Teen-agers open skate park in Sikeston

Friday, March 15, 2002

Business Today

SIKESTON - After years of commuting to Memphis and St. Louis, area youths (and their parents) now have the convenience of a local safe and legal skate park.

Dirty Bearings has opened at 157 East Murray Lane, behind Fisherman's Net and next to the bus station.

It was founded by Sikeston High School students Devin Mills, 16, and Jordy Parker, 15.

"We never had a place to skate," Mills said. "We kept getting kicked out of all the places we tried to skate. The closest place we could go was Memphis or St. Louis."

Mike Mills, Devin Mills' father, said the boys have worked hard to make the skate park happen.

Mills and Parker, with the help of their friends, started their project in early December, but have been designing and planning it for months more. The boys found the building they wanted to rent about Jan. 1. With the financial help of their parents, they were ready to begin their business.

"The kids went looking for buildings," Mills said. "They found one owned by Larry DeWitt and he was more than willing to clear out the area."

The business will also have video games and a concession stand. Besides skate boards, rollerblades and bicycles are also welcome.

Safety is definitely a concern at Dirty Bearings. Skaters 18 and older are required to sign a waiver, and those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver for them before they can skate. Everyone must wear a helmet.

In addition to skating, Dirty Bearings, which was named by one of Mills and Parker's friends, will also offer merchandise such as T-shirts and skate trucks, wheels and boards.

The teen-age entrepreneurs also plan on bringing in professionals for skating shows and local bands for concerts on the weekends.

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