Half million dollar skate park is empty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Half million dollar skate park is empty

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The City of Albany's half million dollar skate park is empty.

Albany Tomorrow Incorporated used to be in charge of it, but ATI doesn't exist anymore.

City leaders realized too late that the deal with an outside manager ended. They are working to reopen the park.

These skaters and bikers have some pretty good moves, but say they have nowhere in town to perfect them.

"We had no idea the park was closing," said Demarcus Paul, Biker.

The park on East Oglethorpe many of them have used for years closed the first week in January.

"Albany spent a lot of money on that skate park," said Daron Sloan, Skater.

Now they're protesting at Ray Charles Plaza.

On Friday we caught up with the old owner as he was moving out.

He relocated to Arkansas and turned the business over to his son, business wasn't steady.

"My son felt for the sake of his family it'll be best if he let it go," Said Thomas Hale, Former Skate Park Owner.

The City of Albany is looking for another operator.

"We've had several individuals contact us we're also giving consideration to operating the park ourselves," said Wes Smith, Assistant City Manager.

City leaders say attendance is also a concern.

"Attendance is not that high because a lot of people don't want to pay to skate, they're free parks in nearby cities," said Sloan.

Finding another outside operator could take a month or more.

The city may open the park on the weekends with city staff in the meantime.

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