Some skaters mad about Eagle-Vail ramp
EAGLE Skateboarder Reid Bakken enjoyed riding a small half-pipe in Eagle-Vail after work that is, until a bike rack was chained across it. No one has been able to ride on the ramp or on the tennis court, where the ramp is the last of several skateboarding obstacles after the park closed about a year ago.People used the skatepark consistently and often, Bakken said, so he doesnt understand why it closed. I dont know who is in charge of Eagle-Vail, Bakken said. Im sure its got something to do with insurance problems. Kim Ahmad, operations manager for the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District, said the skateboard park has closed because a new swimming pool will be built there. Last year, residents voted three to one to raise property taxes to pay for recreational facility repairs, including a new swimming pool. But that pool has yet to be built, so skateboarding coach and Eagle-Vail resident C.J. Poulin doesnt understand why officials have left the park closed.
In the meantime, can we utilize the spot rather than just watching it sit there? Poulin asked.Ahmad said, We just dont deem the area safe.We just dont want anyone getting hurt, she said.She has tried to get rid of the ramp by offering it to anyone who wants it, but the ramp is so heavy that no one can figure out how to take it, she said. Now Ahmad is trying to get a recycling firm to take it, but if that doesnt work out, the ramp will go when construction on the pool begins at the end of July or the beginning of August. There are no plans for a new skatepark or to move the ramp elsewhere in Eagle-Vail because residents said in a survey that having a skatepark wasnt as important as a pool or pocket parks, she said. Its almost a slap in the face to skateboarders to have a ramp there and not let anybody touch it, said Carl Shepard, manager of Avon skate shop the Boardroom.The ramp was one of the best Shepard has ever skated. He wishes that someone had told skateboarders why the skatepark was closed and the ramp made useless, he said. They should have told us that a year ago, Shepard said. Its just frustrating that they know what theyre doing, but dont tell the public. Poulin would have taught at the ramp all this time because the ramp is good for beginners, but he has since taken his students from his summer skate clinics to Vails skateboard park. Poulin sees other children in Eagle-Vail skateboarding on U.S. Highway 6 or outside Paddys Sports Bar & Grill and other business in Eagle-Vail. Those younger skateboarders dont always have the opportunity to go to skateparks in Edwards or Vail or to skate the ramp inside the Boardroom, he said.In the meantime, lets give them something, Poulin said. Get them off the street.For Bakken, a beginning skateboarder, the steeper, higher ramp in Vail and the concrete bowls in Edwards are harder to ride, he said. Plus the Eagle-Vail ramp is closer to Bakkens home. Theres not much anywhere nearby to skateboard, Bakken said. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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