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Skate Park Expansion to Cut Down on Show Stopping Accidents
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The Guy Coles Skate Park even sees a few in-line skates now and then.
   
Thursday, June 9, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Say goodbye to the show-stopping pebbles.

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw, City Parks Director John Kearney and others cut the ribbon on yet another expansion to the Guy Coles Skate Park this week.

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

 
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Juerg Stauffacher, Neil Bradshaw, Tal Roberts and Andy Gilbert were among those taking 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 before, said Tal Roberts. But, more importantly, it covers up an area of dirt that used to border the park.

The dirt and pebbles would get into the bowls, bringing skateboards and scooters to a screeching halt when they hit them.

 
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Wyatt Stone rides his scooter in the new part.
 

“The addition will take care of a lot of maintenance issues,” said Juerg Stauffacher.

As many as a couple hundred youngsters use the park each day during the summer, making it the most used park in the community, according to Andy Gilbert, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation snowboard coach who has championed the park since its beginning.

The Ketchum skate park was the first public skate park in Idaho and one of the first in the country when it was built in 1995. It was added onto in 2017. Skateboard legend Tony Hawk has skated there a few times, and pro tours regularly test their skills there each summer.

It features a couple of 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 the ease with which the skateboard community was able to push this expansion through,   compared with the early days.

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

Though its size is limited on two sides by Warm Springs and Saddle roads and on the other two sides by the Big Wood River and Church of the Big Wood, it’s as good as anything Gilbert has seen as he travels around to other parks. 

“Parks are all pretty unique, and we have one of the best—it flows together well,” said Roberts.

 
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The skate park includes a pyramid outlined in blue.
 

“They say: If your town does not have a skate park, your town is the skate park, quipped John Kearney, director of recreation for the City of Ketchum.

A lot of people and organizations in the community pitched in to get the expansion done, said Roberts. The expansion was funded with donations to the Guy Coles Skate Park Trust Fund and donations from the Board Bin and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

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

Bradshaw praised those responsible for the addition.

“This is a cool thing, a true community effort,” he said. “Hopefully, it adds to the excitement around the park.”

Added Gilbert: “I just think it’s nice to see the next generation of guys benefitting from this.”

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