Family passion fuels new motocross track
Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2011 21:12
A kick of the leg and flick of the wrist revs the motor to life, accelerating the heart and increasing adrenaline levels; this is motocross.
For 10 years motocross enthusiasts in southern Utah have waited and wished for a local track to quench their thirst for speed, dirt and big air on two wheels. The long wait was over in October, and wishes were granted with the grand opening of the St. George Motocross Track just west of the new municipal airport.
The track owned and operated by Judd Palmer and his family is the fulfillment of a dream fueled by high-octane passion and support from a motorcycle crazy family that rides together every weekend.
Origin of the Track
Palmer, a former professional motocross racer and owner of his own excavating company, grew tired of traveling to other tracks at long distances to feed his need for speed. Hence the idea was born to design, build and groom a track that could not only satisfy the wants and desires of him and his family, but also serve local enthusiasts and be capable of hosting nationally sanctioned races on a regular basis.
"I've always loved [motocross], so when my kids grew old enough to do it, there was a place to give them to ride," Palmer said.
Palmer built most of the track himself and also self-financed the project along with his wife, Michon, and kids, who are all avid fans of motocross and ride together every weekend.
"It's great," said Michon Palmer. "Our whole family is out here. We do it Saturdays and Sundays and we're riding other days; it's great family time."
The track sits on a 30-acre site complete with corkscrew turns, jumps, barrel patches and ramps. There is also ample space for trailers and parking for racers and spectators alike.
Response to and Future of the Track
Currently there is at least one major race scheduled per month throughout the year. Palmer and his group estimate each race will bring in approximately 300 to 500 racers with their respective crews as well as spectators.
"On practice days, we have anywhere between 80 to 100 riders and then on a race day we'll bring in 300 to 500 riders, which means there will be 800 to 1,000 spectators and fans in attendance," Palmer said.
Motocross riders have also welcomed the track with open arms and are excited for the possibilities it brings.
"I really like it. There's a lot of sand, which makes it fun and challenging," said motocross rider and track regular Alec Anderson said.
"They just put in a new section, it's either an on/off or you jump the whole thing. I like that a lot. It's (the track) got a good variety to it, and it's a real good to ride."
Palmer explained the track is not exclusively meant or designed for motocross. He is currently working to bring BMX bicycle races to the track along with remote control car races and three- and four-wheeler themed events as well.
Prices to attend races will depend on the race and size, and currently Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for practice for anyone who owns a track legal motorcycle or ATV at a cost of $25 per rider. Spectators are welcome to the practices for free so long as they sign a non-rider consent waiver at the entry gate. For more information and an up to date race schedule, go to http://stgeorgemx.com/
The new track has also been welcomed by the local community and will contribute to the local economy by bringing visitors to Utah's Dixie.
Allen Christensen, marketing manager of the track and owner of Moto Zoo Power Sports, said the economic boost will mostly affect hotels, food establishments and motor sports shops.
Christensen said races are staged for two or three days at a time, meaning a potential large number of spectators and racers will be here for extended weekends looking for things to do away from the track.
If estimates by the track operators are correct, St. George and surrounding communities in Washington County could see a significant economic boost come race weekends.