There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it’s hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather, it’s important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we’re fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.
In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don’t believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they’re looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.
Today I’m introducing to you Part 4: Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark
Support: Purchase Gift Cards
How did Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex come to be, its history, significance, etc?
Daniel Dhers: I opened the park in 2014. I was living in Greenville, NC riding and managing the Animal House (Mirra’s private facility), I wanted to move to a bigger city and have more options for travel and ended up finding the building I’m at, in a suburb of Raleigh called Holly Springs. I decided to make it a park open to the public because it made sense to me to try to get more people into action sports.
With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. As an owner, what’s going through your mind right now and how is your team?
Daniel Dhers: I just keep thinking about how I’m going to pay the bills. It’s tough because skateparks aren’t the easiest business out there, you do it because you love it and not because of the profit. Having to close down it’s certainly a big hit to us – I guess my biggest worry at this point is that I don’t know how long will this last and how are we going to support ourselves.
Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn’t a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You’re probably looking to bank as much as possible before attendance declines in the summer. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation – or maybe you’re doing ok?
Daniel Dhers: I think the whole year is crunch time for us. This time of the year we are usually pretty busy before we go into the slower spring and certainly it helps us to stay afloat. Summers do OK thanks to camps. Certainly having to close down for “who knows how long” is a bit nerve-wracking. (How much money do you expect to lose?) Certainly enough to put us behind the bills. We had a camp for next week and lessons for the remainder of March and they all got canceled, it’s definitely tough.
Currently is there any support from the government as a small business owner, maybe within your city or even your landlord?
Daniel Dhers: All the government is offering at the moment is low-interest loans. I wish small businesses could be bailed out just how airlines are asking to be. I’m in talks with my landlord about options on what to do on these unprecedented times.
How can we support you right now?
Daniel Dhers: Right now we have a link to gift cards, where they could be used for anything related to the park-like sessions, lessons, rentals, snacks, etc. I don’t have an option of privately renting out the facility, I think the tough part about offering that option is being responsible with social distancing at this point in time but let’s wait and see if we could start offering that. Skateparks are really tough businesses and if there’s any way you can help us by buying a gift card to use when we are open again I would seriously appreciate it! Thank you so much!
Shred when they open, even if it’s warm out.