Celestial Skate Park gives skaters, bikers a break from the heat
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Tucson's first indoor skate park opens to high acclaim
For Tucson community skate boarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders, finding a place to ride has always been difficult.
With Saturday's opening of the Celestial Skate Park, 847 N. Stone Ave., they now have a central place to go - complete with ramps, music and a host of other benefits.
"It's awesome. It's been so long since we've had something like this," said University of Arizona aeronautical engineering freshman Barry Gibbs.
The park was the brain-child of owner Ross Cole and manager Will Bissell, who both wanted to give Tucson residents a chance to have fun out of the heat.
"It's something we've been trying to do for the past two or three years," Bissell said. "We're tired of having to go to other cities and using their private parks."
Celestial Skate Park hours are broken down into three increments. Three separate three-hour sessions are allotted to BMX, in-line skaters and skate boarders, respectively.
Year-long memberships cost $100. Members pay $4 to enter, while non-members pay $7 on weekdays, and $9 on weekends.
Gibbs said the price is one of the most attractive elements of Celestial, as it has been a hindrance to skating at other locations.
"You can't beat the price. You go anywhere else, and it is two or three times this price," he said.
Bissell said safety is also a big concern, and Celestial has implemented certain rules designed to protect skaters and bikers.
"The course is fully monitored, and protective gear is required," he said. "Helmets, elbow pads and knee pads can be rented for $1 per pair."
Participants are also required to sign a waiver that puts all liability on the skater or biker. Parents also have to sign for their children to use the park.
The other rules are very simple. No fighting, smoking, drug use or reckless behavior is allowed in the building.
Beyond that, the skate park will benefit many Tucson skaters and bikers.
"It'll give us a chance to expand in our sports, whether it's skateboarding, rollerblading or BMX," Gibbs said. "It's new and better than anything else in Tucson."