Developers are typically not looking to buy land that is the site of a former landfill.
But as first reported in the Daily News earlier this month, the city of Bowling Green is working through a deal that would see its Glen Lily landfill turned into a massive motorsports venue.
Sye Head of SK Powersports Promotions of Russellville and his partner Kash Moore approached the city recently about acquiring the property for a planned “Disneyland of Powersports.”
The city opened the 30-acre landfill in 1973. It sits in the middle of a 270-acre tract at 5301 Glen Lily Road. The landfill closed in 1981, but the city has continued to monitor the site and clear leachate – water that has percolated through the landfill materials.
Head said the facility, to be called PowerPlex Park, will feature permanent bathroom/shower facilities, a parking lot and facilities to accommodate up to 20,000 attendees and numerous tracks, including cross country, Grand Prix, motocross, a circle track, flat drag course and an enduro course.
Head said PowerPlex Park will also host concerts.
The landfill is already capped with a liner and dirt but could be further sealed once the site is developed.
City officials are wisely making sure the potential deal is fully vetted by a lawyer who specializes in environmental law. Even if the ownership of the land is transferred, the city could still have some liability for an issue stemming from the landfill portion of the property.
The deal makes sense for the city – while it only costs $20,000 or so to currently maintain the property, that is $20,000 it can spend elsewhere.
The financial impact, however, is likely to be much greater for the city. If the park is fully developed as planned, it could bring in millions of dollars in tourism to the city and region.
The property first came to Head’s attention as he was seeking a site for a Grand National Cross Country off-road racing event. The Bowling Green City Commission in January agreed to lease the land to Head for the scheduled May 16-17 event, which is estimated to bring 15,000 spectators or more to Bowling Green and have a $3 million to $4 million economic impact.
Those sorts of events are aligned with the region’s vital tourism industry, and the planned PowerPlex Park would add yet another area attraction to lure visitors.
According to a study by Global Market Insights, powersports are a growing industry in the U.S., increasing from $11 billion in 2018 to a projected $14.5 billion in 2025.
The PowerPlex Park facility would allow Bowling Green and the region to take advantage of the booming market. Throw in the fact that the proposed deal would get the city out of having to maintain a landfill site and the idea seems to be the true definition of a win-win.