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Off-road racing could be coming to Pahrump

I think Pahrump will get another Best in the Desert off-road race.

On Aug.13, BITD, the organizers of six big off-road races in Nevada, will be making an official announcement about off-road racing in Pahrump, a day before the start of the BITD Vegas to Reno race.

I really think Casey Folks, the president of BITD, will be announcing that Pahrump is getting a race.

I am hearing rumors from the BLM and other places that say this will happen and it can’t be happening at a better time for Pahrump with the completion of a brand new hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, coming this fall.

The racing stopped in Pahrump and the last BITD race was in 2007. SNORE held one called the Pahrump Nugget 250 in 2010 and that was the last big off-road race. Folks told me he left Pahrump because people started to encroach on his course and it just got to be too much trouble and manpower to hold an event in Pahrump.

But something changed and last year his tune was more positive. Folks said that he has six races a year and that if he lost a race Pahrump would get one. He even said he already had the course marked off. Which race Folks lost will not be known until Aug.13 and I don’t know if he did lose one. Nevertheless, high-level sources in the BLM are pointing to Pahrump getting a race.

What does this mean for the town of Pahrump? It means something positive is happening for this town that will bring much-needed revenue and I applaud it. An event as big as this will certainly bring hundreds and maybe thousands to the town to witness the race. A BITD race brings as many as 300 racers to Nevada towns, and that’s just drivers. There are also support crews and family that will pass through.

“When we were in town we filled all the hotels and restaurants in the town,” Folks said last year.

I am excited, if only a 250-mile race, it will be ours again to make it our own.

This will also help to attract more tourism to the region.The tourism board of Pahrump has been working hard to attract the off-road crowd to our town to experience our many trails that surround the area.

All I know is that when you go up to Beatty on race day the town is swamped.

We are a town that has been starving for a big event and I know we want more.

My hat is off to Casey Folks, who is an excellent promoter. Other promoters take note and learn from Casey.

Of course he wasn’t working alone. He was also dealing with determined people from the town that wanted this to happen, no doubt the Nugget.

People tell me the Nugget has been hoping for something like this for some time now, since they lost their race in 2010.

Why did we lose the off-road race? Some say it was the desert tortoise. I spoke to Folks last year and he told me with certainty that it was not the reptile. He basically came out and said that it was easier to put on races in other places.

Let’s face it, our town has grown a bit since people first came here. More development has made it harder to have off-road events. The main reason Folks said he leaves an area is because he gets too many complaints from the area about dust and noise.

So where in the world will he throw the race around here?

I was talking to a friend who works at the BLM and he said most of the courses were north of the town near Johnnie. The one course he talked about started near Johnnie and headed toward Highway 95 and then went toward Big Dune. That only makes sense. So we get the benefit of a big race, but it’s not right in the middle of town.

So for those who thought you would be able to sit on the back porch of your house and see them come through town — not.

Folks told me Jean was like that in the early Vegas to Reno race that actually started at Primm. Jean residents stopped them coming through the town because it was too close. Folks said people could watch that one from their porches.

Unfortunately, as the community of Pahrump grew, more regulations came with growth and this has kept some events from coming to Pahrump. Hopefully we can find a happy medium as we grow to let everyone enjoy this wonderful valley.

The lesson learned is that if people put their minds to something and get a promoter like Casey, the sky’s the limit.

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