TWIN FALLS • Jerome County commissioners have approved a permit for two Twin Falls men to launch their rocket over the Snake River Canyon the weekend before “Big Ed” Beckley plans to jump his motorcycle from the canyon’s other side.
Scott Record and Scott Truax hope to launch a steam-powered rocket Sept. 1 from private land in Jerome County over the canyon to private land in Twin Falls County near the Hansen Bridge. They have all the necessary permits to do so, Record said.
They also have nearly finished building the rocket, are finalizing details of the four-day event and have chosen a jumper, he said.
“Things are happening remarkably fast and remarkably according to plan,” he said.
“Big Ed” Beckley hopes to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle from the city of Twin Falls site to state land in Jerome County. He has not secured permits from either the city or county, but he did pay nearly $1 million to secure a state land lease for the north side landing area.
Beckley said he expects 40,000 people at his event and has been working for months with Twin Falls officials to use Evel Knievel’s historic ramp site, where the daredevil nearly died in 1974.
Record said their event will bring in 25,000 people. He has a mass gathering permit from Jerome County in hand. Twin Falls County commissioners said he doesn’t need a permit from them as the event will not hold more than 500 people at the private landing site.
“I have a letter from (Twin Falls County) that says, ‘Go ahead,’” he said.
Stuntman Eddie Braun, “one of the top stuntmen in Hollywood for 32 years,” will pilot the rocket over the canyon, Record said.
Record said he has been courting several broadcasting companies to televise the jump but is holding out on inking a deal in hopes of sweetening the pot. He said his team also has an insurance company “lined up,” but “they won’t give us a firm quote until we are about two months away from the event.”
Robert Truax, Scott’s father, designed the rocket for Knievel’s Skycycle X-2.
“This event is to clear my dad’s name and clear Evel’s name,” Truax said. “It is to cure history.”
Although the two events are scheduled within days of one another, Beckley said Monday that he saw no conflict between the two.
“There’s no secrets here between us,” Beckley said. “ … There is no conflict between them and I.”
Jerome County Commissioner Cathy Roemer said Record’s company, Omega Point Productions, was permitted under the mass gathering permit last updated in the 1970s. That permit required the commission to act on the application within 20 days of it being submitted.
Since approving Record’s permit, the commission has made sweeping changes to the ordinance controlling that permit, such as boosting its bonding and security requirements, Roemer said. Beckley will have to be permitted under the new, more restrictive framework for his landing site on the Jerome County side, she said.
Jerome County will hold an informational meeting for the public at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Anderson Camp meeting room, 1188 S. 990 East near Eden.
“I put that together in response to several property owners who had contacted me with concerns, and they wanted to ask questions of Omega Point Productions,” Roemer said.
Commissioner Charlie Howell said the county will be strained to support both events but is preparing for them nonetheless. More changes to the new mass gathering permit are forthcoming, he said.
“I’ve got to compliment Scott (Record) because he was very much up front,” Howell said. “He pretty much told us that our ordinance was outdated, it didn’t match, and he was willing to step up and go the extra mile.”
Truax and Record’s progress came as a surprise to Twin Falls City Manager Travis Rothweiler. He said the last he knew, the two were pulling their application to be considered for a jump in the city. Rothweiler said their event likely won’t change the city’s direction in the process of permitting Beckley.
Rothweiler said he was under the impression there would be no jump from the Jerome side, based on information from Commissioner Roger Morley.
Morley, county liaison to the City Council, said Monday he had been confused about certain details regarding the jumps. He said he thought that the two companies were partners on the same event.
Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall said he was under a similar impression as Rothweiler but agreed that it won’t deter the city. While Truax and Record’s event might “water (Beckley’s) down a bit,” the city doesn’t have any control over that, he said.
Hall said he is simply focused on making Beckley’s jump a “quality and safe” event. Record and Truax have “every right to go and ask other areas if they would permit them to do that,” he said.