On Thursday, June 22nd, Vans opened its doors to the newest skatepark in its family. Over 500 people were in attendance for the private grand opening and a record 5,000 showed up over the weekend for the 59,000 square foot facility located in Milpitas, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hundreds of media, select industry VIPs, and professional skateboarders were in attendance to break in the new pools, coping, and rails, including Steve Caballero, John Cardiel, Willy Santos, Salman Agah, Tony Alva, Steve Alba, Jason Jessee, Poncho Moler, Justin Strubing, Craig Johnson, and pro snowboarder Travis Parker.
In addition, a special ribbon cutting ceremony was held that included presentations to the Mayor of Milpitas, as well as skatepark crew and designers. Steve Caballero also made an emotional presentation to Dave Brady, manager of the original Winchester Skatepark. One of the new Vans Skatepark pools is a replica of Winchester’s Washboard. Also, Vans’ own Steve Van Doren unveiled a large banner that was on display in memory of local San Jose pro skateboarder Tim Brauch, whose family was in attendance for the occasion.
“This is a very exciting moment for us,” said Steve Van Doren, Vans’ Vice President of Events and Promotions. “When we opened our first skatepark in Orange, we would never have guessed that we would be opening our fifth skatepark in less than two years. We would just like to thank all the skaters, pros, and industry members who have helped make these projects a huge success.”
A special celebration was held Friday, June 23rd to kick-off the grand opening for the public. Vans professional skateboarding athletes were on hand for autograph sessions and demos, and free pizza and drinks were served. The first 100 people through the door also received a free skatepark t-shirt from Vans.
Highlights of the park include; a professional pool with a five-foot deep square shallow end that drops to a twelve-foot deep round end, a pee-wee pool with a three-foot deep rectangular shallow end that drops to a five-foot deep Mickey Mouse-eared deep end, a replica of the Winchester washboard, a 40-foot wide competition halfpipe, a 48-foot wide mini-ramp with a slight hip and bowl, a 5,000-plus square-foot pee-wee street course, and a 15,000-plus square-foot intermediate and professional street course, complete with banks, ramps, ledges, and rails. The retail component includes a retail store that carries Vans’ skate, BMX, and snowboard footwear and apparel, as well as a complete pro shop that sells skate, BMX, snowboard, and wakeboard hardgoods and accessories.
Vans currently operates five skateparks in Orange, California, Bakersfield, California, Ontario, California, Woodbridge, Virginia, and now Milpitas, California. Each facility is unique in size, layout, and design of the parks’ skateable features and pools. The Vans Skatepark in Ontario, California also includes an indoor BMX street course and outdoor BMX dirt jumping area and the Woodbridge location is currently the world’s largest skatepark. Future Vans Skateparks are scheduled to open in Houston, Texas and Westminster, Colorado by the end of the year, with future skateparks planned for Detroit, Michigan, Orlando, Florida and Toronto, Canada.