Residents described the possible park as an asset to the community and a tool to help it stand out among other shore communities. A common theme was the thought that skateboarding is more than a hobby; it’s a culture.
“My kids have to leave town right now to go to a skateboard park,” said Todd Dwyer, owner of Chickie’s and Pete’s on the boardwalk. “They’re bouncing off the walls about this. This provides loads of opportunities for us. It could be a great draw for us.”
The city set aside about $250,000 for the skateboard park as part of its 5-year Capital Improvement Plan. The city is actively seeking additional funding.
“The skate park will cost more than what was budgeted for it, but we will keep working toward it,” Councilman Michael DeVlieger said Thursday night. “ … This would help to create a better family atmosphere.”
No final decisions have been made on where the skate park would be located, or what the design of the park would be. Even without that, excitement concerning the park was in the air.
The original skateboard park at Sixth Street and Boardwalk was shut down in 2011. At the time, city officials cited safety concerns due to deteriorating equipment and the use of bicycles in the park were contributing factors.
It wasn’t long before skateboard enthusiasts in Ocean City began a movement to have the park returned to the city.
City officials approved plans for a new skateboard facility in July. The project would include resurfaced shuffleboard courts, the addition of pickleball courts on Sixth Street and the repaving of a municipal parking lot.
The park will be a destination for families as well as those looking to hone and improve their skills.
“This will be a family activity more than a kid activity,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said by telephone during Thursday’s meeting. “We’re working on sponsorships, and we’re going to get aggressive on doing that.”