Flagler County Rules Out Princess Place for Spartan Race

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.  

Princess Place Preserve”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.” 

8 replies
  1. CC
    CC says:

    Another Ruled Out Event/Business to come to our Co

    You have got to be kidding me! How many more companies/events will this County Administration allow to slip through its fingers? It almost seems like Flagler County Administration doesn’t want ANY business to come here, unless it’s for the benefit of some of those administrators themselves! Absolutely ridiculous abuse of power. How much longer will the residents here put up with this? The “Good Ole Boy (and one gal) Network” is alive and well in Flagler County. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. Not only do we have to contend with the Palm Coast Monopoly Mongers (City Council and especially the overpaid, pompous, tyrannical City Manager), but now this? Eventually, no large business or professional will ever want to do business in our county, it’s already happened too many times!

  2. David I Alfin
    David I Alfin says:

    Take a look next door!

    The slow and agonizing demise of the Florida Agricultural Museum is taking place at this very moment right next door to Princess Place. Take a look at the financial documents and you will clearly see another project in serious trouble. Flagler County will lose this asset! Make some noise and write some press to let Flagler County residents know the end is near.

  3. LJ
    LJ says:

    Who is running the show here?

    For the 12 years my family have lived here, both the City and County Managers have been in place the entire time. We get to hold elections on our elected officials, but not these two. Why not? Many would argue that our unelected managers here have much too much power and that it’s time for a change.

    When do those contracts come up for renewal and how about some citizen input on this?

  4. ghm
    ghm says:

    Glad for the re-evaluation

    So glad the decision was re-evaluated and voted in favor of Princess Place environmental safety. The proposed event could have caused severe damage. Thanks for reconsidering the original decision.

  5. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Proper purpose of preserve

    CC, your rant about this decision somehow being anti-business is ludicrous. From the start this was the wrong location for such an event. The impact of the event and the size of participants at the venue are not appropriate for such a natural preserve where passive recreation should co-exist with the natural beauty. Preserving and protecting the natural environment makes economic sense and is ultimately pro business. We would not have selected Palm Coast had it not been for the natural beauty that abounds and our economic impact on the businesses of Flagler County would be lost. One wouldn’t suggest having such an event at other inappropriate sites, historic or restricted military sites or a hallowed burial grounds, why can’t people respect the natural world with the same reverence one gives to these other inappropriate venues?

  6. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Environmental Integrity The Palm Coast Project

    It is self-evident that our earth is finite and that our population is growing. In ever increasing numbers, man must be sheltered, and the shelter, of course, must cover land. Transportation media to and from the shelter must cover land. Shops and service facilities must cover land. Who will say that land should not be cleared for at least these purposes, assuming an increase in population?
    Proceeding from this starting point, we quickly arrive at the most sensitive area of environmental turmoil: making certain that when man clears and improves land, he simultaneously maximizes environmental integrity and maintains ecosystem continuity. thus being the challenges to us at Palm Coast. In our deliveration on the environment and ecosystems, as will be seen, much consideration has been given to both plant and animal life. Every attempt has been and shall be made to assure maintenance of al parameters of life cycles. Literature, both scientific and lay, is full of differing criteria with regard to protection for various plants and animals. In all candor, there is no way that all the sincere voices can be satisfied.
    At Palm Coast, the preponderance of voices will have a city more satisfactory in the ecological sense than ever before anywhere. Neither perfection nor utopia will result…only the best that our talents, time, energies and resources can produce. At Palm Coast, given the fact of biological synergism, we do speak for plant life…and we do speak for animal…but most of all we speak for man.
    Dr. J. Norman Young

  7. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Courage in Conservation

    With all due respect to Dr. J. Norman Young, I prefer the words of Lord Byron:

    “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

    Byron continued with the following passage:

    “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean–roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain:
    Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
    Stops with the shore.”

    Although Byron would be disappointed to learn how man has “progressed” and our ruin now does indeed extend beyond the shore with ocean dumping; sonar testing deafening sea mammals and oil wells gushing out of control.

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