Columbia, Sc (WLTX) -- For many teens in Columbia, skate parks are a year round outlet for exercise and a place to showcase talents. However the Midlands only indoor skate park at the PLEX in Sandhills, says today it's shutting down it's skate services.
Drop in with 10-year-old skate phenom Jack Winburn. He's no stranger to skate boarding. His dad Mark says he competed in June in Minnesota at the little kids skate boarding national championships.
"We've been doing this since he bought his first board when he was four years old," said Mark Winburn.
It's a similar story for Jason Britton and his son Sammy.
"It's real inventive. It teaches though guys to never stop trying," said Britton.
But both parents say they're frustrated after PLEX indoor sports, the Midlands only indoor skate park, decided to change directions and put a stop to their skate park.
"It was a great place to start skating for the little guy," said Witburn.
General Manager Steve Scoma with the Plex says starting today their skate park will be turned into a family entertainment center with mechanical rides and inflatable jump castles.
"You know it's strictly a business decision," said Scoma. "So a larger audience will be able to participate in this area instead of just skate boarders."
A team was on hand disassembling the skate ramps to be taken back to a park in Charlotte. Scoma points to newer outdoor skate parks around the Midlands as a reason for decline in skaters at the Plex.
"So we want to go into a niche where we can better serve our community," said Scoma.
Both parents say they hope others in the skate community can come up with solutions for another indoor skate park in the Midlands.
"Sammy is just wondering where he is going to skate now. I told him we would find some places but it's not anything like what he had there at the PLEX it was a nice facility," said Britton.
The closest indoor skate park is nearly one hundred miles from Columbia. The PLEX says they do not have any plans right now to open a new skate section at their sports arena. The PLEX is located at 741 Fashion Drive.