Featured photo: Jamie Harmon
Located at 583 Scott St in Binghampton, Society Memphis‘ 10,000-sq. ft. indoor skatepark will not only provide locals with a skating venue, but it will also feature a coffee shop and skateboard shop.
This unique space will serve as a safe haven for the community’s skaters. So, in order to better under the depth and purpose of this venue, Choose901 interviewed Society team member Mark Horrocks. Together with Matthew Wrage and Zac Roberts, to name a few, Mark established this one-of-a-kind indoor skatepark—and through his words, the mission for the park is crystal clear:
“We are essentially giving this ‘society’ a place to gather, build a stronger community and do what they love, 7-days a week.
Choose901: Who is on your team?
Mark Horrocks: There are two of us behind Society. Matthew Wrage, who also owns and operates a company called Citywood, and myself. In addition, Zac Roberts will own and operate Contact Skateboard Shop inside of Society.
C901: How did Society Memphis get started?
C901: Tell me a little bit about Society Memphis’ origins?
MH: I look at Society Memphis as a safe-haven, a refuge, a place to build friendships – a family. Growing up I was always a “perimeter” kid – never fitting in, never the popular kid. The skate community caters to be those who push against mainstream society, but have a deep longing to belong, to be valued and accepted. When we were tearing down Hazard Skate Park in Atlanta, we saw visible tears in the eyes of kids, teens and adults alike, as we were taking something that had incredible value. It wasn’t the ramps themselves that caused this catharsis, but the loss of a sense of “place.” The skate community holds some of the kindest and most gentle souls I have met. Despite how individual it is, it is not exclusive. We welcome the outsider, and this is what a Society is about.
C901: What sparked your idea for an indoor skatepark and why incorporate a coffee lounge and skate shop?
MH: The coffee lounge is a secondary income for operations serves pour-over coffee, espresso drinks and offers an assortment of both food and drinks. You don’t have to skate or BMX to come here. It is for anyone that wants to hangout and drink great local and regional craft coffee, hop on WiFi, check out art from local artists or shop at the Contact Skateboard Shop, which is run by Zac Roberts. There’s a second floor lounge for parents to hang out and watch their kids skate. It’s also available for private parties and can serve as a unique meeting space for business teams, or local nonprofits.
“You’re telling me I can bring my kid to skate, enjoy a latte and head up to the second floor viewing lounge, pop open my laptop and watch my son skate – all in the comfort of air-conditioning and heat? Sign me up!”-Skate Mom
C901: Why did you all select the Broad Avenue area?
C901: What is your main goal for this skatepark?
MH: Our main goal is to create a sustainable business model that will build community, create skate opportunity and play a role in the continued effort to make Memphis an awesome place to live and visit.
Skaters and BMXers will pay per session. We offer half day, full day or monthly memberships. Scooters will be allowed, but only those who have Pro Scooters. Every person who wants to ride at the park will have to sign a waiver, or their parents will, in order to ride at Society.
C901: What are your plans for the future?
MH: We plan to offer a summer skate camp for four weeks. This camp will be for beginners to advanced skaters. On Saturday mornings we’ll have a private group for ‘learn to skate’ lessons. In addition, Society will have competitions throughout the year. Currently, we are talking about hosting a Pro-Am event that will bring in some of the country’s top skaters.
Another large portion of our vision is to showcase art and music. In order to cater to this, Society has intentional, specified areas for local, regional and national artists to display murals and artwork. These art spaces will be scattered throughout the park.
The coffee shop will highlight the live-edge woodwork of my business partner Matthew. This showcase will serve as a “working showroom.” Society will also have wall space available for local artists to display work on rotation.
Every weekend we plan to have live DJs and plan to host a couple of concerts a month. Specifically, these shows will cater to the following genres, and more: Punk, Ska, Groove, Reggae, Hip-Hop, etc. When school is out, we will offer day camps.