A Letter to all SCR Supporters

Dear SCR Supporters:

I have good news for you. Our efforts may have made a difference. The now buried Carlsbad Skate Park is in the process of being preserved! It is true, the buried Skate Park built in 1976, and buried for 20+ years,is being negotiated for purchase by the Skate Board group, headed by David Bergthold. The owners are sympathetic and are indeed open to saving the park. The property the Skate Park is located on is a much smaller 6 acre section, and may be split off & separated in order to prevent it from being destroyed. The talks are moving forward. I am extremely happy with these ongoing negotiations. But still, the continued interest of qualified investors is vital. But it looks like GH Fenton is being very reasonable.
I praise them for that. They are doing the right thing. As for the remaining 137+ acres that is known as Carlsbad Raceway, I am afraid that the news is not as good.

THE END - - is in sight for the Raceway.
Grading is scheduled for mid to late November! We have not been able to stop it.
Several events have had a negative effect on our plans to save the raceway.

1. The State of California could not fund the purchase of this property at this time.
2. HG Fenton closed escrow much earlier than originally anticipated.
3. Lack of funding to support our accumulated legal fees.
4. Dooms dayers negative propaganda helped squelch our ability to gain more support.

The Raceway as we know it will be gone very soon now.Only a combined purchase offer of $20 mil could change this. So far, the indications are clear that there is NO interest, corporate or private, in purchasing this property. So, without interested buyer(s) / investor(s), the 143 acre Raceway is doomed. It is just a matter of days now. Only a miracle of immediate investment activity can save the entire 143 acre raceway. This would indeed be a surprise to me. Time is quickly running out on the drag strip & motocross track.

Because of this, I do not plan to spend any more time on the Carlsbad Raceway effort.

Instead, I hope that we all can get behind David Bergthold and the rest of the Skate guys, in order to help them wrap up the skate park effort. I intend to work to support them. Although there is much to do, and more hills to climb, this effort looks to have success written all over it. It appears that it can indeed be preserved.

The now buried Carlsbad Skate Park, is the worlds first skate park, and for that reason should be preserved. Many young skate boarders will be able to enjoy it. I know that my seven year old will want to be having fun at this historic facility. And I cannot wait to get him over there. I am very happy that this looks to be moving forward.

Although I am sad that our efforts to save the 143 acre Raceway look to be at an end, I can honestly say that we have indeed made a difference. By helping save and uncover the historic Carlsbad Skate Park we will have achieved a great deal of success. We will have helped preserve something that would have more than likely been destroyed, and in doing so, skate boarders from all over the world will enjoy this area for many years to come.

We can be proud of this. This is very special indeed. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Your support was appreciated. You have indeed helped us, and have made an impact.You are all great.

I hope that we can some day meet up again, at a new raceway, a better one!

Bruce Santourian
Save Carlsbad Raceway, Chairman

11-11-04:   A Bad Day. . .
Our efforts to save the entire Raceway have ended. The
Newspaper prophecy will now come true. THE END - -  is here for the Raceway. Grading is scheduled for mid to late November!  Only a combined purchase offer of $20 mil could change this. So far, the indications are clear that there is NO interest, corporate or private, in purchasing this property. So, without interested buyer(s) / investor(s), the 143 acre Raceway is doomed. It is just a matter of days now. Only a miracle of immediate investment activity can save the entire 143 acre raceway.

Time has run out on the drag strip & motocross track.

( old August 2004 article)

- 10-30-04 -

Here is our vision!

News Flash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have just come from a meeting with the H.G. Fenton Company and their broker Grubb & Ellis, the outcome of the meeting was much better than we had hoped for. The skatepark will not be destroyed immediately after final grading plans were approved, as we had once feared it might be. Talks will continue between the skateboarding community and H.G. Fenton to see if a mutually beneficial deal can be reached, they are very open to the idea of preserving this historical landmark.

The International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) has now officially endorsed the mission to save the Carlsbad Skatepark. IASC has a membership of fifty of the best skateboard companies and has the ability to spread the word within the industry and throughout its association members.

Incorporated in 1995 as a California Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation (501c6), the International Association of Skateboard Companies is dedicated to supporting, promoting and growing the sport of skateboarding, as well as the entire skateboard industry, and stimulate interest in and a demand for industry products.

IASC will act as an interim organization until a new nonprofit corporation can be formed and funds are raised to operate the new unity. A business plan is in the works and talks are continuing with several major players in the skateboard industry for funding options. Keep checking back for news on fundraising efforts you may be able to get involved with.

