Mo­tor­sports re­sort looks to county for ap­proval

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

The Bad­lands Mo­tor­sports Re­sort has made its last lap for ap­proval af­ter fi­nal plans and ap­pli­ca­tions were sub­mit­ted by the com­pany late last month.

A com­pre­hen­sive site de­vel­op­ment plan and for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion for sub­di­vi­sion for the planned $400 mil­lion dol­lar road­rac­ing and tourism re­sort was filed with Knee­hill County on April 19, with fi­nal approvals ex­pected over the next few months and con­struc­tion hoped to be­gin later this year.

Direc­tor and CFO James Ze­lazo tells The Mail that, while the fi­nal doc­u­ment sub­mis­sion is a wel­come mile­stone, the road there took longer than the com­pany ex­pected.

“We thought we’d have been fin­ished at this point,” Ze­lazo said. “There were some bumps along the way that prob­a­bly shouldn’t have hap­pened.”

Groups of landown­ers in Rose­bud, along with Wheat­land County, had op­posed de­vel­op­ment of Bad­lands Mo- tor­sports Re­sort, which is on both Knee­hill and Wheat­land County land about 5 kilo­me­tres from Rose­bud, due to con­cerns over noise pol­lu­tion and county road us­age.

In 2014, Wheat­land County filed an in­ter-mu­nic­i­pal dis­pute through the Al­berta Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Board (MGB) over wor­ries they would be re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing road­ways due to in­creased traf­fic in their borders. In May 2015, the MGB ruled that up­grades to ac­cess roads to and from High­way 9 would be made at the Bad­land Mo­tor­sports’ ex­pense and done to county stan­dards.

Ze­lazo said that the Bad­lands Mo­tor­sports Re­sort, a coun­try-club style re­sort fea­tur­ing two Euro­pean-style road cour­ses with a com­bined track length near 10 km for non-spec­ta­tor recre­ational driv­ing and in­struc­tion, will be built on Knee­hill County land, with the re­main­ing sec­tions of land on Wheat­land County planned to be pre­served for

recre­ational pur­poses, such as a camp­ground.

In to­tal the com­pany owns 525 acres of prop­erty in the south­west cor­ner of Knee­hill County.

The first phase of de­vel­op­ment will be the road cour­ses and multi-pur­pose build­ing which will be the pri­mary cen­tre of op­er­a­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing food ser­vices, re­tail and re­pair ar­eas, as well as ve­hi­cle in­spec­tions for safety and noise con­trols. The ho­tel, club­house and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties will be de­vel­oped in later phases.

The project’s es­ti­mated $400 mil­lion price tag makes it the largest tourism de­vel­op­ment cur­rently pro­posed in Al­berta, the com­pany says.

photo sub­mit­ted

Bad­lands Mo­tor­sports Re­sort, an es­ti­mated $400 mil­lion non-spec­ta­tor, recre­ational driv­ing and in­struc­tion re­sort and Euro­pean-style race­track, has made its last lap for ap­proval when the com­pany sub­mit­ted its site de­vel­op­ment plan and sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tions to Knee­hill County late April. Pic­tured is an artist’s mockup of the course about 5 kilo­me­tres near Rose­bud.

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