Turn the earthquake damaged Founders Theatre in Hamilton into an Indoor Skate / BMX Park!

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Turn the earthquake damaged Founders Theatre in Hamilton into an Indoor Skate / Scooter / BMX Park!

Between 1998 and 2008, skateboarding was the fastest growing sport, increasing from 5.8 million to 10.1 million, according to a report published on the National Sporting Goods Association website.  With such an increase in participation, an indoor skate park opening is a smart decision to capitalize on growing popularity of the sport.

The biggest obstacle in terms of success of a skatepark is weather dependency.  Hamilton is known for unpredictable weather, - this is why Hamilton should have an indoor skatepark.  Being indoor and covered could also mean it could run safely to 10pm at night with indoor lighting.  

An indoor skate facility would create a SAFE SPACE in the Hamilton CBD where positive attitudes could be developed and include likeminded people to inhabit that environment and deter disruptive people away.  The skatepark would also bring people back into the CBD which is in need of a vibrant drawcard to bring shoppers and tourists back into the city where it currently is a ghost-town!  The CBD is not what it used to be and Founders Theatre is currently an open space that is being wasted and not being used.  Demolish the unsafe earthquake empty building and build a new indoor skatepark.  It’s as simple as that!

New Zealand could be losing out on skateboarding glory in the Olympics as our best talent head overseas for more support.  Skateboarding was included as one of five new sports in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  Local Council need to start being proactive, as riders in NZ have the skill but local council need to be able to accommodate with sporting venues to assist the skateboard community where NZ invests in many other sporting venues but skateboarding is currently absent from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) funding list.  Other governments around the world had stepped up to the challenge and put support around riders. New Zealand need to step up and do the same.  I believe Hamilton’s location being the middle of the North Island is a perfect candidate making it easy for surrounding cities to travel to this indoor skatepark on a bad weather day at least they can still get their practise in.

Extra profit: a cafe could be situated inside the Skatepark for parents / caregivers and also for the skaters / scooter riders and anyone else on wheels to get a cold or hot drink and a bite to eat!

Keeping the indoor skatepark profitable: inside the same building will have a shop incorporated into the skatepark that offers both sales and service of skateboards and scooters and parts. This turns the park into a one-stop location for skateboarders, scooter riders where they are able to handle all of their skateboarding / scooter needs. The indoor park also generate extra income from the sales and service costs.

Memberships: special membership will be offered with pricing for a specific period to make money upfront and to encourage regular visits from customers.  For example, offer one-month, three-month or six-month memberships at varying price levels.  Another option is a punch loyaltycard for a slightly discounted rate over the price customers would pay for one-time visits.

The skatepark building would be owned, operated and staffed by Hamilton City Council.

For those worried about Founder Theatre?Founders Theatre is currently not being used. The building was earthquake damaged.  The new Founders Theatre has been moved to downtown CBD and is expected to cost $72.9 millions of Hamilton rate payers money to seat 1100 people in a Founders Theatre  - around $12m of that is contingency funding - with costs would be shared between local councils, donors and central government.  It's on "the most stunning site in Hamilton City", current Mayor Andrew King said.  

Because the old Founders Theatre building is not safe - it has to be destroyed anyway.  Perfect time after being knocked down to design and build an indoor skatepark.

I believe an indoor paid skate park could become an iconic attraction and APPEAL for the city of families, children and the youth in Hamilton of all ages.

A skatepark is a great community service.  The hobby and sport is VERY positive for youth.  It encourages physical activity, creativity, social behaviour and develops awesome personal attitudes of commitment, determination and perseverance, among many others. That’s why a managed and operated facility is really important.

I feel giving these kids a safe place to go and watching them learn tricks, and grow would be the main driving force with keeping the park successful.

Design could be similar to Ramp1, England located between Liverpool and Manchester, being an indoor skate paradise with plenty to keep one occupied on a rainy day.  With everything from a huge landing mat to a 112-foot bowl, the park has something for everyone.

This all-weather indoor skatepark would also generate jobs in the area for students close by at Wintec who could be able to work in the skatepark Cafe / Restaurant and at the skatepark itself... 

Imagine if we could protect the heritage of the old Founders Theatre for our children and youth in an all-weather all-age and all-culture diversity place of welcome where they could socialise safely giving our young people a supervised and SAFE place to enjoy activity and at the same time reduce youth delinquency!  Also ensuring the building is safe for our next generation.  I grew up going to Founders Theatre so I would love it if our children can say the same thing in the future..

• BMX indoor park seperate building 
• skateboarding indoor park 
• scooter indoor park
• skates / roller blading indoor park