MIDDLETOWN -- Tom Nicastro sometimes drives to Newport, Ocean City, Md., or farther to take his son Dalton, 10, to skateboard
That is why father and son were happy to hear Tuesday that Middletown soon will get an indoor skate park, the first such
facility in the state.
"I think it's going to be better than this," Dalton said as he skated alone at the small outdoor skate park at Middletown's
Silver Lake Park. "There aren't a lot of ramps here."
Town Council on Monday approved Jason Grygo's plans to open Gyro's SkatePark in an 11,300-square-foot building in the
Middletown-Levels Business Park on Patriot Drive. Grygo hopes to open in June.
The park's design includes half-pipes, wall rides, grind rails, quarter pipes, wedges and spine ramps. The park will
welcome in-line skaters, skateboarders, BMX bikers, mountain bikers and those with scooters.
"It's a perfect location," Grygo said of Middletown, where he also lives. "It's vastly growing." The park "is going to
meet a lot of kids' needs," he said.
Drake Penland, an employee at Ollywood Skateboard Shop in Middletown, expects the park to do well. "We need a place for
people to skate," Penland said.
Skaters now search out curbs and sometimes take plywood from construction sites to create their own ramps, Penland said.
Anywhere they can find to skate, they do, he said. "They find stuff and skate on it."
Rates for using the new park still are being set, but Grygo expects them to range between $10 and $15 for a three- to
five-hour session. He may offer memberships, but probably not right away.
Realizing a dream
The park will include a room for parties and a small pro shop. Grygo, a BMX biker for 20 years, took a severance buyout
from MBNA in March with the dream of opening the indoor skatepark.
Grygo's approval came after a failed attempt to open a park in another Middletown industrial center. Town leaders denied
his request to open in a 6,800-square-foot building in the Bunker Hill Centre II because of parking and traffic concerns.
The park would not have been the only tenant in that building, leading town officials to worry about tractor-trailer
traffic and the number of parking spaces.
"We found a better building," Grygo said of the new site. "It meets the city's needs and it meets our need."
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