TWIN FALLS Texas motorcycle stuntman Big Ed Beckleys plans to jump the Snake River Canyon could be upstaged by a Hollywood stuntman with an earlier launch date.
Jerome County commissioners approved a permit for a rocket-powered jump proposed by Scott Record and Scott Traux for Sept. 1, a week ahead of Beckleys planned jump.
The plan approved earlier this week involves taking off from private land in Jerome County and landing on private land in Twin Falls County, sidestepping public land restrictions and permits.
Eddie Braun has been picked to guide the craft, making two daredevils this year with plans to rocket across the canyon and succeed where Evel Knievel once failed.
The County Commissions approval of the second jump is causing friction with the Twin Falls City Council, which has worked with Beckley and even annexed the land containing Knievels jump site. Thats where Beckley plans to launch. Braun would launch from the other side of the river.
The new event might water (Beckleys) down a bit, Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall said.
Councilman Greg Lanting said the county plan sounds like the junior varsity, while ours feels like the varsity.
The state last year awarded Beckley a lease to use the public landing site, and in October Beckley paid $943,000 to the Idaho Department of Lands.
His company, Beckley Media LLC, was among several that placed bids for the rights to a two-year lease on the state endowment lands. All the money from the lease goes to the states public endowment, which helps support public schools.
Omega Point Productions failed to get the lease but can circumvent some requirements by using private land, officials said. That company was formed in Twin Falls by Record and Truax, whose father designed Knievels rocket that ended up a failure and parachuted into the canyon. They said theyve designed a new rocket that is nearing completion.
This event is to clear my dads name and clear Evels name, Truax said.
Beckley said he didnt see a conflict.
Theres no secrets here between us, Beckley said. There is no conflict between them and I.
Commissioner Charlie Howell said the county will face a challenge supporting both events, which are expected to draw thousands of people if they take place.
Jerome County Commissioner Cathy Roemer said a special informational meeting is planned for Feb. 19.
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.