Plaster city

rkracing

Well-Known Member
Are any promotors working on bringing back racing to plaster city? Is it even possible to have races there anymore?
 

D_moran

Member
Well the BLM made it really difficult and expensive to actually race there. The last race Ivan think of was maybe 2-3 years ago and they ended up shutting down the whole desert and police were really strict with enforcing the closure. I was working the main area as an official and it was very strict on who comes in and out. Each vehicle had to have a permit and there were small and selected spectator areas. I doubt it will get back to the way races used to be 10 years back. We all wish they would comeback more


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rkracing

Well-Known Member
so would it still be possible to do a race without shutting down the whole desert? was it a BLM requirement or did Score do it for safety/liability reasons?
 

calstyl2

Well-Known Member
The El Centro BLM office put so many restrictions and mandates on the race that it was not a viable option, the cost recovery on the race was very large and car counts honestly sucked.
 

Zac Reish

Well-Known Member
The last time snore did a race in plaster city was awesome!!! I wish they’d go back. I feel like snore can make anything work anywhere
 

baja_racer

Well-Known Member
I did race communications for the SNORE race in Plaster City.......quote from Don Wall "we will never race here again"
 

partybarge_pilot

Well-Known Member
The head sheriff guy in ElCentro that helped get the races going retired. His replacement is not doing anything to help the racers out. Actually, he's doing quite the opposite.
 

Wendell #527

Well-Known Member
We raced there back when Doug Wasser made a run at his org. Great times but politically nowadays it would be like a trout swimming up Niagra Falls.
 

baja_racer

Well-Known Member
I was the race communications for DRIVE (Doug Wasser) and the BLM made it impossible after the MDR incident to continue racing at Plaster City.
 

ace_photo

GET SOME
The El Centro BLM office put so many restrictions and mandates on the race that it was not a viable option, the cost recovery on the race was very large and car counts honestly sucked.
This^^^ Doesn't matter who comes to put on the race.

There is a group in Imperial Valley that is trying to bring back some form of racing, so there is hope, but it won't be what we used to have.
 

dan200

#BSF200
I worked as a retrieval guy when the briefly revived HDRA raced there. We were the last guys to come in because we also swept the course. Then when we got back to main we were pulled over and rather aggressively questioned by the cops. They were hunting for guys drinking and driving. We were in a vehicle with big door magnets, a flag and wearing orange vests. For a minute I felt like a felon. I think they stopped us for no light on our rear plate which seemed dumb because we weren't on the highway. We weren't going fast. We weren't doing shoot. Just being volunteers.

Really soured me to the local LEOS.


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harleys dad

Well-Known Member
From what I heir people get harassed just recreating in Plaster city these days. I raced down there my first time in 1978, really liked it. Sad its gone
 

