Van Der Geest building sold, Indoor Skatepark on the horizon
A building which once served as headquarters for Van Der Geest Dairy Cattle Inc. for nearly half a century, will soon become home to a new indoor skatepark and pro shop, thanks to the efforts of local businessman Max Zelich.
As Zelich explains, purchase of the building-located at 1307 E. Main Street- was finalized as of Oct. 1 and the idea to repurpose the building for a skate park was born, following a conversation with his wife Brianna.
“I had heard by word of mouth the building was up for sale but wasn’t on the market. I was interested in the building as I was looking at starting another business. When discussing the idea with my wife, we brainstormed the idea of turning it into an indoor skate park and pro shop. Skateboarding is something I’ve enjoyed since I was little and building my own park was something I had always wanted to do in my youth,”
“I know there is nothing like this in the immediate area, in fact I think the nearest indoor skate park is at least a few hours away. The time was right so I decided to go for it,” he adds.
Work on bringing the skate park idea to fruition began immediately following the sale and as of last week, several skateboarding ramps are already near completion. Plans call for the entire 2,500 square foot area which once housed equipment and fleet vehicles for the cattle business, to be used for the park; featuring various ramps, rails, ledges and a mini-ramp.
The office area near the East Main Street entrance will house the pro shop and clothing store; featuring popular brands in the skating industry including Nike, Volcom and Vanns.
In addition to offering a year-round, 7-day a week option for local enthusiasts to visit and enjoy, Zelich has plans for community networking to help promote his new endeavor.
“I would be interested in discussions with MAPS administration on the possibility of forming a local competitive skating team. Another idea I have is the possibility of bringing in students as part of the school-to-work program,” he explains.
“I feel this would be an excellent opportunity for students to not only come in and possibly work at the shop or compete, but also just get to first-hand exposure to the sport and maybe discover a new hobby.”
If all goes as planned, the new skate park could be open as early as the first of the year and the pro shop perhaps even sooner.
“We are shooting for the middle or the end of December for the pro shop and clothing store,” Zelich said. “We have everything in place for it, now it’s just a matter of placing orders and stocking everything. I would like to have the park open to the public by January 1.”
For more information, Max Zelich can be reached at (715) 218-5400.