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Cape Coral Living Magazine

Eagle Skate Park 'Very Popular' After Reconstruction

Apr 05, 2018 05:11PM ● By Kevin
Eagle Skate Park, located adjacent to the William "Bill" Austin Youth Center, is one of the largest skate facilities from Tampa to Miami and features nearly 27,000 square feet of ramps, rails and pipes. The park held its grand opening on Dec. 2, 2017, and now offers extreme fun for skateboard, scooters, and bike enthusiasts, alike.

"It's fairly new and very different than before," said recreation specialist and skate park supervisor Eduardo Ruiz. "It has been very popular so far."

All ages are welcome with general admission of $5 per session. Helmets and parental/legal guardian consent is required prior to admission. The park also has picnic tables and concessions for sale, as well as an 1,800-watt Bose sound system, an 800-square-foot covered pavilion area, experienced skate attendants, and public restrooms.

The project began four years ago. Ruiz, who was just starting at Cape Coral's Parks & Recreation Department was tasked to find out from the skaters what they wanted to make better about the existing park. After completing his interviews, Ruiz went back to his supervisors and told them the general consensus was that skaters wanted new ramps.

"The old ramps were 10 years old and beyond their useful life span," said youth center supervisor Mark Cagle. "The new ramps were funded in our budget and will be off set with revenues generated by the park. The new ramps replaced the old and eliminated thousands in maintenance costs per year."

The American Ramp Company was contracted to design the ramps. Representatives even flew down to meet with skaters to fine tune the design. The ramps purchase followed normal capital expenditure budgeting, Cagle said.

It took four months to build the park. Construction began in August 2017. The old park was to be demolished in favor of the new ramps. Hurricane Irma affected the timeline a bit, but when it was all said and done, the park was ready to be reopened at the beginning of December.

"At our grand opening, the mayor came and cut the ribbon," Ruiz said. "We had about 150 people - skaters, scooters and bikers. It was pretty crowded."

Since then, it hasn't taken a lot of effort to increase the popularity of the park. Ruiz reported word of mouth alone has been amazing, coupled with some promoting on social media and special events.

"We've held contests for scooters, bikers and skateboarding," he said. "We've posted videos of some of the bikers and skaters that have been with sponsors before that come to enjoy the park.

"They bring a lot of friends with them. The kids have been talking to some of their friends saying the new park is great, so they're bringing more people. We do special events like 50 percent off, free giveaway days, just some promotions to bring them back. It's been very popular."

The park is open Monday through Thursday, from 3 to 8:45 p.m., Friday from 3 to 9:45 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., followed by extended sessions for an additional $3 from 6 to 9 p.m. ($8 for both sessions on Sunday).

The park also accommodates Exciting After School Games & Lessons in Exercise & Skateboarding (E.A.G.L.E.S.), after school. Students ages 8 and older will enjoy this after-school program, Monday through Friday, from 2 to 6 p.m. during the regular school schedule.

Many local schools bus for free to the Youth Center. Students are fully supervised. There will be homework assistance, group games and recreational activities available. E.A.G.L.E.S. is $30 per week, but space is limited.

"It's been amazing seeing the kids enjoy the park, staying out of the street and enjoying safely with their family and friends," Ruiz said. "It keeps them from going around and getting in trouble. I'm very happy to have been a part of the renovation and helping the kids enjoy life. It's a great park."

For more information, visit the park's website, Like it on Facebook, or call 239-574-0490.

Eagle Skate Park Promotional Video

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