Kick, push, kick, push; clunk, clunk, clunk. With the official opening of WJ Skatepark + Urban Plaza June 21, those are the noises that Eugeneans will be hearing a lot more of. And that is music to the ears of Jeremy Conant, the marketing director for Tactics, a Eugene-based skate, snow and surf shop, located just blocks from the new skatepark.
Conant says via email that the park is attracting a lot of attention across the Northwest, which is good for businesses in Eugene. Whether they are restaurants or skate shops, Conant says that businesses are feeling the impact of the park, and Tactics will be sure to seize the opportunity. “Once the park officially opens June 21, Tactics will begin a series [of] skate competitions that should attract skaters and spectators from outside Eugene, sometimes in large numbers,” Conant writes.
Conant says that because the business is private, it won’t release specific numbers, but business has been positively impacted by the nearby skatepark. “What’s really been exciting is the number of young people we’ve seen coming in with friends or a parent to buy their first board.” He adds, “It’s a great sport for promoting physical, outdoor play and building self-esteem. I think we can credit the new park and the excitement surrounding that with encouraging many more kids to give skateboarding a try.” As a Eugene-born-and-raised individual, Conant hasn’t seen anything like it.
When asked how many more customers he is seeing, Conant wouldn’t say. But he guarantees that the impact is not negative. “We’re certainly not disappointed with what we’re seeing so far,” Conant says.
The WJ Skatepark opens June 21 from 1 to 8 pm. Skaters and bikers ride the LTD for free to the park on opening day.