Motocross track operators petition expiration of lease on state land

Posted at 4:30 PM, Apr 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-14 18:30:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Those who manage a motocross track in the Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area are upset after they were informed their lease will not be renewed, and they need to move off the land by May 1.

The Jordan River OHV area is the only state park that maintains and grooms land for motocross, dirt bike and ATV activities. Twenty acres of land in the area were leased to a private partner five years ago, and the Throttle 215 Mx Park has been operating ever since.

Chad Bangerter runs the track, and he said the bad news came out of nowhere.

“We were blindsided, and there was no reason and no rhyme, and it doesn't even make sense,” he said.

Motocross riders, like Scott Phillips, said they don’t want the track to vanish.

“This is probably one of the best tracks,” he said.

Bangerter said he agreed to lease the land from the state for a monthly fee, so he could turn it into an advanced supercross-style track where he could charge riders to practice, train and compete. Bangerter said they were recently notified they have until May 1 to vacate the land, and the notification came without a reason.

David Wagner, park manager at the Jordan River OHV area, said further explanation isn’t needed.

“I don’t know what explanation they need,” he said. "Five years ago when the contract was set forth there was an expiration date on it, and that was May 1 of 2013.”

Wagner said Throttle 215 put in a lot of work to make the track, and they even brought in dirt to build it. But, he said park and state officials feel like they want to address what is best for park clients and their facility. He said the track will stay, along with the three tracks the state maintains, but the contract with Throttle 215 has come to an end.

Bangerter said the loss is hard on him.

“Blood, sweat and tears in the last three plus years, man hours—it’s been phenomenal to see it all go away,” he said. “It’s a sad waste.”

Throttle 215 MX Park has started a petition to rally support for getting the state to reconsider, but Wagner said that will not impact their decision.