Area 702 addresses safety issues, says it’s ready to bring the noise

Area 702 Indoor Skatepark in North Las Vegas began hosting concerts last weekend, but the Dec. 17 show was abruptly canceled after fire marshals raised concerns over occupancy levels and the amount of power delivered to amplifiers.

Area 702 Skatepark is back on track to becoming one of the busiest all-ages music venues in the Vegas Valley.

According to owner Tim Thurtle, the skatepark has addressed the safety concerns that led to the cancelation of a Dec. 22 metal concert featuring In This Moment, the relocation of a Dec. 23 show with Winds of Plague (which subsequently was shut down early at The Farm) and the cancelation of a Dec. 24 charity event featuring Play For Keeps. Fire marshals shut down the shows after Thurtle failed to produce documentation on how much weight the stage could handle, as well as proof of the wiring’s electrical capacity. Concerns also were raised regarding the maximum occupancy levels of the warehouse space, which was set at 100.

Thurtle says he had an electrician and engineer visit the venue and verify capacities for the wiring and stage, respectively. He also met with the City of North Las Vegas departments of planning and zoning, building and safety, fire, and business licensing to discuss how best to address the capacity issues.

The solution was to switch the venue from its current general-assembly business license to a live entertainment license, which nearly tripled the maximum occupancy from 100 to 295. This gives the venue a green light to resume holding shows. The Scary Kids Scaring Kids concert January 15 will kick off a month of solid booking through Smash magazine, including the Xpoz Battle of the Bands series to select one local band to play at the annual music festival Extreme Thing 2010.

All the pieces of the puzzle have come together, Thurtle says, and the last step is receiving a certificate of authenticity to finalize the changes. Though he concedes “nothing is ever certain in government,” he expects the certificate to go into effect Monday, well ahead of next Friday’s show.

Thurtle says he joyously danced as he left the City of North Las Vegas offices after working out the venue’s problems.

“They really welcomed what we’re doing,” he says. “They bent over backwards for us, broke through red tape. They want us there and they’ve made it known. It’s wonderful.”


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