Skate Park Coming Back

March 18, 2019
Skate Park Coming Back

Extreme sports enthusiasts once again will be able to hit the ramps and pipes at a local indoor skate park starting next month.

The Keystone Rampworks crew and volunteers will begin reassembling the skate park at the Wyoming Valley Sports Dome in Plains Twp. with an all-new layout beginning April 14, and the park will re-open April 24, according to co-founder Mikki St. Pierre.

St. Pierre said using a section of the Sports Dome worked out well for the organization and patrons last spring and summer, but Rampworks couldn’t afford the steeper fees for occupying an entire field area at the dome seven days a week when soccer season started and teams were vying for space.

The lease there ended Sept. 25, and patrons had no local indoor facility for riding or skating this past fall and winter.

St. Pierre and co-founder Jeff Mushell had hoped to move the park to a vacant warehouse in the Rolling Mill Hill section of Wilkes-Barre for use this past fall and winter, and into the foreseeable future.

But after applying for zoning variances to operate the facility in part of a warehouse bordered by Jones, Forrest and Anthracite streets and Ricci Way, preparing for and testifying at a zoning appeals hearing and ultimately having the variances approved, the warehouse deal fell through.

St. Pierre said warehouse owner Tom Dombroski told her his insurance agent “told him we were a high-risk tenant and his insurance company didn’t cover it.” She said he didn’t want to have a different insurance company inspect the building for coverage.

By that time, it was mid-November and too late to find another space to rent for the winter, St. Pierre said.

But she and Mushell are still working to raise money and secure a loan to build their own permanent skate park facility on land near the Sports Dome. And in the meantime, they’re excited about reopening next month.

The park will be open 5 to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Admission will remain $10 Monday through Wednesday, but will increase to $13 Thursday through Sunday in a move to alleviate some of the congestion on those days, St. Pierre said.

The addition of earlier hours “for the younger kids” on Saturdays and Sundays also is planned, as are extended sandwich and milkshake menus at the snack bar, she said.

The founders also are working with an insurance company to allow them to get rental scooters.

In order to allow more time for skating and riding and make for shorter lines when the park opens, a staffer will be available 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays at the Sports Dome now through opening day for preregistration and liability waiver signing.

But patrons should check the Rampworks website to be sure no dates or times have changed before making the trip. New signed waivers are required each year. Those who preregister and return completed waivers before April 24 will receive 25 loyalty points, St. Pierre said.

And more volunteers are welcome to help with reassembly of the skate park beginning April 14, St. Pierre said.

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Find out more about Keystone Rampworks at www.keystonerampworks.com or follow Keystone Rampworks LLC on Facebook.