CASPER, Wyo. — The Youth Empowerment Council discussed their idea for an indoor skate park during their Thursday, April 18 meeting.
They discussed what next efforts they would need to make to bring the indoor skate park to fruition. YEC Coordinator Brittlyn Bulgrin said that the first thing they should focus on is coming up with a slogan and perhaps a logo for their skate park campaign.
Genna Pickett with LMTD Skateboards and Kyle Gamroth with Elevate Wyoming attended the YEC meeting to share some ideas as to how the YEC members could work on their proposal moving forward.
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Pickett said that June 21 is “Go Skateboarding Day.” She told the YEC that they could organize a fundraiser and skate event on that day. But in order for that to occur, they’d need to start getting a more detailed proposal together and have a slogan and/or logo to help spread the word about their idea.
Pickett said that she and LMTD Skateboards will strongly support the YEC’s efforts so long as students take the initiative.
“We would be the only indoor skate park within 500-600 miles,” she said. “Wouldn’t that be cool? The first indoor skate park in Wyoming.”
“You guys are the ground breakers,” Pickett added. “Anything you need from me you just have to talk to me and let me know.”
Gamroth said that Elevate Wyoming could help YEC members hash out a detailed business strategy for their proposal.
“I love the idea of an indoor skate park,” Gamroth told the YEC. “We’re partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to offer a ‘Junior Achievement Be Entrepreneurial’ program.”
At least two YEC members said they’ll participate in the free program Gamroth was referring to.
“Learn the elements of successful business start-up from market needs analysis to idea development, from evaluating competitive advantages to creating a business plan,” a flyer for the program reads. “Students will present their start-up ideas to a local ‘Shark Tank’ and the finalist will have the opportunity to launch their business!”
Gamroth said that the program would feature eight weekly sessions beginning in September. He said he thought it could be a good way for the YEC to ensure they have a concrete plan and proposal moving forward.
“I think this would be an awesome thing for Casper,” Gamroth said. “I think it is possible for sure.”
After hearing Pickett and Gamroth’s suggestions, YEC members started to share some thoughts they had on the proposal. One student drew up a logo idea and passed it around for the group to consider.
Another member said she could come up with some art as well, and the other members said they’d come up with some slogan ideas.
A Roosevelt student who attended the meeting said that he and his friend have been envisioning different aspects of the possible skate park.
“We talked about the layout of the interior,” he said. “Not a lot of people use the bowl [at the outdoor skate park]. I feel like it would be a waste of space if no one used the bowl.”
“It would be cool of we had some graffiti artists come in and do the art,” he added. “We also talked about who would be running it.”
He and others said they thought it would be best if the indoor skate park was staffed as much as possible by youth. They also said that they thought the skate park would be for more than just skaters, and could act as a kind of youth community center.
Bulgrin suggested that the YEC could potentially hold their meetings at the skate park should it become a reality.
“We could have something that says we welcome all people into the skate park,” one YEC member said.
One small sticking point arose as they discussed what type of material they’d like to see used to make skate park equipment. While the Roosevelt student who’d been thinking a lot about the layout of the skate park initially said that he thought it should be open for anyone to use, Pickett pointed out that the metal from scooters can be really hard on concrete ramps and half-pipes.
“The scooters chip the concrete,” she said. “One half-pipe can cost $26,000.”
Another YEC member said they could consider using equipment made out of steel, but another member pointed out that the steel surfaces can be too slick for skateboarders and roller bladers.
These are the kind of details that the YEC said it will work to figure out as they move forward. They’re planning to devote some time each week to discussing the idea.
Pickett also floated the idea of holding a skate competition to raise funds and awareness for the campaign. She said that skateboarders from across the state would be likely to attend.
“I believe that the youth are our future and our voice,” she said.
Bulgrin added that the YEC could set up monthly meetings at the outdoor skate park in order to keep the discussion going.
“We do need more youth involvement,” she said. “Tell all of your friends.”