PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Blake Doyle Skate Park has been extremely popular since it’s opening earlier this month.
“The last time I was skating was about 5 years ago and the opening of the park got me skating again so it’s been a blast to come out here and hangout with everybody,” said skater Brian Harris.
But with its popularity came complaints of drug use at the park and people staying there after hours.
According to the Pensacola Police Department, they’ve received a total of 24 calls for service to the park since its opening. But PPD says the park, located directly across the street from their headquarters, hasn’t been an issue for them and that they are constantly patrolling the area.
Now, to solve some of the parks problems, the city has been looking at potentially having a third party operator manage the park.
“We think that there’s potential opportunity to extract even more value out of such a nice park,” said Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves. “We could have someone that lives and breathes it day to day rent skate boards, give lessons, those kind of things that can really move it to the next level.”
The private management would be able to enforce the hours of operation on daily basis, an idea that has gone over well with skaters.
“I think that’d be pretty dope I’d buy some skate gear from them and I think it’d be good to get people skating again in the community,” said Harris.
Gunner Hertenstein, a skater, is also onboard with the idea, but wants to see the skating community step up.
“It’s something that we need to take action for,” said Heternstein. “But if some private entity or whatever wants to do it, we’re cool with it.”
In the short term, the city hopes to keep the park open until 10 p.m. and have security enforce its closure.