A letter from the Sun Valley Board of Powder and Tourism -
Let Big Ed jump the canyon.
The Board of Powder and Tourism gives Ed Beckley our full endorsement.
It takes a lot of things to pull of a jump like this. Big Ed has the tools. All of the would be jumpers have an extreme amount of courage. How many of them have the experience and the backing that Beckley and his team bring to the table? Big Ed is a professional. Do the research. He’s been jumping things his entire life. His track record for success and safety is proven. As an industry professional with countless jumps under his expansive belt Big Ed knows what it takes to orchestrate an event like this.
This jump is going to expensive. He has already demonstrated his commitment with his winning bid of $943,000. If the others in the room pleading their case were asked to come up with this amount of money the conversation, I’m guessing, would be over quickly.
He has followed the protocol.
He has the guts.
He has the experience.
He has the backing.
He has the full support of the Board of Powder and Tourism.
He came as a fan for another guy but during the meeting he decided that I was the guy he liked and wanted to make that Canyon jump.
Young Mr. Tyson Geluk drew Big Ed this picture and at the end of the City Council meeting he walked up and handed to him. Ed, a huge man, was visibly shaken as the emotion he had been feeling was swept all away with this happy moment when Tyson gave him the picture he had drawn while watching the proceedings.
Here is the picture we thought you might like to see it:
Twin Falls Council Selects Beckley Media as Primary Group to Begin Negotiations with to Jump Canyon
The Twin Falls City Council voted Monday night to consider Beckley Media Group as the first group to begin permitting negotiations to jump the Snake River Canyon in a motorized vehicle.
The council also voted to rank three other organizations – REO Group, Ping Pong Productions, and Adrenaline Nation – as second, third and fourth considerations to receive permitting to jump the canyon. If Beckley Media Group fails to meet the City’s requirements during negotiations, the next group on the list will meet with the City to discussing permitting.
The council considered the four groups based on their assurance of land acquisition, a history of effective event planning and specific plans to protect the safety and image of the City of Twin Falls.
Members of council and staff will meet to discuss the next steps of the process, which is expected to be completed within 45 days. The City of Twin Falls will bring together city, county, state and neighboring jurisdictions to help in the decision making process. The City will continue to provide updates on the permitting process on www.tfid.org.
The Snake River Canyon Motorcycle Jump by BIG Ed Beckley is doing more for Idaho and Twin Falls area than anything in recent history. There is no denying the amount of money and publicity his future event will generated has really amped up the area and it is abuzz with the excitement of what will happen September 7th, 2014 when BIG Ed Beckley points his rocket assisted motorcycle towards the take-off ramp and flies over the Snake River Canyon. It has not been that easy though as City officials the day after the auction decided to open a huge can of worms. “They decided on their own agenda to release the use of the site Evel Knievel used for his ill fated attempt on September 8, 1974 of a rocket launch over the Canyon. We understand their intensions but do not whole heartedly agree with their process,” said BIG Ed.
With nearly a million dollars from TEAM BECKLEY in the bank the State of Idaho and it’s residents know BIG Ed Beckley is good for Idaho and the children of Idaho. The State’s board of education will able to better itself with these immediate funds from the auction and the rent received. With the other funds from percentages of ticket sales, TV rights and other events the amount of money the State of Idaho will make for their Education fund is staggering from BIG Ed’s jump.
TEAM BECKLEY paid 943,000 dollars October 4th, 2013 as per the lease agreement with the State. There was also a rent payment of $25,000 for the first year’s rent paid and the State has embraced Beckley and his attempt. News stories quote even the Governor wishing Beckley luck and top State officials have made it known that Beckley is the jumper that has their blessing and can use the State land for the next two years.
Currently there is a town meeting format on November 21st in Twin Falls which TEAM BECKLEY will attend with of course BIG Ed, his investor Cheryl Williamson, his attorney Jon Simmons, two of his rocket engineers Clark Foster and Kevin Pracon and others to help answer any questions. It is an open format that local radio stations have called a circus – Beckley will comply and has a good feeling about securing the permit from the City. The City of Twin Falls Mayor on the local radio station said last week we were the first choice and they recognize the huge amount of money Beckley has invested.
BIG Ed said, “We trust that all will recognize we have the best interests in mind for Twin Falls, the residents, and other towns and the State of Idaho as a whole. We are dedicated to making this spectacular and safe event that will leave nothing but a smile on the faces of all the people!”
Hang on folks this is going to be a wild ride!
We had to ask.
Boise Weekly was quizzing “Big” Ed Beckley about how engineers were designing special jet engines to propel his motorcycle across Idaho’s Snake River Canyon; we asked about his inspiration–Evel Knievel–and how Beckley, in 1971, saw Knievel jump some trucks at the Kansas State Fair, propelling Beckley to become a daredevil himself; and we asked him how he scraped up $1 million for the right to jump over the Snake.
And then we finally just had to ask:
Are you crazy?
“Ya’ think?” Beckley, 63, said with a Texas-sized laugh. “Yeah, I’m a little off to the left field. Ya’ know what? I’m way past left field.”
