TWIN FALLS, Idaho -- Plans are underway for not one, but two stuntmen to jump the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls in September.
A team of engineers, mechanics, and promoters in Twin Falls is working to build a replica of Evel Knievel's 1974 X2 SkyCycle in commemoration of the event's 40-year anniversary.
Omega Point Productions hopes to pull off the jump just a week before a Texas stuntman tries it.
The company is led by Twin Falls businessman Scott Record His lead engineer is Scott Truax, the son of the man who who built Evel Knievel's original machine. Their machine is scheduled to be completed in about 30 to 40 days.
Record and Truax will go head-to-head with "Big" Ed Beckley, a Texas media mogul who plans a similar stunt just a week later.
EVENTS NOT THE SAME
Despite the obvious similarity, both events will in fact be very different.
Beckley's motorcycle is rocket powered, and would be steered down a ramp and launched over a much-wider canyon gap from the city of Twin Falls onto state-owned land.
Omega Point Productions will steam to power their craft. They'll use a dirt ramp for historical purposes, erecting a 108-foot steel launch ramp on top to send the SkyCycle at a 56-degree angle into the sky over the canyon.
The team plans to both launch and land on private property near the Hansen Bridge in Jerome County. That's about six miles east of Knievel's original launch pad.
Scott Record says his plan is ready to go.
"There's absolutely nothing left," Record told KTVB. "I've got the permits. I have both leases, the jump site and the landing site. I secured the landing site lease today."
Thousands of spectators, TV cameras, and tourists are expected at both events.
However, Omega Point Productions is still looking for a broadcast deal, and the Jerome County Commission says they've got insurance, sanitation, and security issues to deal with.
TWIN FALLS NOT HAPPY
The commission's approval is causing friction with the Twin Falls City Council, who have been working with Beckley.
Councilman Greg Lanting says the county plan sounds like the junior varsity, while "ours feels like the varsity."
"It did catch us off guard," said City of Twin Falls spokesman Josh Palmer, who told KTVB that city officials found out about the plan on Monday.
Do those officials believe the stunt will negatively impact Ed Beckley's own jump a week later?
"We don't really know," Palmer said, noting that city staff would be reaching out to Jerome County to get more information on the scope of the jump, how many people it would bring into the area, and a number of safety issues.
"Ultimately, this is going to be a regional event, whether we like it or not," Palmer said.
Evel Knievel made an unsuccessful jump across the Snake River Canyon in 1974.