Newport Skatepark – 2,000 Sq. Ft Addition

The new 2,000 sq foot addition to the City of Newport’s skatepark completed by Dreamland Skateparks was celebrated with a beautiful day, amazing riding, prizes, and food. The video in this post features  Spencer Nebel, City Manager and Danielle Scott owner of Dreamland. I am thankful for their comments about the collaboration to support the new build.  

This video was pretty textbook. I got lucky and grabbed Spencer as he was leaving the park. And, Danielle Scott was willing to provide some details. “Andy 360” must have tried the loop 15 times before he nailed it. Skaters work hard for their skills. Well earned Andy!

The video also illustrates the synergy and desirable outcome for our park on a given day. I do not know if there are numbers for how often it’s used. Prior to the expansion, my own experience has revealed that both locals and tourists use the park. Since the expansion, my conversations with the park’s frequent flyers have said that use is up considerably. The influx of visitors to cities like Newport may support the argument for such investments. We are a tourist community. Some families may simply choose a city that has such assets over those that do not. And, communities that have such assets may increase the stay length compared to communities that do not have a variety of recreational activities to choose from.

In retrospect, the unification of energy to pull off the addition exemplifies what’s desirable when dedicating public funds to such infrastructure. I have not inquired about numbers to the City or Dreamland. I should do that.  The data would be interesting to know.  My casual conversations lead me to believe that the new addition is the result of donations, corporate sponsorship of sorts from Rogue, City funding and some old-school fundraising.  There may have been grant money…

As a rider – both skating and biking – I can testify to using the park on a semi-regular basis. It’s one of my go to spots during lunch break. Google Maps says it’s .6 miles from my office cubicle.  As a sit/stand office worker I make it a point to move my body at lunch.  “Sitting is the new smoking.” Desk jockeys benefit from exercise more so than our cohorts who actually use their bodies for work.

My dude. I had dreams of producing a little skating prodigy. I imagined an early companion too soon, perhaps. Did I start him to early? It was worth giving it a shot. Funny how their peers are ultimately more influential. He’s with the program now. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. I admire his persistence. We bought a helmet too, btw.

To my surprise, the re-grand opening had a special turn of events for both me and my son. It Inspired him to begin skating. It was also an affirmation that building community infrastructure to support action sports such as skating has the benefit of encouraging new discoveries for athletes young and old.

On the way to the re grand opening I reminded Reed that our mission needed the inclusion of video documentation. On occasion, the documentary process gets a little tiresome for my handsome lad. I thought it fair to give him a disclaimer that I would be up to my usual antics.  I mentioned that there was going be food, beverage, possible prizes and likely a few of his friends. Reed assured me that “None of his friends will be there.” “How can you be certain?”, I asked. He couldn’t articulate and became frustrated at my additional inquiries. “Is it just a gut feeling?”, I asked. “Yeah, Dad.”

Within minutes of arrival Reed asked to go play with a friend. It turned out, that friend, an inexperienced skater, encouraged him to ride. They practiced and watched the other skaters during their blitzkrieg on the fresh concrete.  For the next two weeks, he asked that we ride, every day. Every day. I was so stoked! I had wrapped his little body in padding when he was 4 and he reluctantly gave it a shot. He never desired to ride again, however. I let it go. Not his thing, I thought. I ride a lot. But, over the years I’ve often carved out time to do that, without him. So, this was full circle for us.  My hope is that the joy I experience from this hobby and sport might be something we can continue to share.

Rogue has been a big supporter for both the Newport Skatepark and Dreamland Skateparks. They also produce a signature Dreamland Lager. Are we lucky or what?! Right the $#@$ on Rogue!

So, the question of weather or not there is justifiable ROI to the community, the non skateboarding community, is one that is in contention for some.  How we equitably determine which shared assets are worth our investment? Our skateboard park, our pool, our various other parks, our roads, police, emergency services and so on.  Not everyone agrees all of the time and such is politics, government and questions of subsidy.   

Again, I don’t have specific number for the Newport park 2,000 sq. ft addition. If and when I get this data – I’ll post the update here. Estimates by the Tony Hawk Foundation suggest the “National Average Skatepark Cost per square foot: $22.10” These numbers and actual use numbers would certainly facilitate improved evaluation for this investment and future investments In our communities.

The Argument for Skate Parks

Public Skatepark Development Guide
Resource for advocates and planners seeking information about public skateparks. If you’re working on a public skatepark project.

Lunch break. When I was growing up local concrete parks were not the norm. As a 49 year old it is taking some time as a skater and biker to learn to flow and get comfortable letting centrifugal force carry one through the transitions. Both exciting and/or scary depending on how you frame the experience.

Tony Hawk Foundation
The Tony Hawk Foundation fosters lasting improvements in society with an emphasis on supporting youth in low-income communities through skateboarding programs and the creation of skateparks.

Ride the Dirt Wave

Next regional meeting (TBD). Next NEWTS local meeting (TBD).

“Ride the Dirt Wave – The Oregon Coast as Premier Mountain Biking Destination” was a breakout strategy and brainstorming session at the 2019 People’s Coast Summit. The event is organized and hosted by OCVA – Oregon Coast Visitors Association.

Gabriel Amadeus Tiller one of the sessions moderators summed up the goals of the meeting: Working towards a unified coastal mountain biking recreation destination. How can the different trails coexist and craft a full Oregon Coast experience? How do groups that are geographically hundreds of miles apart work together?”  (Check out this PDF from the meeting)

My plan is to take this concept and vision back to our local trail building organization (NEWTS) Newport Trail Stewards. As the NEWTS move closer boots on the ground trail work in Newport we need to ask ourselves if and how we fit into the regional picture. Do we want to identify Newport’s trails as one of many trails people would choose to experience as they explore the Oregon Coast? And, what exactly will those trails look like?

In Lincoln County and Newport we’ve got a lot of work to do.  But, we have a blank canvas – that’s exciting! How will we shape and implement our future?

Next steps? Would you like to build local trails and/or participate in the regional discussions? Attend a NEWT meeting or social.
( and on Facebook (

OCVA will be hosting another meeting to continue the regional discussion. I’ll post that here and on NEWTS Facebook.

In the video above…  Moderators/Presenters: Gabriel Amadeus Tiller, Co-founder of Limberlost, Gabriel Amadeus – Creative Strategy, Oregon Timber Trail Project Manager.  Harry Dalgaard, Director, Regional Cooperative Tourism Program Travel Oregon and Vice President, Timber Trail Alliance

If you are interested in being part of this concept – I will continue to post about it on Ocean18.  I imagine OCVA will develop a resource page at some point (  You can contact their Coastal Detestation Coordinator – Jesse Donlin – as well.

Interested in how OCVA fits into the bigger picture as a regional tourism partner.  I interviewed Jesse recently.