielle, off-spring Alexandra and Madison, and a crew to build a permanent skate park in Ketchum. Dreamlands already built the Hailey Skatepark, which has become nearly iconic, attracting skateboard enthusiasts from all over the country.

Scott, who is the designer and project manager, was on hand—already at work—for the official groundbreaking, Friday, July 9, at the Guy Coles Skate Park, at the intersection of Warm Springs and Saddle roads.

The old temporary wood ramps have been moved to the side where they are still in use.

"What I like is the shape we created," Scott said. "It has a triangular shallow end that will look like the biggest cement sculpture you’ve ever seen."

In fact, the design is the sort of hourglass that even Salvador Dali would approve. Scott said Hailey’s skatepark caters to a more extreme skating clientele, whereas the park in Ketchum was designed for a wider variety of abilities.

"It’s a best case scenario, like Hailey was," Scott said. "They said you have control of what you do."

The community raised approximately $60,000 and the City of Ketchum committed $150,000 to the project. The contract with Dreamlands is worth $223,000. There have been private donations as well as donations of a more tangible kind like the piles of dirt that sit ready for use on site.

City Administrator Ron LeBlanc continues to accept donations to make up the difference as well as further enhance the park for multi-use purposes.

Mark Scott demonstrates how the bowl of the new skatepark will be formed. Express photo by Willy Cook

City Councilwoman Terry Tracy, the former director of the Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department that oversees the project, was instrumental in its initiation, as was former Ketchum Mayor Guy Coles. The current Parks Department director, Kurt Mason, thanked Mayor Ed Simon and said the whole concept has been a wonderful collaboration.

"It’s been a team effort," Mason said. "The local government has found appropriate funds, the P & Z helped out quite a bit by dedicating this space as a park." He added that Andy Gilbert, a skateboard community spokesperson, had the vision nearly 10 years ago, and has worked hard for it. "He’s the horse behind the park"

Gilbert laughed at the back-handed compliment. "It never fails to amaze me that I can walk into City Hall and get a meeting. There are so many people who helped like Jim Slanetz who never says no when we ask for something. With extra community involvement it can be a better and bigger area."

The group gathered for the groundbreaking, shovels in hand, included Mason, Scott, Gilbert, Mayor Simon, LeBlanc, Parks Department employee Doren Key and Ketchum Arborist Jen Smith, Slantez and his budding skaters Ziggy and Shae as well as Chief of Police Cory Lyman.

A benefit for the Guy Coles Skatepark is being held at nexStage Theatre, Saturday, July 24, and will include the premier of a locally filmed movie "damn near" and the music of valley band Ümlaüt. Tickets are available at Board Bin in Ketchum.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.