TWIN FALLS - A Texas-sized stuntman and millionaire has the green light from the Twin Falls City Council to jump the Snake River Canyon from a dirt launch pad recently annexed by the city.
"Big" Ed Beckley of the Beckley Media Group has been selected to begin permitting negotiations for the massive jump, tentatively scheduled for September of 2014.
Beckley's quest to repeat Evel Knievel's failed 1974 motorcycle launch over the Snake River Canyon started this September. He successfully bid over $900,000 to the Idaho Department of Lands to secure the lease for the landing site on the north rim of the canyon.
Soon afterward, the City of Twin Falls annexed the dirt launch ramp on the south side of the canyon used in Knievel's 1974 jump.
That meant Beckley was forced to come to terms with the city over the launch. City officials say their conditions include maintaining public safety, crowd control, and other benefits to the community.
Twin Falls Mayor Greg Lanting said he's confident in the Texan's plan.
"I think Mr. Beckley has the right team together to answer our questions," Lanting said, adding "It doesn't help the city of Twin Falls if his jump isn't successful. We want him to come through the jump safe and sound."
Asked whether Beckley's negotiations included cash proceeds from the jump, Lanting said it doesn't.
"Obviously, if we have overtime for police and fire, we'll expect to have that covered," Lanting said.
Lanting also said the council won't pick more than one group to stage the stunt. However, he did say members voted on three other organizations as "runners up" Monday night.
They include the REO Group, Ping Pong Productions, and Adrenaline Nation. Those organizations would receive consideration if the Beckley Media Group fails to meet the city's requirements.
Members of the city council and staff hope to complete negotiations with Beckley by January 31. If that doesn't happen, they'll consider offers from the other groups.