Commission continues to weigh off-road events park proposal
Acting on behalf of the King Crawlers off-road club, Scott Edwards recently approached Carbon County lawmakers about an event park the group previously proposed to the commission.
When the proposal was introduced, the people attending the commission meeting set a time for a walk through at the proposed park site.
The walk through took place on a hillside about two miles north of the Carbon County Airport on Tuesday. Present were county representatives, King Crawlers members and interested parties.
"We picked this site as the best for a number of reasons," noted Edwards. "It is almost ideal for what we want to do."
The group's representative outlined the positive aspects of the site the club had staked out with various colors of ribbon to designate different venues, along with vehicles set up on a rack and in a wash.
"First, the county owns this 40 acres," pointed out Edwards. "Second, as you can see, it has fairly easy access from the highway (Airport Road) and that would make for some good spectator attendance for events. Third, there are a lot of natural obstacles on this land that lend themselves to the kinds of events that would be run."
The club representative pointed to the rocks where hill climbing could take place and the natural dead end wash running through the property.
"There are a lot of trails here already and it also ties into the idea of having a county-wide trail for ATVs as well," noted Edwards. "But probably one of the best things about its location is that people who come here to use the park or for attending an event would have to drive through the heart of Carbon County to get here, particularly Price. That means lots of money will go into the economic base of the community when events are held."
Edwards explained how the events would be staged within the 40-acre parcel of land. The club representative also pointed out how the contestants would start at one end of the off-road and progress through the venues at the course.
The park, although still in a conceptual stage, has raised the concerns of county commissioners.
Some of the issues were addressed at the commission meeting two weeks ago and at the walk through on Tuesday.
One concern involves the question of liability.
Club members wanted the park to remain open for public use at all times. They have proposed a format similar to what goes on at the motocross track near the fairgrounds.
"The county would carry liability insurance on this to protect it when the public was using it. And then when events were held, the promoters would have to provide adequate and proper insurance for their program," explained Edwards.
A second similarity to the motocross park is what would be done with money generated by events staged at the park.
Edwards said the club foresaw putting the money back into the park for improvements.
A map developed by the club showed the locations of the proposed park venues, although some positions have been altered slightly.
The venues include log crossing exercises, a towing ground, a multiple difficulty rock crawling garden, a hill climbing course, a place for a car crush, a tank trap near the wash, a tire pit and a mud pit.
"Most of these could be constructed with little out of pocket cost," noted Edwards. "We would need some help with a few of them in terms of county equipment and we would need some money for a small pad of concrete in a couple of places."
For events staged at the course, adequate parking would be required to accommodate the spectators. Some at the meeting raised questions about how parking would be accomodated in the area.
"We would have plenty of parking on the southwest area of the land," Edward said as he pointed toward the area. "Part of this piece of property is also behind this hill and people could park there as well."
Mechanized racing or performance would need pits and the areas would probably be located south of the log crossing.
Questions also involved the status of the club and whether the group is non-profit.
"We are working on obtaining that status," replied the club representative.
Edwards said the group believed the course could handle up to 100 trucks per day, making the local park's venues "bigger than most of the other" events conducted around the west.
Course advocates indicate many people are getting tired of some natural venues and are looking for places to stage events. And "day in our area" on a designed course might appeal to many off roaders, noted the club.
Representing the county at the walk through, Commissioner Steve Burge told the club to start working on a business plan and come up with cost estimates as well as how much money would be needed to build the course.
"We (the county commissioners) can't consider anything until we have something solid in our hands," explained Burge.
Representing the planning and zoning department at the county commission meeting, Gayla Williams raised a concern regarding the importance of preparing to handle the potential popularity of the proposed off-road event park.
"I lived in Moab for years and they weren't prepared for the popularity of the place when it happened," said Williams. "I think everyone involved in this needs to consider what will happen if this gets to be a place everyone wants to come."