Panama City welcomes new skate spot

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–Up until 2.5 years ago, skateboarding was illegal in Downtown Panama City. Now, skaters have a brand new skate spot. The city held a ribbon-cutting earlier on Tuesday.

The new spot is 4,400 square feet and it’s located on the corner of Jenks Avenue and West 6th Street. It offers a quarter pipe and multiple banks that will allow riders to move around the park without pushing. There’s also stairs and rails.

One skater who has been boarding in Panama City since 1986 says he’s excited for people of all ages to finally have a spot to skate in.

“The city was straightforward about how much money they had, who they wanted to use. They allowed us to be a part of the process from picking out the company that built the park as well as giving our input on the design features of the park so we’re pretty happy about it,” said Mark Akiyama, a skater.

City officials say the park was completed one month ahead of schedule. They also say they’re excited to finally see the project come to fruition.

“I mean just simply about 2.5 years ago, skateboarding was illegal downtown. So that was a battle back then to get that changed but it was a win. To see this, there are all ages here. There’s young little guys and girls and there are adults too, it’s just been a lot of fun to see how important it is,” said Jenna Haligas, a Panama City Commissioner.

The city says the entire project cost around $248,000. After seeing the reaction from local skaters, they say this very well could just be the first of many skate spots to pop up around Panama City.

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