Green light given to street race study

The race is on for Grand Rapids-area events promoter Charles Steen to conduct a study to determine whether an auto racing event could be held in Grand Haven. Grand Haven City Council on Monday night unanimously approved allowing the Wyoming man to conduct a feasibility study for his proposed street race that would take place in May 2013 or 2014.
Alex Doty
Feb 7, 2012

 

Steen said this morning that City Council’s approval was beneficial because it gave him the go-ahead to discuss the project with the community and other key players.

“It is a study and it’s up to me to get everyone involved in that,” he said.

According to Steen, a former racing event he put together in Grand Rapids in 1998 and 1999 attracted an estimated 150,000 spectators and $1 million in sponsorships, and had a local economic impact of $20 million each year. It was discontinued when organizers were unable to secure major sponsors for a third year.

The study for a Grand Haven event would last five months and would be due to be completed by July 6. It would look into items such as economic impacts and safety, and impacts to the local infrastructure.

Steen said he was looking forward to having as much community involvement in the study as possible.

“Community is the most important part, and the mayor and city manager have given us the opportunity to (do a study),” he said.

Steen said including the community and local stakeholders in the study is the only way the event was going to happen, and he said he intended to get the ball rolling soon on a “design charrette” to look at possible routes for the race course.

Mayor Geri McCaleb said she was intrigued with the plan and with what the study would say about the event, and also said the city was interested in hearing what all parties had to say about it.

“I think it’s an interesting proposal to look into, but there’s a lot of questions to be asked and a lot of questions to be answered,” McCaleb said.

Councilman Dennis Scott said he was also looking forward to hearing about Steen’s plan and how it would fit in the local community.

“I am interested in seeing how the study goes and how the course is laid out,” Scott said.

Steen’s proposal comes on the heels of a recent moratorium passed in 2011 by City Council on any new events in Grand Haven. The city passed the moratorium in 2011 due to a belief that the summer calendar of events was already full.

Comments

pike84

Really? Do we really need to add something this large to an already jam packed schedule. This is really a waste of time and money and will go nowhere. The community will never support something like this!!

Wildcat79

Also say this is not an event for our community to have or support. statistics on these never really show the behind scenes that cost communities more then the promotional person has at stake. who is going to fix our brand new winterized downtown when somethings goes a stray. and an event like auto racing in our streets, REALLY, no thanks.

Think green and exercise - running marathons and bicycle races.

ghresident

The community will never support something like this!!????? Huh? Previous poll votes say we will!
This is a great Idea, more $$$$ going into the local economy/business' Heck I'd let them advertise it in my front yard! BTW whats a jam packed schedule? Coast Guard and the 4th of July doesnt take up the whole summer.....Oh wait theres a couple small venues during the summer also.

Bring on the Street Racing!!!!!!!

firestorm2004

I am totally on board for this study! This is an awesome proposal and WILL do wonders for the GH economy! Everyone likes to watch racing, and if you don't you had better get up off your lazy-boy and stop being lame! Wake up people! We have a chance to be involved with and view racing up-close and personal, and it would be a STONE'S THROW AWAY! Not to mention what it would do for Grand Haven's name, it's already popular for summer events! Why not throw in another exciting oppurtunity? Ladies and Gentleman, start your engines! Quit cryin' haters. If it's too loud, you're too old!

migpilot

If they let it through I guess they won't be able to ticket loud boats in the channel anymore.

MeanSmith

As a Cop, I would ticket all of the vehicles not complying with

CODE OF ORDINANCES, City of GRAND HAVEN, MICHIGAN
Sec. 22-9. - Engine exhaust.

The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which effectively prevents loud explosive noises therefrom is unlawful.

Downtown Resident

I have no issue with the study being conducted, but I hope the study adqueately addresses how the extra wear and tear on the roads caused by such a race will be handled. It is an expensive proposition for taxpayers to keep the roads in reasonable condition, especially with our winters, as it is, and the taxpayers should not have to take an additional tax hit to repair the damage caused by a private action.

dylan09

What Downtime Residents said is true. Such a race can trigger the road to be damaged, and that would cause a lot of money to the community. Whatever they are considering, they should also plan on how to allocate funds to address any damage done to the roads.

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