Horsepower

“We think a lot of it has to do with a learning curve — that people were learning the ins and outs of the park and tried things they shouldn’t have. Plus, more people are using helmets,” says Heitz.

The Extreme Park is separated into two general levels of difficulty. Heitz says planning is the most important aspect of skatepark design — from transitions to integrity of construction.

The Extreme Park’s first season saw two major events, one on opening day 2002 and one in early July that featured Tony Hawk. Each event brought in 4,000 to 10,000 attendees. Though a small fee was charged to vendors at the event (and none to attendees), Jason Cissell, public information officer for Louisville Metro Parks, says the overall benefit to the community is the goal, rather than the revenue itself.

Two large events are planned this year. Louisville expects the culmination of its already world-class events (such as the Kentucky Derby), AAA baseball, museums, Riverfront Park, more restaurants and other amenities, plus the Extreme Park to give the city even more prominence as a tourist destination.

There are no current plans to do any programming at the park, such as skills camps, but it’s not out of the question. Cissell says they want to be careful about over programming the park. It’s so popular now it would be difficult to find a good slot to schedule any programming.

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