Indoor skatepark hopes to provide year-round space for Edmonton Region
Despite the number of outdoor parks in Edmonton, fans say indoor facilities are limited
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Local skateboarders, BMX and scooter riders will soon have a new local place to ride year-round in Sherwood Park.
The Boneyard Skatepark, a new 7,500 square foot indoor facility, promises to be the first of its kind in the area, and the only one in the capital region -- allowing riders to keep at it even after the snow flies.
Owner Chris Hartwell is the one putting up the money for the new project, not for himself, he says, but for his kids.
“As a parent of two kids who aren’t in hockey, it was hard to find something to keep them active,” explained Hartwell. Without a facility “you can’t do it all year round.”
Currently, there are more than 10 outdoor skateparks in the Edmonton area.
A few indoor ones have come and gone—one at West Edmonton Mall and another one in northwest Edmonton, but both permanently closed this fall. Now, the closest remaining year-round facility is in Sylvan Lake, more than a hour drive south of Edmonton.
Hartwell said when he and his sons started throwing around the idea a couple of years ago, they were surprised there wasn’t an indoor park already in operation in their area. “We always thought someone would start it up at some point. And it just never happened,” he said.
This past summer Hartwell decided it was finally time to start one, and he’d be the one to do it.
He found a warehouse space near the outdoor Millennium Skatepark in Sherwood Park. He’s launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 campaign to help offset costs.
He’s also drawn on his savings and got small business loans to fund the building improvements and securing of permits.
“Whether it’s the insurance company, the landlord, the bank, pretty much everybody once you talk to them and show them what your idea is, everybody has been really supportive.”
The park is set to open in March 2018 but construction is well underway. Hartwell hopes the park will be a welcome place for kids and adults of all ages after school and on weekends.