Vans Expands Skatepark Program

After announcing plans for four new skateparks to be built around the United States and Canada, Vans has begun construction on two additional California facilities. The first Vans Skatepark opened in Orange, California last November. The Bakersfield park, in California’s Central Valley, will open August 1, and the Milpitas park, in the Bay Area, should be operational before the end of the year.

Both parks will be over 40,000 square feet, and their designs will emphasize street skating. In a press release, Vans President and CEO Gary Schoenfeld said, “The Orange County park continues to outperform our expectations and has us very excited about these new facilities, along with the ones slated for next spring and summer in the Washington, D.C. area and Orlando, Florida.”

The Bakersfield Vans Skatepark is to be the largest in the world. Located at 3737 Rosedale Highway in Bakersfield, California, the 59,000-square-foot facility will include a 30,000-square-foot indoor street course, an intermediate and professional in-ground cement pool, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor street course, a 48-foot-wide mini ramp, a 48-foot-wide vert ramp, a pee-wee street course and bowl for beginners, as well as an on-site Vans retail store. The park is being designed and constructed by Rick Carje, Barrett “Chicken” Deck, Rob-O Ramps, L.L.C., and Brookstone Construction.

“Each skate park is a little different as we are recreating famous skateboarding bowls of the past, and improving upon them so they’re not lost forever,” says designer Rick Carje. “What I like about this skatepark is that we have more room to work with, allowing us more creative freedom in the layout and design of the park. We learn something each time we build a new park, and they keep getting better and better.”

In addition to building its own skatepark, Vans has donated 5,000 dollars to the Bakersfield City Council to use toward the completion of a free public skatepark, which is scheduled to open January 1, 2000, according to Bakersfield City Council members.