In the early '00s, after Dave Mirra decided to create his own private skatepark in the BMX mecca of Greenville, North Carolina, Haro pro Ryan Nyquist decided to do the same. Documented in the Greenville BMX documentary created by Mark Losey, the creation of the two private parks created a divide in the Greenville scene. Along with the tension, Nyquist's park, The Unit, helped progress the state of BMX Park riding to new levels. And it has continued to endure for almost a decade.
Recently though, after living back in Northern California for the past several years, Ryan Nyquist decided to sell the building. We caught up with Nyquist to discuss the decision.
XGames.com: Why are selling The Unit?
Nyquist: I moved to NorCal about four years ago and pretty much decided that I wasn't going to move back to Greenville. I had illusions of me going back there to ride the Unit every month or so, but it became apparent very soon after my first son was born that that was very unrealistic. So I found myself at a crossroads. Do I keep a park up and running that was across the country that I use once a year? Or do I sell it? It's a huge monthly expense. As obvious a decision as it may seem, it was a very difficult one for me to make. I love that place. I put my blood, sweat and heart into that place. It still has so much potential too. The other side of it was that I wanted my close friends to be able to use it and progress their riding. I didn't want to leave anyone hanging. Unfortunately it's now time to try to get rid of the place. I'm still not happy about it, but I don't have any other choice.
Are you selling it as a complete skatepark or just selling the building and the property itself?
Either or. It's for sale or lease right now. If someone came along and wanted the building as is then I'd be so happy. But I'm weighing out whatever opportunities present themselves. If the ramps need to get torn down, then the ramps and Skatelite will have to get sold off.
How much are you asking for it?
Right now it's listed at $700k. I'm not sure what the lease option is listed as.
What about Rob Darden, Josh Harrington, Scott Wirch or any of the other riders that you let ride there?
I would love to sell it to one of my friends. That would mean that the place would be around for a while. Unfortunately it's a huge expense, and, whether or not they can or can't afford it, nobody has expressed any interest in that way. After all, it's not like buying a sandwich or a new phone. It's a big price tag.
Have you ever thought about building a new private park in NorCal?
Nope. It's way more expensive to do that out here. Plus, now that I have a family, I'm not willing to have that kind of liability if I don't have to.
What's one of your favorite memories from owning The Unit and what will you miss most about it?
My bachelor party, hands down. That was the most epic party I've ever been to. A three-car demolition derby out front, a ninja warrior course throughout the Unit, all my good friends and family, blue spray paint, PJ, Flying Rockstar cans, potato guns, Ryan Guettler getting punched into the Dog pile Biker gang -- it was seriously one of the best nights of my life. What I'm going to miss is the sessions I had there on the daily with all my close friends. It took me moving away to realize what a special place it really is. I was riding with the top guys in the sport, and we were always riding at such a high level. I've had some really great times in that place.