And for all of the silliness surrounding Beckley’s bid to fly over the Snake on Sept. 8, 2014–the 40th anniversary of an ill-fated attempt by Knievel–there’s a serious side to Beckley’s madness.
“Oh yeah, this is serious money,” Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa told BW. “Big Ed wired $943,000 to the state of Idaho on Oct. 4 and that was on top of the $25,000 he’ll pay each year in a two-year lease. And then, Idaho will get its percentage of his revenues on a number of things.”
The $968,000, already sitting in an Idaho Department of Lands bank account, has been earmarked for Idaho K-12 public schools. Beckley is also required to fork over 3 percent of gross revenues from television and sponsorship rights and another 5 percent of gross revenue from all other income streams connected with the jump.
The Idaho Department of Lands manages 2.4 million acres of state endowment land, and that includes a 1,100-acre block of endowment trust land on the north side of the Snake River Canyon where Beckley, if he’s successful, would land.
Evel Knievel never made it to the north side. In his 1974 attempt over the Snake, a parachute deployed even before Knievel’s so-called “Skycycle” had left his launching ramp on the south side. Knievel and his malfunctioning machine drifted to the bottom of the canyon.
“Knievel paid Idaho $5,000 for his permit back in 1974,” said Ysursa. “Nobody else even bid for it back then.”
Ysursa should know. Just a few months before Knievel’s 1974 jump, Ysursa was hired to be a legal officer in the Secretary of State’s office, where he would spend the next 39 years, becoming the man in charge in 2002.
“Let me think now; I really need to refresh my memory. I do remember Knievel and his people coming around, telling us that they wanted to jump the canyon,” said Ysursa.
Perhaps the biggest change between Knievel’s attempt and Beckley’s plan to jump the canyon can be tied to a ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court in 2012. That’s when Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sued the Idaho Land Board, saying it wasn’t generating sufficient income from state endowment lands. The high court agreed.
“And because of that decision, the Department of Lands doesn’t just accept any new application to use state land, we open it up to the market,” said Emily Callihan, public information officer for the department. “And this year, we had applications from five groups saying they were interested in a lease for the state land in order to jump the canyon.”
IDOL required $25,000 a year for a two-year lease to use the north side of the canyon. But that was just for starters. It was up to the five competitors to up the ante through so-called “bonus bids.”
“I have to tell you, conventional wisdom was that the winning bonus bid would go for something like $150,000, maybe $200,000. But…” Ysursa took a deep breath. “My Lord.”
On Sept. 27, all five competitors came to the IDOL headquarters to participate in a bonus bid auction, with a starting bid of $10,000.
“It took about an hour. Things began inching up, most of it in $1,000 increments,” said Callihan.
Ysursa made a point of witnessing the unique auction.
“I’m a Land Board commissioner and I was absolutely amazed. The bidding slowed down a little bit, and then we said, ‘This is for the school children.’ And then Big Ed just smiled that smile,” said Ysursa. “The auctions I go to are usually some Lincoln Day thing where we get $25 for a basket of cookies. But this was unbelievable.”
Which prompts the question: Where did Beckley get the $943,000 that was wired to the state of Idaho seven days after the auction?
“I’m connected with some oil people,” Beckley told BW. “They’re investors, really good friends who want to see this happen.”
Beckley said he and his investors’ main source of revenue will come through television rights to broadcast the jump (he said he was still negotiating with ABC and the Discovery Network). But when BW asked him how much those broadcast rights might go for, he was a bit coy–at least until we guessed $10 million.
“Boy, you hit it right on the number. That’s the minimum we’re looking for,” he said.
Meanwhile, there’s the little matter of hauling his butt over the canyon. And Beckley is hoping that his butt is a few sizes smaller come next September.
“In my prime, back in 1984, I was 380 pounds; I outweighed the motorcycle by 100 pounds. I even used to weigh 480 pounds at one point,” said Big Ed. “Currently, I’m 280 pounds, but I’m going to try to get down to 250.”
Ysursa, who is himself a bit–let’s say–on the portly side, joked that he and Beckley “go to the same tailor.”
“They’re going to need a Saturn rocket to get him across the canyon,” he joked.
But Ysursa’s joke was more physics than fiction.
“I’ll hit that takeoff ramp next September and boom! It will be a rocket engine that will get me to maybe 240 mph and it will kick my bike out of gear,” said Beckley. “It will burn for 3.4 seconds and then at an apex of the arc over the canyon, I’ll run out of [rocket] fuel. Then we’ll deploy a chute, just like a para sail, and I’ll click the bike back into gear and when I touch down, I’ll ride away.”
When BW described the we’ll-believe-it-when-we-see-it scenario to Ysursa, he laughed again.
“He’s a real character,” he said. “I hope he’s extremely successful and nobody gets hurt.”
The Snake River Canyon Jump Video
Click on this link to the video of our simulation which is really close to scale showing the bike and me flying off the take off ramp and climbing upward to the apogee of the jump to coming down with the para sail to safety!
Of course there are missing elements on the video but it is our design and engineer team desire to show you how they are working for a safe and spectacular jump across the Snake River Canyon. Hope you enjoy and keep those positive thoughts going.
Thanks for all the letters and calls the support has been overwhelming from all over the world!