CALGARY - A $65-70 million motorsport project, east of Airdrie in Rocky View County, is taking a giant step forward this week when the company behind the development files an application for approval.
Rockyview Motorsports Park is proposing a world-class driving course and driver training facility, just northeast of the city of Airdrie, on about 258 hectares of land.
“From a planning perspective, we have a full master plan completed. We have all of the detailed work required to go into a planning application completed and we expect to file the application with the county this week,” Dominic Young, president and chief executive of Rockyview Motorsports Park, told the Herald.
“From a financing perspective, we have about $9 million in committed capital. We would have additional capital raised and we have specific plans as to how that will be carried out following the approvals. We hope to get our approvals this calendar year and we would hope then that we could have the first shovel in the ground so to speak early spring 2015 and most of our construction would be done through 2015.”
In addition to a world-class European driving course of four kilometers with the potential to extend to 5.3 kilometers, the facility will also include a one-of-a-kind driving centre, Calgary Police Service driving training centre, skills pad, indoor/outdoor kart facility, Olds College research project to enhance wetlands and improve agriculture, auto-oriented services, car condos and recreational facilities.
On full build out, it would create 100 jobs.
Recently, the project was presented to Rocky View County’s Policy and Priority Committee, which came into effect last fall. It is the combination of two previous committees (Public Services and Infrastructure and Operations). With this new committee, the County says council can dedicate the time needed to investigate new issues, hear general presentations from members of the public and consider matters involving construction, maintenance, or County facilities. All Councillors sit on the Policy and Priority Committee, which meets in public about 10 times a year.
David Kalinchuk, economic development manager of Rocky View County, said “the great thing about a great idea is it receives a lot of attention from a lot of different groups.”
“This is one of several groups I’ve worked with over the years that have had a dream of having something just like this. This is much better because it’s so inclusive. It has so many different elements,” said Kalinchuk.
“I think the quality, the depth and breadth of the team, is reflected in the quality of the proposal. That’s just great for Rocky View. It’s great for the region. It’s going to be great for all the economic spinoff that comes from foodservices, hotels, the motorsports, the tire guys and the detailing guys. All that kind of stuff and then for the regional tourism . . . it’s one of those amenities we can showcase in the future. It’s all coming together which is really nice to see.”
Young said the core facility revolves around the European-style road course which is designed to be safe for all users.
“Equally important, the facility is intended to become the new home for the Calgary Police Service officer driver training school,” said Young. “Then we want to build out a road safety training centre. This is the kind of facility that would have a number of components to it that would entail slippery surfaces and would teach drivers what happens when their cars are put into a skid situation and how to rectify those situations. A lot of information about vehicles themselves. Under steering. Over steering. Anticipating and the ability to respond to emergency situations.