According to Thrasher Magazine, Missoula has “one of the top five skate parks in the country.” However, MoBASH skatepark did not begin on an engineer’s desk or even in a City Hall meeting room. It started with three close friends who built wooden ramps underneath a local Missoula bridge.
Since Missoula had no areas designated for recreational skateboarding, Chris Bacon, Andy Kemmis, and Ross Peterson decided to build their own skate park. Eventually, these three friends were kicked out of their makeshift skate park, but fortunately, their story caught the eye of Missoula Parks and Recreation Department Director Donna Gaukler.
In 2000, Gaukler met with the three friends to discuss options available to create a recreational skating area. By 2003, the Missoula City Council approved plans for a skatepark. With plans finally approved, there still was plenty of work left to do. Bacon, Kemmis, and Peterson began fundraising.
Over the next three years, their project received a lot of support. The support came not only from within the Missoula community, but across the country. The future skatepark received donations from famous people like Jeff Ament, the bassist for Pearl Jam, and the legendary world-famous skateboarder Tony Hawk. A number of local establishments and private donors contributed funds.
When a local Missoula family donated the final $100,000 needed to complete the skatepark and purchased the naming rights–MoBASH is an acronym using letters from the names of the family members. The skate park was finished by September of 2006, when Tony Hawk’s production company put on a free event to commemorate MoBASH’s completion. Over ten thousand people attended the event, making it the largest grand opening of any facility in Missoula history at that time.
Since MoBASH has been complete, the three friends have started the Montana Skatepark Association which aims to help other Montana communities create new skateparks and recreational opportunities. This fifteen thousand square foot park is situated just across the Orange Street Bridge from downtown Missoula.
Built by Grindline, the MoBASH Skatepark has a separate street complete with granite ledges and a huge bank wall separating it from the bowls. The tranny section is massive with everything from mellow to cradle to gnarly. For the purist, there is the kidney bowl complete with death box and love seat.
This park is a must skate for all Montanans and visitors alike. Skateboarders must wear helmets, but pads are optional. MoBASH Skatepark is open daily in McCormick Park in downtown Missoula at 600 Cregg Lane, Missoula, MT 59801. For more information, phone 721-PARK.
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Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging