Rocketown, the teen club founded by Michael W. Smith, has found a new home at 401 6th Ave. South in downtown Nashville
and plans to open the 38,000 square foot warehouse, newly designed with a 5,000 square foot dance floor, a 13,000
square feet indoor skate park and a café hosting live acoustic music, a cyber café, a retail store and a fine arts gallery, by
“For three years Rocketown was a very successful club,” said Dean Orrico, executive director, “Michael W. Smith
founded the original Rocketown back in 1994 in Franklin, and in the three years of operation we served over 72,000 kids.
When we lost that lease, we began the search for a new and better location. We already had an ideal design for a facility
and when we found this building, our plans fit perfectly.”
According to Orrico, the downtown community is being very cooperative in the design and development phase of
construction. The mayor’s office, MDHA, the police department and even neighboring businesses have shown high
support of the project. Thanks to that cooperation, 160 parking spaces in close proximity to the club have been secured
and other improvements to the immediate area are being considered.
Rocketown is “MTV meets the YMCA, with the organic formula of one- part student union, one-part nightclub, and
one-part entertainment center” and will be focused on youth ages 12-20. Rocketown will be open seven days a week,
with daily hours of operation depending on scheduled activities. When the dance club isn’t open the space will be used
for an extreme ropes course, climbing wall, fine arts projects or other indoor activities. The café and skate park will be
operating just about anytime the building is open.
Rocketown’s mission is to create culturally relevant environments that foster vital relationships between
disenfranchised adolescents and Christian mentors in order to meet their physical, social, and spiritual needs.
At its most basic level, Rocketown is a positive and safe facility for teenagers to enjoy exciting, positive and
up-to-the-minute entertainment and recreation, where healthy peer interaction is encouraged. These environments will be
discreetly supervised by dynamic and energetic, multi-ethnic 20 through 30-year-old young adults who “keep the party
hopping,” but have also been trained in the lost art of listening, identified by this age group as their single greatest need.
“The nightclub at Rocketown is going to be absolutely amazing,” said Roger Thompson, co-founder/partner of Skate
Street Skate Park in Ventura, Calif., the company building the Rocketown skate park. “It will have state of the art sound
and video effects and there may be a couple bonus surprises for people who come. And part of it is going to be one of
the best skate parks in the country. The park is going to have tons of lines and great flow and will be built by the same
skater-ramp builders that built Skate Street in California. I’m just excited to be a part of something like this and that so
many people are getting behind Rocketown to see something like this happen for the youth of Nashville.”
Following are the three main components of Rocketown:
The new nightclub within the Rocketown complex is so much more than other music venues: here teenagers will be
overwhelmed by the music they love played over a state-of-the-art hybrid dance music system and live performance
system, complete with dazzling intelligent lighting displays, computer generated animations, interactive video experiences
and local, regional and world-class music talent, as well as staff who genuinely care for their well-being.
THE SKATE PARK
The most exciting new addition to the Rocketown complex is a safe 13,000 square foot all indoor, cutting-edge skate park
designed by the experts responsible for Skatestreet U.S.A. in Ventura, California. Banks, ledges, rails and a bowl will
precisely reproduce elements from downtown street environments. Teenagers will have opportunities to sharpen their
skills through clinics and instruction, contests, competitions and exhibitions, offered by the best amateur and professional
skaters, trained to be available with their time and expertise.
THE COFFEE HOUSE
Rocketown’s new coffee house is a venue for the creative expression of thoughts, opinions and ideas, often in the form of
artistic talent-whether poetry, songwriting, open forum discussions, or improvisational acting. Here adolescents may
explore their worldviews and spirituality through creative mediums and meaningful discussion, in a natural, comfortable,
inclusive setting with staff who model positive lifestyles.
To contact Rocketown for more information or to donate to the club, call 615-843-4001, or go to the website atwww.rocketown.com.
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