Big crowd ushers in Boise's new skatepark

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 20:08:16-04

After months of construction and anticipation, renovations at the new Rhodes Skatepark are now complete.

City leaders say they're confident the park will attract skaters to Boise from across the entire Northwest.

The new skatepark is already drawing attention from around the country and has already inspired the owners of an international skating and clothing company called Element to set up shop in the City of Trees.

Earlier this week, Six On Your Side reported exclusively that company leaders locked in their decision to move close to Rhodes Park.

The newly revamped skate park is the product of a $1.25 million donation from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertsons Foundation.

One of the speakers at the dedication says, "We have so many great memories here, and I'm looking forward to the new chapter of Rhodes."

Skaters who have already passed on were honored, and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter addressed the large crowd.

"We want you out and about and moving and doing things all around our city... whatever it is you love. And, if you love skateboarding this is a world-class facility for you for years to come," he says.

There wasn't much to the Rhodes Skatepark prior to the make-over that added several bowls, rails, and ramps.

Some couldn't wait for opening day to try it out.

"I skated it a few times before it was open and I love it," says Izaius Zalazar. "I'm going to be here too much."

Zalazar explains why he's been dedicated to the sport for that past three and a half years.

"It's just really rewarding when you're working so hard for a trick and then you finally get it," he says. "Sometimes you get bruised up and bloody but that's just part of it."

People from all over the Treasure Valley put on their skate shoes and showed up to ride Saturday.

An up and coming skater from Middleton is excited for the new skatepark that's being built in his hometown.

"It's just going to be a gamble every day," says 15-year-old Phillip Diaz. "I don't know which one I'm going to be coming to Rhodes or Middleton."

With plenty of skateboarding opportunities coming their way, many local skateboarders are grateful to those who've made it happen.

"I just want to thank the Grindline guys for distributing to this community. I'm just so glad they're down here now and they built this one and another one in Middleton," Diaz says. "I don't know if I could ask for anything else."

The official grand opening will be on August 6 with some special guests, including some professional skateboarders.