The Rio Grande skate park is the most widely used single-park feature in Aspen’s park system.
Before the Aspen City Council today is a request for $25,000 to study the expansion of the park, which was approved in the 2013 budget. The project will feature a street-skate section with stair sets, rails, ramps and boxes, and it will occupy portions of the adjacent basketball court.
Team Pain Enterprises has created a conceptual design for the street-skate section and will gather input from local skaters this spring. Pending council approval, construction — which is expected to cost $150,000 — will start in August 2014 and will continue into the fall.
Team Pain has constructed more than 50 parks throughout the country, including the original work done at Rio Grande. The company’s parks can be seen all over Colorado, Florida, various Midwestern states and the country of Belgium.
“Their proposal was definitely the one,” said Parks Department manager Scott Chism, who reviewed four other bids with his office. “They definitely have a well-established track record, especially here in Colorado. They’ve got kind of a good niche.”
Team Pain’s locations in Colorado include Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Colorado Springs, Arvada and Broomfield, among others.
Chism said August is the best time for construction because it will reduce impact on the Theatre Aspen performance season.
The Rio Grande skate park was built in 2000 and is consistently filled throughout the spring, summer and fall. Because of its popularity, it often becomes overcrowded.
The existing park was built after heavy input from local skaters, and a similar process is expected with the expansion. Similar discussions took place in 2006, during the development of the Rio Grande Recycle Center and Obermeyer place, and the expansion has been included in planning for Rio Grande Park since 2004.
“We’ve got lots of ways in which to gather community input,” Chism said. “We’ll probably be spending time in the skate shops” and engaging audiences through social media.