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As We See It

Area 702 Skatepark wants to come back bigger and safer

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Now closed, Area 702 was one of the last all-ages venues in the city.
Photo: Corlene Byrd

Tim Thurtle isn’t giving up. His bread-and-butter, Area 702 Skatepark, has been shut down for nearly two months, following a February shooting and subsequent beef with North Las Vegas officials over licensure issues. Still, the local business owner is determined to relocate and reenter the all-ages music and skate scene ... with a vengeance.

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A new, bigger location has been secured on West Oquendo Street, near the 215 and Decatur in the southwest part of the Valley. Thurtle, along with whatever-sized army of supporters he can muster, are planning to attend a town hall meeting June 15 and a planning commission meeting July 5 to discuss and obtain approval for the venture. Thurtle doesn’t expect too much resistance, citing support from County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow. “They know our history,” he says, referencing the shooting, which left a 20-year-old woman injured. “We’ve been totally honest with everybody, and we’re going to improve significantly.”

It’s no coincidence the new venue is further from neighbors, across the street from a fire station and around the corner from a Metro substation, Thurtle says. If approved, the venue’s max capacity will jump from 300 to 550. Thurtle is also negotiating with famed builders California Skateparks about designing the new venue.

“It’s been two months without any income, and that’s scary, but we’re fighting the fight for the kids. Because when you talk about putting 200 to 500 kids in a room together, public perception is that it might as well be a leper colony. But these kids are good kids. People need to support them.”

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