Rhodes Skate Park helps revitalize surrounding area

It's been about a year since the park opened after a major remodel.

BOISE - In just under a year, the makeover of Rhodes Park in downtown Boise has attracted hundreds of skateboarders from all across the country. The park is also about to receive some national attention with an X Games qualifying event.

With more people coming into the area, it's helping to give the area a fresh start.

"Revitalized the whole area for sure," skateboarder Justin Washam said.

Washam has been coming to Rhodes Park, both the old and new, for the past 10 years.

"It's night and day difference," Washam said.

A difference that not only includes new rails, boxes, or bowls, but also people.

"A busy day at old Rhodes would be 10, maybe 20 dudes at the max. Now, a hundred kids is not like a rare sight for a weekend here," Washam said.

Since the reopening of Rhodes Skate Park in April of 2016, skateboard company Element has moved in next door, lights have been placed above the park, new art under the Connector overpass, and a parkour training course has been added.

"There's hundreds of us in the valley that practice, so for us to have a place like this, it's almost an honor," parkourist Jake Blow said.

In parkour, a runner may climb, run, swing, vault, jump, roll, or use any other movement suitable for their situation. Runners try to get from one place to another in the fastest and most efficient way possible. The course at Rhodes Park is one of only two, Blow says, in the United States.

"People are going to come from everywhere to come check this out. This is huge," Blow said. A new attraction that helps turn this area into more than just a skate park.

"It has done what we were hoping it was going to do. We just didn't know it was going to do it quite as quickly as it has," Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.

A park that now stretches from 15th Street to 16th Street.

"It's been really, really fun to just see this evolution of how this park that's already being used is now being used better," said Laura Martin, an employee at Foerstel Design, which is across the street.

A $1.3 million renovation, businesses saw helps turn this area into a hub.

"We're kind of on the outside of that inner-city part. Now, it feels like we're being more and more incorporated into downtown Boise," Martin said.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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