The world’s largest skatepark and BMX facility is now open to the public as Vans kicked off its grand opening with a special private party and sneak preview thursday night. A surging crowd of over 500 professional athletes, media, and select industry VIPs eagerly awaited their chance to be among the first to ride the new facility. The 61,000 square foot facility is currently open for business at the Ontario Mills Shopping Center in Ontario, California and reflects Vans commitment to skateboarding, BMX, and the Core Sports lifestyle.

“Vans has done it again,” says Vans professional team skater Steve Caballero. “It’s unbelievable, Vans seems to keep building a better and better skatepark each time. I especially like riding the bowls, they’re so unique and smooth.”

A who’s who of professional riders were in attendance for the special evening, from world famous skaters Tony Hawk and son Riley Hawk, Geoff Rowley, Eric Koston, Mike Vallely, Rick Howard, and Bucky Lasek, to BMX’ers Christophe Leveque, Rick Thorne, Thomas Allier, Mike Escamilla, and Cory Nastazio to name just a few. Industry executives, media (including a live KTLA-TV broadcast), the Mayor of Ontario, City Council members and Vans executives and employees were also in attendance for the celebration. Guests enjoyed free food, drinks, and music compliments of Vans. One lucky attendee also won an all-expense paid trip for two to Vans High Cascade Snowboard Camp.

During the evening, a very special ribbon cutting presentation was made to the Mayor and City Council of Ontario where Vans presented a skateboarding trophy to thank them for their contribution to the biggest skateboard park in the world. The mayor then presented Vans with a declaration and welcome from the city.

“This park demonstrates our continued committment to the Core Sports lifestyle,” comments Gary Schoenfeld, Vans’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “This skatepark is now the biggest in the world and the only venue of its kind to combine skate and BMX in the same facility. We are very excited about this project, which represents another powerful step in becoming the premiere lifestyle brand for the youth market.”

Vans newest skatepark features a specially designed skating area unique to this skate park, as well as the most technically advanced indoor and outdoor BMX facility in the world. Highlights of the park include three in-ground cement pools, a 40 foot wide halfpipe, a 15,000 square foot outdoor BMX dirt-jumping course, and a separate street course area for pee-wee’s and beginners. Additional features include 40 foot tall ceilings, a mezzanine that stretches through the middle of the park and a GameWorks interactive area. 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.

“The sport of BMX riding is on the rise, and when we have a skatepark devoted to the sport that we can ride everyday, let’s just say that we’re gonna’ rip it up,” says Rick Thorne, Vans professional BMX rider.

A special celebration will be held Saturday, November 6 to kick-off the grand opening for the public. Vans professional skateboarding and BMX athletes will be on hand for autograph sessions and demos, and munchies and drinks will be provided. The first 100 people through the door will receive a gift from Vans.

The Vans Skatepark in Ontario is Vans’ third skatepark and one of five new skateparks currently slated to open. Future parks include facilities in the San Francisco Bay area, a suburb of Washington D.C. in Virginia, Orlando, Florida, Denver, Colorado, and Toronto, Canada.