A needed and overdue skate park is being built on Panama City Beach and is set to open in the next two weeks.
Brian Kehl, local developer and restaurant owner had a vision and wanted a place for not only him and his 7 year old, but a place for local talent to skate ramp.
Growing up, Brian had a 9 foot vert ramp in his back yard that him and his brother Corey would skate after school and on weekends. With the only place to skate ramp around here being in Lynn Haven at Renegade Sports Center, Brian wanted something that was not only closer, but a place that would be taken more seriously as a skate park.
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With a wide variety of ramps and transitions, the park has obstacles for all skill levels. He said when building it, he was trying to keep it fairly simple to better accommodate the local talent, but when some local skaters were asked to test some of the ramps out a few weeks ago, Brian was surprised at how skillful some of the locals were and decided to make some of the ramps a little more challenging. Apparently some of the local skaters actually travel to Tallahassee and beyond to find decent skate accomodations.
The county has around $80,000 into the materials used to build the new skate park. When Brian was trying to persuade the county to allow him to build the park he expressed his willingness to match the county in costs, but Commissioner Mike Thomas used the funds appropriated to him from county impact fees for improvements in his district and help arrange the use of the land. Brian said in doing his research, he would estimate that by doing the building himself, he provided the county a skate park for $80,000 that could have normally cost over $230,000 for a “ramp-building” company to build.
The location is on the elbow shaped cut-through behind the former Wayne’s World RV Center off of Thomas Drive, down from Mad Hatter Muffler.
One of the unique features about this skate park is the materials used. Skatelite is a ramp surface specifically made for this purpose. The cost of this material alone was around $15,000, but it will ensure that the ramp surfaces will last longer and the ride quality is better.
The park is expected to be open in two weeks.
Happy skating – and be safe.Print Story