The purpose of the event was to show off the skate park to parks and recreation directors from other counties, as well as those who might be willing to build a skate park on their own.
One such delegation came from Douglas County.
“They’ve got a 2.0 skate park — this is a 3.0 skate park,” Dowd said, explaining that 3.0 skate parks have different riding surfaces and features.
Another potential client was John Cauthen, of Eco’s Environmental Design. A landscape architect and a skater himself, Cauthen actually skated on the equipment in addition to having officials open up the structures so he could see how they were built.
Cauthen found his trip to be informative. He came out to talk to Spalding County officials about how the park developed from planning to completion.
“All in all, a successful visit,” is how he described the trip. “I was impressed with all of it.”
He also enjoyed taking his skateboard for a spin.
“I skated some as well — I enjoyed it,” he said.
While pleased to have the opportunity to address four potential clients, Dowd said the day had an alternate purpose, as well.
“It was more or less a re-grand opening for the kids to ride with a professional skater,” he said.
He then corrected himself, as there were actually two professional skaters present — Charlie Thomas and Jeremiah Babb.
Thomas, a 34-year-old professional skater, originally from Louisiana but currently based in Costa Mesa, Calif., often comes to such events.
“I work for a company that works with Skatewave,” he said. “Any time they have one of their events, they’ll call me (to) see what my schedule is and if I’m available.”
He thinks the event went well.
“It’s a pretty good turnout,” he said. “Kids are starting to show up here from school.”
He said The Grind has been well-used, as more than 100 people come out every day.
He went on to praise local leaders for conveniently putting baseball fields, golf courses and the skate park close together, and for maintaining good facilities.
Spalding County Parks and Recreation Director Louis Greene also was pleased with the event.
“I think it’s been well-attended and everybody that’s come has been impressed with what we did in Spalding County,” he said.
He listed the design of the skate park, the involvement of area youths, particularly their efforts to raise the $17,000 needed to build the facility and how they persuaded city and county commissioners to allow the park as impressive achievements.
Regina Abbott, who sits on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, was a major force behind getting the skate park built.
“I think that it was a real honor that the company came out to Spalding because of the quality of the equipment and the actual park,” she said.
The local residents who use the skate park also enjoyed the event.
“It’s a good idea, I’m glad they did it,” said Taylor Bush, a Gordon College student who visited the skate park Thursday. “It will represent Griffin a little better.”
Brandon Bigelow, Griffin High School senior, also liked the event.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s a lot of people out today.”
Brandon Manley, an eighth-grader at Taylor Street Middle School, enjoyed having a professional skater come to visit.
“It’s pretty cool, having a pro come out,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty big for our park. There have been a lot of people out here today.”