R. Gross

Well-Known Member
Here is a story that very few know about. A few years back an organization held a race in PC for the racers and the city. The org filled out all the permit applications and jumped through all the hoops necessary. The permitting process requires that the permit fees be paid months in advance so that the BLM is working off of the permit monies in lieu of the salary monies that the Feds have set aside for wages. The BLM would be paid anyways just to do their job, whether a race as being planned or not. They are Rec planners and that is what their job is.
So like any business, the org asked for an estimate weeks in advance of when the permit fees were due to make sure that the race was feasible and they would not have to lose money and pay to put a race on. The org wanted the amount of hours needed for rec planners, LEO's, etc and their wages for a fixed race cost.
The estimate came in at $22K which at the time was about twice the cost to race in Ridgecrest or any other race being held on OHV property since it was going to be used for what it was designated for, OHV use! There was no need for degredation issues, Biologist, Fish & Wildlife, etc.
The org decided to take the race to PC anyways and paid the $22K months in advance and started race planning. The race was well marked, well planned, tech was at the mall, motorcycles jumping semi trailers, huge crowds, etc. The mall tracked the attendance and it was the single largest foot traffic day for the mall ever recorded and even bypassing any day related to Christmas. Sales were through the roof by all the mall vendors and the room, food, beverage and gas economic impact for the city as a whole was through the roof.
The org holds the race and there were no race related issues except for that the BLM had ordered a ton of LEO's from other districts and they were filmed and witnessed driving around in packs of up to 6 trucks in areas writing tickets to the spectators for broken tail lights and other minor violations that on any other weekend would have never been an issue. I personally watched as an LEO who wrote a guy a ticket who came to watch on his quad for not wearing his helmet as he was parked sitting with the quad not running as he used it for a lounge chair. I tried helping him get out of the ticket to no avail. The LEO told him to either stand and watch the race or wear the helmet while sitting on the quad or he would get another ticket when he came by next time. Basically BLM was generating money through tickets on the dime of the race org. When I questioned one of the LEO's on what his job description for the day was, he had no clue. I suggested that he talk to his rec planner and that providing spectator safety and making sure the race was being done per the permit stipulations was a good place to start. That did not go over well and since he was the one with the flak jak and glock, I decided to leave.
The org cleans up all the ribbons, stakes, markings and even takes away trash that was there prior to the race. Leaves the desert cleaner than when they showed up. A few weeks after the race during the race close out process, the org gets a bill from the BLM for an additional $13K for additional race costs. When the org questions the bill it is explained that at the last minute the BLM decided to order in extra LEO's from other districts, an additional radio dispatcher to handle just the LEO's radio communications that day, puts them all in single room suites, pays their food, gas and any other cost they can back up with a receipt, pays their travel time to do their job, etc. The org gets told that if they do not pay it, the permit will be in non-compliance and no other BLM district will accept another application for any race in the future from the org.
The org decides to dispute the bill and a little bird from another BLM office tells me that there is a form that I can fill out to dispute the additional cost and basically sue the BLM. Well, I get to filling it out with no legal help and figure what the hell, it can't hurt. I also figured that if am going to get into a fight with the Feds, I better get my ducks in a row so I file Freedom of Information Acts requesting copies of all the LEO's names, wages, timecards, the citations they wrote, what time they were written, total revenue of those tickets, audio recording of all the communications between LEO's and dispatcher, room receipts, gas receipts, etc. Hell we paid for the info, we should be entitled to it.
Now the clock is ticking and literally the day before they had to turn all this info over, I get a call from a state attorney in Sacramento that wants to discuss the FOIA requests. She asks if the org was planning on suing the BLM for their attorney fess along with the revenue generated from the tickets while the LEO's were on the orgs dime. I had not really thought about that one yet, I was just trying to get the $13K squashed, but it sounded like a dang good idea. She asked what we could negotiate to get this to go away, we settled on the $13K going away and the PC BLM rec planner to be relocated to another district hoping that this might help in future permitting for more races in PC. She asked if Alaska was far enough and we both laughed and agreed and a waiver for me to sign was on my computer the next day. Heard the rec planner was transferred shortly there after.
Long story short, PC should get racing back. The people, restaurants, mall, gas stations treated us great like we were rock stars. The problem lies with how the Govt handles their money in that district. Estimating $22K and then billing for another $13K is like putting $500 in groceries on the counter knowing you only have $300 in your wallet and expecting someone else to pick up the difference. It is also the mindset that they are Govt employees who get the same check every week whether they are permitting a race or not and do not care about the economic impact that racing brings to the community as a whole.
For racing to be successful in any district you have to have the Govt entities on board and not all districts permit and manage the same way. Some are easy and some are impossible. Back then PC BLM was impossible to work with based on their mindset.
They should have supported Doug Wasser back in the day, he had his act together and his heart was in it. Now it is probably just to hard for a single promoter to bring it back and hopefully Ace Photo is correct and some people are working on it.
Hope you enjoyed the story and take some insight from it.
 

rkracing

Well-Known Member
This^^^ Doesn't matter who comes to put on the race.

There is a group in Imperial Valley that is trying to bring back some form of racing, so there is hope, but it won't be what we used to have.
Good to hear! Any racing is still better than none. If theres anything I can help im local and would be down to volunteer.
 
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