Comment on Skegness SkatePark by XSite Skatepark.
I would like to address some of the points raised in this thread, and hopefully make some things clear to all parties.
XSite is a registered charity, which has not been set up to make any kind of profit. Every penny we raise goes back into the business. We do have an amount of cash set aside, which is there purely as a contingency. Above this figure all money goes into park improvements and pushing the facility forward. As with all of Skegness we do struggle through the winter months with visitor numbers, purely down to the number of people who can access the facility locally. As we all know Skegness does not have the same catchment area as a larger city, and the area does not have the best access via any form of transport.
Our yearly accounts available for you all to view so you can witness first hand our bumper profits with your own eyes.
We are competitive on price with all major UK skate parks, and pride ourselves on a higher level of cleanliness of the building than many. We do not have staff in the toilet area as mentioned by one, but name me any facility that does? We are purpose built; where as many of the parks are located on industrial estates in the seedier areas of town. We have one of the largest and well respected facilities in the country. We offer an indoor course and an outdoor plaza to our users, and we are the only facility in the whole of the UK to do this. If you look at our overall facilities there are not many in the UK with more skateable area than XSite.
The cost we totally understand where you are coming from. But we do need to keep the business running, and to do this we need to charge the rates we do. Member’s rates do reduce it by £2 per session, so even if you come once per month it makes financial sense, if they use it every week it would save you £92 per year. Almost every member we have uses the facility much more than that, so gains from it. We have members rates on all competitions etc. held including the major UK title events, so there are more benefits than you have mentioned, also the first whole day is free, which saves you £12 off your membership straight away. If you asked a member of staff, they would have gladly pointed out and explained all benefits to membership to you.
We have beginner’s sessions on Saturdays, where younger users have the chance to try the sport and practice without fear of a large number of older users.
The photo of young people skating on the street. They do, I do and I was one of the campaigners who set this project up. It is a fact that people will continue to do it as this is where the grass routes of skateboarding lies. You see football pitches all over town, yet have you not ever seen a group of kids playing on the street, or on an area which is not a football pitch. As you said they caused no harm, and in many cases have been welcomed, as their presence keeps the more undesirable types away.
To put this all in perspective. We charge £7 to non members for four hours of skating. Local football clubs charge £5 per session for 2 hours per week. Martial arts clubs charge similar for up to 2 hours per week, and their overheads are significantly lower than our own. Go to the arcades, Funfair, in fact anywhere else in Skegness which is not a council run facility and try to make £5 last longer (£7 for non members) in this town.
Lastly I do not think we need to launch attacks on our staff, their wages (which are above minimum wage, and are not “in the family” as you say Scooby Doo. We pay them a wage in line with their responsibilities. They don’t just take cash off people, there is a lot more than that to running a business as I am sure you know Scooby (Hope you don’t mind me dropping the Doo). You also mention we are not a great park in your eyes. That is fine Scooby, I am sorry we do not cater to your personal needs, but we are all different. We have the UK Vans Shoes manager choosing this facility to host events, The DC team manager help design the plaza, The Volcom clothing manager run Wild in the Parks. (A completely free day to all people of the area who practice extreme sports) here. You could also ask the United Kingdom Skateboard Association, who views our facilities as some of the best in the country, or the thousands of people who use the facility every year. This hopefully proves Scooby that your view is not shared by everyone.
Also just to let you know our educational background, we have a Pharmacist, Teacher and a Graphic Designer who helped get this park here and still reside on committees, and both staff have a degree level education, so our theories are thought out, and make financial sense as I hope I have pointed out.
If you would like to converse with me further over this matter, please feel free to write to me care of the park, and I will make arrangements to answer any of your concerns.
Management Committee Chairman