PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Some 14,000 off-road vehicles are licensed in Palm Beach County and demand is growing. But the closest facility to legally ride the ATVs and dirt bikes is in Miami-Dade and Okeechobee counties.
There's been a plan for years to build an ATV park in western Palm Beach County, but it's stalled
For more than four decades, Cory Gershberg has been fueling his passion and riding off-road vehicles. But the trails and legal places to ride in South Florida, he said, are limited.
"The places that used to be able to ride are now beautiful buildings and construction. There's nowhere to ride," Gershberg said.
Palm Beach County proposed a project to build an ATV park out west at the county's 20-Mile Bend property years ago. Now some riders are pushing to get the plans into first gear.
"This would give kids and adults a safe place within the county to operate those vehicles, which is exactly what we need," rider Tyler Glock said.
Glock has been in contact with the county and he said after 13-year-old Stanley Davis III died last month in Boynton Beach after losing control of his dirt bike during an attempted traffic stop, an ATV park is needed now more than ever.
"It's our duty as a community to provide a safe environment for these people to ride," Glock said.
County commissioners gave approval for the park last summer, and we're told early estimates for phase one will cost about $3 million.
The county's parks and recreation director said a request for proposal has been drafted and is now under review. He's hoping someone will now be interested in developing, designing, and operating the park, which will substantially cut down on the county's costs.
Glock has now created the Facebook group "20 mile bend off-road park palm beach county" and said he will be planning events and fundraisers to help generate more money.
"I think we can come together as a community and get this done so this project gets started sooner than later this year," Glock said.