Sunday, June 1, 2003

N.Ky. skatepark opens


20,000 square feet of ramps and rails

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - Skaters are a devoted bunch. Hundreds of them - and bikers too - braved cloudy, wet weather Saturday for the grand opening of the Florence/Boone County Skatepark at Ky. 18 and Ewing Boulevard. Most bore the tell-tale scabbed knees and scarred elbows of the faithful skater.

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Gary Woodrum of Newport makes his way around the new Florence/Boone County Skate Park.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
The park is a boon for the area because it allows anyone, provided they have wheels, to take advantage of the facility's concrete corners, curves and slopes. That includes scooters, skateboards, BMX bikes - even wheelchairs.

Many previously traveled as far as Louisville for something similar.

"Anywhere that's free and you won't get in trouble for skating is pretty cool," said Todd Burgess, 43, of Lebanon.

The diehards found a few problems. The concrete is uneven in a few corners and one quarter pipe isn't level. But the $1 million park, which boasts a street plaza with rails, ramps and a bowl, still received rave reviews from many.

"For everything you can do here, it's pretty awesome," said Brandon Niehaus, 16, of Colerain Township.

But even with 20,000 squarefeet of new concrete right here, some will continue to travel for the sport they love.

"Nowhere is too far to skate," said Beanie Rostron, 31, of Mount Healthy, before dipping back into the bowl on his tattered board.

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com





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