Moffat County mulls revamping track
Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers said he has a clear idea of why the commission is working to foster community interest about developing new management and operations of the county’s motocross track.
Mathers said he’s interested in the potential tourism and economic benefits of a motocross track to the area.
“There is an economic benefit to it,” he said. “Although dirt biking might not be really, really high profile here, in other parts of the country, it is. If you get on the circuit, they would have races here, which they have had in the past, and it looks like a little city out there.
“There are a lot of people that would travel up here to do the races.”
Mathers and the county commission are currently in the process of writing a request for proposal for the operation of the track and lease of the land the track is on, he said.
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The Yampa Valley Sportsman’s Rider Club had previously operated the motocross track since the early 2000s, commissioner Audrey Danner said.
However, the club met with the commission earlier in the year and canceled a track lease and operating agreement previously made with the county.
Danner said the group felt interest in the track had declined and there wasn’t enough participation to continue successfully operating it.
“If nobody comes and bids on it or wants to keep it going, we’ll shut it down,” Mathers said. “We wanted to give somebody in the public a chance to go ahead and put something together, if there is interest.”
Mathers said there are several residents interested in working with the county to lease and operate the track, as evidenced by a recent county commission meeting where the matter was discussed.
“I am just tickled that there is some interest out there of people that want to use it,” he said. “From what I understand, it is a terrific track and there were people from other parts of the state that absolutely loved riding on it.
“It brought people from Denver and Grand Junction — it brought people from everywhere here because there is an interest in that.”
Danner said the county is currently working on writing and organizing the request for proposal for the track and considering possible insurance issues and reimbursement for county work to develop and maintain the track.
But, Danner said nothing has been finalized.
“There are different ideas floating out there of, ‘Oh, we would take care of all of it,’ or, ‘If you would do this we would pay you a little bit on here,’” she said.
Danner said she would like to see a group operate the track with interest in hosting sanctioned races and events, and having the track available for the community to use.
But, the reason the county wanted to work with prospective business owners was that it wouldn’t be “fiscally responsible” for the county to add onto the recreational services it already provides, she said.
“At this time in our budget development, in this time of our decline in revenues, we as a county cannot take on an additional recreation component, if you will,” she said.
But, Danner said the currently vacant motocross track is a good opportunity for enthusiasts of the sport to develop a successful track that could prove to hold great benefits for the community.
“Recreation is a big interest … and certainly if we can make that work appropriately for both sides, we are interested in looking at that,” she said.
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Craig Middle School staff will continue to wear masks this week, and two other schools in the district are close to doing the same, according to numbers from the Moffat County School District’s COVID-19 dashboard.