Public backlash prompts rare Sunday press release. Flagler County has decided against allowing a proposal to move forward that could have allowed an endurance-obstacle race at Princess Place Preserve.
PALM COAST, Fla. – August 23, 2015 – Flagler County has decided against allowing a proposal to move forward that could have allowed an endurance-obstacle race at Princess Place Preserve sometime in 2016.
“As county staff looked further into the event and at the infrastructure at Princess Place, it became clear that there were some challenges, such as parking, that would be difficult to overcome,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “Even though we have about 29 miles of land disturbed to accommodate trails at the park – many of which are bulldozed fire lines and graded roads –we decided against hosting the event there.”
Neither the county nor the Spartan Race ever discussed a course designed to run through wetlands, our gopher tortoise relocation area, affect our bald eagle nest or even have a mud pit area. In communication between the tourism office, the county and Spartan Race officials, it was made clear and agreed upon from the start that intrusive obstacles were not to be used at this location. With decades of quality land management, during which time the County has hosted various events, Princess Place has remained the crown jewel of the County’s beautiful passive park system.
”For all events we host, we want our visitors to feel welcomed, our event partners to be properly accommodated and successful, and we want everyone from local businesses, to the community to reap the positive economic impact from visitor spending," Matt Dunn said. "We are proud of the accomplishments our team has achieved and we're looking forward to securing an alternate venue for the Spartan Race in the very near future."
The process of seeking out another venue will take place over the upcoming weeks, but Flagler County wanted to get the word out now to those concerned about Princess Place that it had been ruled out as a host location.
“Although Commissioners don't typically get involved in tourism events until they come forward from the Tourist Development Council – and try to keep an open mind until the details of an issue can be presented – they did hear the outpouring of concern,” Coffey said. “They asked questions, expressed their reservations and passed along all the emails received onto County staff.”