Ollie World Proves to be a popular addition to family fun center
Skateboarding is not often thought of as a family activity, but Tee’s Golf Center in Conshohocken, Penn., recently added Ollie World, an extreme skatepark, to its family entertainment complex which already included a driving range, a miniature golf course, and batting cages, bringing skateboarding into the loop.
The combination works for Larry Tornetta, the owner of Tee’s Golf Center, “Dad can hit golf balls while the kids go skating.”
Ollie World, located in west suburban Philadelphia, was added to Tee’s Golf Center last 2005 after Philadelphia hosted ESPN’s Summer X-games in 2001 and 2002. Tornetta says the games generated a lot of interest in skating, but there weren’t too many big skateparks in the area.
So Tee’s Center opened up the 30,000-square foot modular Street Park last 2005 to take advantage of the interest, and so far it seems to be worth it. Although Ollie World didn’t have the cooperation from Mother Nature when it first opened (it rained about 60 of the first 90 days it was open), Ollie World still accumulated over 1,000 names of users in its database. “When it rains you can’t skate,” Tornetta explains. “If the weather is nice, we’re busy.”
The Pennsylvania skatepark also allows inline skaters and BMX bikes as well and charges $5 for a two- hour session, or you can purchase a season pass for $399.
The park is located on a blacktop surface and is equipped with 20 modular ramps and jumps. No special permits were needed because they really didn’t do any construction. The frequent rains last fall did put a stop to a lot of construction projects, but Tee’s Golf Center already had the asphalt in place and the elements are all above ground, so it took only 30 days to put it together and open up.
After looking at the bids, Ollie World purchased its equipment from Skatewave, a subsidiary company of Landscape Structures Inc. from Minnesota. The park utilizes their modular elements built to service and handles blades and bikes.
The ramps and jumps are made of hot-rolled steel, which makes them strong enough to handle bikes, blades and the outdoors, yet light enough that they can easily be moved to change the layout or to clean the asphalt. The equipment also has a textured surface and a durable textured powder coat on the outside.
“The benefits of having this type of construction is that there are no screws or protrusions on the surface as there is with wood construction, and there are no sharp edges,” says Will Hemler of Skatewave.
“It lessens the risk by design,” Hemler says. “Skatewave has installed over 600 parks across the nation and has zero liability claims against the manufacturer.”
Currently, there are no federal regulations or guidelines on skatepark construction or design, so it is up to the skatepark owners and designers to keep safety in mind when designing and building a new skatepark.
The equipment requires no maintenance, but Skatewave gave Ollie World a 15-year warranty on the entire system.
Ollie World contains ramps and jumps that appeal to new skaters as well as advanced skaters. It also has lights for night use and a full concession stand so skaters can stay hydrated on hot summer days. There is always an attendant on duty as well.
Skatewave built a custom skatepark for Ollie World due to the fact that Ollie World is so big.
Skatewave uses the help of its California Design Center, which is made up of professional skateboarders who review all designs for functionality, skill level, and flow. They work to create parks that foster growth and remain challenging for the users.
Tornetta is happy with the results, “Skatewave is good, and they have a good product.”
Before you begin building a successful skatepark, you should do your homework. You have to decide who the users are going to be, you need an area to put it on, and a budget to work with.”It’s a challenge to design a skatepark within a limited budget that will accommodate bikes, boards and in-line.” Hemler explains. All would agree that Ollie World was a worthy cause.
With the popularity of skateboarding, adding a skatepark can be a beneficial addition to any family fun center. This will help all members of the family get involved in outdoor activities if one person doesn’t care for golfing or other sports.
“Ollie World is another part of our complex; it fits in and it works,” says Tornetta.
Ollie World at Tee’s Golf Center is a winning combination, as long as the Pennsylvania weather is good.