Burlington, VT – It Is Open For Skaters

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« Stuck in Vermont » just released an expose on the new Burlington, Vermont skatepark that the local skateshop (Maven) pushed to get built, Grindline designed, and Artisan Skateparks built.  Even though the groups involved are professional and know what they are doing and talking about, the process to get the skatepark completed took 7 years.  In the end, all the groups involved should be proud of themselves for the great skatepark they created.  For all you skateboarders out there that are trying to improve the skateboard facilities in your village, town, or city, with a lot of hard work, some luck, and a whole lot of determination (7 years for Burlington and 10 year for Boston) your project can work out too.

Burlington had as a goal of the refurbishing of the waterfront, to attract tourists and more importantly tourist dollars.  To do so, one of their ideas was to build a « world class skatepark ».  The term world class skatepark is thrown around often lately.  It is really a term that has zero meaning since there are no standards in skatepark design.  Skateparks are not like say a hockey rinks where there are NHL or Olympic standards that define a world class rink.  For me the term, when related to skateparks, has more to do with attracting non local skateboarders.  An okay skatepark may attract skaters from 20 kilometers away but, a « world class skatepark » will attract skaters from a different province, state, or country even.  With the new skatepark in Burlington, they will be attracting skateboarders from all over New England, Quebec, and Ontario.  Those tourists will spend money in Burlington that will bring money into the local economy.  In a couple of years the 1 million dollar skatepark will have paid for itself in tourist dollars to the local economy.

That is right, the Burlington skatepark was planned, designed, and built for roughly 1 million dollars.  When people know what they are doing, work gets done right the first time, much faster, and cheaper.  One of the big problems in Quebec is that there is very little concrete skatepark building expertise in the companies that are bidding to build our skateparks.  Since they do not know what they are doing, the companies need to pad their bid prices.  If the bids were not padded, any mistake (say a lumpy wall that needs to be destroyed and rebuilt) would come out of the contractor’s wallet.  Until Quebec contractors gain that expertise, skateparks in Quebec will always cost much, much more here.  On that note, see you in Burlington!