Money First, Skatepark Later

The indoor skatepark beneath evo that was about to open a year ago, is still about to open. But now Bryce Phillips needs your money to do it.

Since evo opened the doors of its retail store in 2007, the shop has been a gathering place for the NW snowboard community. They’ve continuously offered their space to host video premieres, art shows, and parties. Really good parties. I think I peed in a stockroom once. No other shop has done more to bring the local snowboard community together under one roof than evo, especially no other shop that also sells skis.

When they announced plans to build a new skatepark in the old Inner Space location, I was pumped for it to have the same unifying effect on the local skateboard scene. Not to mention, Seattle hasn’t had a dry place to skate during winter for nearly two years. My own skateboarding non-progression has been like Groundhog Day, relearning the same tricks each spring year after year.

Last week evo launched an Indigogo campaign for All Together Skatepark, the subsidiary it set up to manage the new skate space. The campaign will fund the actual construction phase of the project. At the moment, the skatepark is just a pile of scrap coping and a fancy CAD rendering. ATS is looking to raise $35,000 for masonite and lumber. If they get the money, they’ll build it by the end of October.

The fundraising campaign makes it seem like All Together Skatepark is curing cancer, but ATS isn’t a non-profit and it’s not a charity. The park will still cost money to get in. It’s pretty steep, too. According the the ATS website, entry is $10/day, $75/month, and $599/year. Members can get in for $7/day if they buy a $99 membership first.

Being a non-profit isn’t a requirement to raise funds on Indigogo, but it seems disingenuous for a company to appeal to the charity of its customer base when it’s perfectly capable of putting the funds forward itself. After all, the CEO of evo, Bryce Phillips, is leading a group of investors to build a luxury condo development in the middle of Snoqualmie Ski Area called The Pass Life. Rumor has it that evo’s application for a Kickstarter campaign was denied on these grounds. 

In a phone call Thursday, ATS Park Manager Steve Settles explained, “Evo sought crowd-funding so the community could really rally behind it. That’s why it’s not called ‘Evo Skatepark.'”

But the skatepark won’t actually belong to the community, and using crowd-sourcing as a PR gimmick hurts projects that truly need community funding like Marginal Way Skatepark. When community-washing is as common a term as greenwashing, it will be harder to tell the spin from the real need.

I support evo and I support it building a skatepark, but they should show some integrity by calling their campaign what it is: a pre-sale.

If you would like to pre-purchase your membership or become a sponsor of ATS, you can save $100 on an annual pass and get some cool swag.

Here are some of their pre-sale packages:

*stickers have been omitted because you should never pay for stickers.

  • $10  Opening Week Session
  • $25 Opening Week Session, ATS Founder’s T-shirt
  • $50 Opening Week Session, 1 Month Membership, ATS Founder’s T-shirt
  • $100 Opening Week Session, 1 Month Membership, ATS Founder’s T-shirt, ATS Founder’s Skate Deck
  • $200 Opening Week Session, 1 Month Membership, ATS Founder’s T-shirt, ATS Founder’s Skate Deck, Founding Member Plaque
  • $500 Opening Week Session, 1 Year Membership, ATS Founder’s T-shirt, Founding Member Plaque
  • $1,000 All that swag plus a private party
  • $2,500 All that swag plus a private party, logo link on website
  • $5,000 All that swag plus a private party, logo link on website, logo on wall mural
  • $10,000 All that swag plus a private party, logo link on website, giant logo on wall mural, one title sponsor event, logo on camp apparel
The best part is they don’t allow scooters.

Those looking to be charitable should donate directly to All Together Skatepark’s partner organizations: The Service Board, Skate Like a Girl, YMCA of Snohomish County, SOS Outreach, and The Chill Foundation. All plan to host camps and lock-ins at the park for local youth. Donating to these groups can actually get you a tax write-off, too.

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