Funding approved for BMX track that will provide ‘vibrant’ new addition to Santa Clara

Virgin BMX track, Virgin, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Adam Pace, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County Tax Advisory Board approved funding for a BMX track near Snake Hollow that a Santa Clara official estimates will have a $500,000 economic impact.

The city, in conjunction with Santa Clara BMX, applied for the capital project funding and the board on May 21 approved $158,000 to go toward construction of a USA BMX sanctioned track. The rest of the $348,300 cost of the track has been secured through sponsors, Santa Clara BMX, grants, and goods and services from the city .

Jarett Waite, Santa Clara city councilman, said the BMX park and the existing Snake Hollow park will be different but “complement each other very well.”

Snake Hollow is for mountain bikes and will include a race track that is expected to be used once or twice each year, while the new park is for BMX bikes that are smaller and will have weekly practices and races.

Waite said BMX is the perfect sport for kids who might not be interested in other sports because there are different levels and it is relatively safe.

“BMX is for kids who might not do too well in team sports, and this might be an opportunity for them to really excel in something.”

Waite said kids will start at the BMX park to gain the confidence and skills necessary to move onto mountain biking at Snake Hollow.

Site plans for the new BMX track and park for Santa Clara, Utah | Photo courtesy of Jarett Waite, St. George News

Waite said Southern Utah has a large community of riders and most of them are based in St. George. He said the Santa Clara BMX park will offer a more convenient location than the only other BMX park in the area, which is in Virgin.

Waite said the Santa Clara BMX park will be a sister track for Virgin, and he hopes the ridership in the general area will increase and also benefit the park in Virgin.

According to the funding application, the track will be a part of Canyon View Park and will sit on the land south of the lower baseball fields. The bike park is marketed for all ages, but those 6-21 years old will be the target audience.

The application estimates that around 1,250-1,750 out-of-county visitors will use the BMX park each year, which could bring around $262,000 to Santa Clara. With an estimated annual maintenance cost of $5,000, Waite said he and his associates estimate the park will have a $500,000 economic impact on Santa Clara.

He said the city also hopes the park will drive more traffic to Santa Clara.

Racers line up behind the gate at the Virgin BMX Track, Virgin, Utah, Aug. 30, 2017 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“We’re especially hoping that this helps the downtown. Santa Clara Drive is really nice and really pretty with the trees and the cityscape, but a lot of homes on Santa Clara Drive are owned by legacy families.”

Waite said he is worried about the future of Santa Clara Drive. As owners of the homes on Santa Clara Drive get older and die, the homes could become rentals or businesses, but the uncertain future is concerning.

He said the BMX park will add a vibrant aspect to downtown Santa Clara.

Santa Clara BMX will be responsible for maintenance, and staff and volunteers will prep the track weekly, according to the application.

The original plans for the BMX track are being reworked after the team discovered the first turn of the track “hit a little too high up on the hill” and required too much skill, Waite said. Otherwise, the park is ready for construction and set to be completed in fall 2019.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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