Skateboard park ready to take all comers Saturday |

Skateboard park ready to take all comers Saturday

Tim Mutrie

Local youths who spent the summer and fall clinging to the chain-link fence and peering in at the construction of the Aspen skateboarding park will finally get their chance to skate the concrete playground this Saturday.

The Rio Grande Skateboard Park, already dubbed one of Colorado’s best and among the country’s most unique, opens at 8 a.m. Saturday.

While the weather remains favorable for skating – that is, until the park gets blanketed with snow – the park will be open for use from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

“If the weather’s nice, it’s going to be crowded Saturday,” predicted Chad Denning, youth supervisor with the Aspen Recreation Department.

Though the park is not completely finished, all the concrete features of the park, such as the street/mini bowl, the pee wee bowl and the big bowl, are ready to roll.

“The landscaping still needs to be completed, as well as some fencing around the park, and that will be done this spring,” Denning said. “But it’s skateable, and we wanted the locals to go ahead and get a taste of the goodness. The locals are ready; they’re beyond ready.”

“We didn’t want to hold up opening the park anymore,” added Scott Chism, project manager of the skate park with the Aspen Parks Department. “We want to make sure it’s available to skate because everyone’s getting really anxious.”

The Rio Grande Skateboard Park – located at the east end of Rio Grande Park in Aspen, across the street from the Aspen Youth Center – will be an unmanned park. However, skaters must adhere to a set of rules that will be posted at the park. Regulations require that skaters wear protective gear, such as helmets and pads, and prohibit the use of bikes and scooters in the skate park.

“It’s an unmanned park, so liability rests upon the skater,” Denning added. “It’s skate-at-your-own-risk.”

The Aspen Police Department will enforce the rules of the park, Denning said.

An official grand opening for the skate park will be held when the snow melts in the spring, he added.

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