By Juliette Kapitan
Killington may soon be adding a skatepark to its growing list of non-winter season activities.
The proposal was put forth by Tucker Zink, general manager of Darkside Snowboards,and Jon Hough, who manufactures Dex Skateboards in Derry, N.H. Hough is currently working for Parker Construction ,Inc., where they are building a skatepark on Glen Road in West Lebanon.
Zink and Hough approached the Killington Board of Selectmen on June 7 to express their interest in building the skateboard park in Killington. When asked about the size and location of the park Zink responded that he “would like it to be on Killington Road where it would get considerable traffic, or on River Road near the current recreational facilities… the park would be between 10,000 and 20,000-square-feet.” According to Zink “there is a heavy local skateboard scene between Killington, Rutland and Ludlow but they are missing out on a venue for outside clientele — the same people that come here in the summers to use the mountain bike park. It would be a welcomed addition to the off-season business.”
It would also place Killington among the growing number of skateparks sweeping New England. These parks provide a safer and public-friendly setting that resembles the streets, stairs and structures of their urban playground, while eliminating the danger of being exposed to traffic and safety hazards.
Rutland’s Flipside Skatepark and Burlington’s newly constructed 40,000-square-feet Andy “A-Dog” Williams Skatepark that opened in 2015 and are just two of the popular parks in Vermont.
Selectboard members Chris Bianchi and Patty McGrath suggested that Zink and Hough speak with Killington Recreational Director Kim Peters to put a proposal together. Bianchi added, “Present it to the commission. If you can get them to support the idea, Kim Peters will work with you on the project.”
Zink was able to meet with Peters shortly after she returned from a vacation and the pair constructed a presentation that will be put in front of the Town of Killington Recreational Commission July 11 at 7 p.m. at the town offices.
In addition to the support from Peters, Zink believes they can incorporate skateboarding in to Killington’s Summer Rec. programs and camps. This would create positive exposure and continue to grow the sport in the Killington area.
Funding for the proposed park would range from $80,000 to $100,000 would come from grants like The Tony Hawk Foundation that provides up to $25,000 to projects, that according to their website, “can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment to the project, particularly in the form of fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups” and “don’t charge an entrance fee.”
Community fundraising will also contribute to paying for the construction of the park. Darkside-sponsored skating and snowboarding events, donated art shows and silent auctions are among the organizers leading ideas. Zink also plans to reach out to Killington Resort and Powder Corp. to see if they would be able to assist in raising the money needed to complete the project.
The exact location may pose a challenge, “there is just not as much land available out there as I originally thought.” Zink commented. “One location we had in mind on River Road is state-owned, but I am positive we will find the right spot.”
Backed by the steady support of the community and confident his project will move forward, Zink added, “Any and all attendance at the July 11 meeting in support of the project would be extremely helpful. If anyone has land or ideas for land that would also be helpful.”
Zink plans to include public input for park design and fundraising once the project is approved.