Dave Bergthold will head the IASC Carlsbad Skatepark committee, he can be reached at [email protected] John Bernards, the IASC Executive director can be reached at [email protected]

The property owner/developer, the HG Fenton Company, has indicated that they will listen to the skate park proposal David Bergthold is now developing. David has a real estate broker working with us, and we believe that we can purchase the property, providing we have investors who are willing to participate. We are working on identifying them now. We have a meeting set up with the new owner for Friday, November 5th. We plan to discuss these new ideas at that time.


Rainy S.O.S. Rally, included many.
Click here for Rally images!


Buried Treasure Article 10-16-04

News Update:
The new owner,
wants to proceed with the plans to build an Industrial Park.
Representatives from "Save Carlsbad Raceway" met with the owners of the property, on October 5 to determine if they would be interested in selling the Carlsbad Raceway property or participating in the Save Carlsbad Raceway organization. They stated that the property is not for sale, and that they are not interested in participating in the Save Carlsbad Raceway effort.

Let us work towards saving and upgrading this recreational facility for purposes of using it as a Family Oriented Multi Use Recreational Facility.
We would like to make the owners a more attractive offer, which, if accepted, would secure the property, and stop the bull dozers from leveling a huge portion of the 140+ acres.


Raceway Backers trying to buy land.

Click here to view the entire article

Meeting with Carlsbad Mayor Claude Lewis.
Our first meeting with the mayor, was professional and informative. Many important points were made, as well as the buried skate park, whose historic significance was apparently overlooked by everyone, includng the Mayor. This park, built in 1976, was the very first skate park built in the world. Miki Vukovich and David Bergthold, representing the Tony Hawk
made a short presentation discussing the first ever skateboard park in the United States which is partially buried in a preserved condition on the raceway grounds. This skateboard facility, if it is refurbished as we plan, would draw skateboarders from all parts of the U.S. as the original Carlsbad skateboard park is considered to be a "Mecca" for skateboarders. They discussed the possibility of a museum and other added elements to build on and capitalize on the historic significance of the site.

Jeanette Hartman indicated that the Sierra Club is behind our proposal for a number of reasons but their main concern is the amount of damage now being done to natural areas by illegal off road activities. The Sierra Club feels, as we do, that the proposed off road facilities at Carlsbad Raceway will reduce the illegal traffic by providing a convenient alternative site where off road vehicles can be safely run. Jeanette also mentioned that the State has been actively looking for three outdoor recreation locations in San Diego county and has significant funds allocated for their acquisition.

Mayor Lewis's main concerns are, in the order he presented them:
1)  the council has no legal grounds to interfere with the present plans to construct an industrial park on this site.
2)  he stressed that plans for the construction of Melrose and Faraday streets must not be impeded by any of our plans, or the Council would be very upset.
3)  concerns over noise from the proposed raceway
4)  the SaveCarlsbadRaceway coalition will have only a short time in which to fully develop a plan and obtain sufficient financing with which to buy the grounds back from the present owner, assuming that our efforts can convenience the owner to make the property available for purchase. Mayor Lewis indicated that he is willing to support whichever way the majority of Carlsbad residents decide to proceed.

"Save Carlsbad Raceway" is officially approved as a California non-profit corporation.
As of today, 9/22/04, we have received our official state certification approving the corporate name "Save Carlsbad Raceway". This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for public purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c) (3), Internal Revenue Code.  

Mayor Johnson of Oceanside supports the SCR!
Mayor Terry Johnson today has given us his support. The Mayor indicated to me that he supports our efforts to gather public support for saving the raceway as well as securing the property for purchase. Attached here is the letter he wrote to Ruth Coleman of the California Department of Parks & Recreation.
Thank you Mayor Terry Johnson.    
     Click here


2nd Successful Rally!

Friday Sept. 17th @ 7:00 am.- 8:30 am. (Rush Hour)
The SCR (Save Carlsbad Raceway) Committee held a Rally on the ridge at
Palomar Airport Rd. Once again, the traffic was bad. Because of the slow moving traffic, many passers by noticed our large signs. They read "Stop The Construction" "Reduce Traffic" and "Save Carlsbad". Just think, as bad as that traffic is now, if the planned construction is allowed to continue, another 10,000 ADT's (average daily trips) will occur on Palomar Airport Rd (per the Carlsbad Planning Department).
September 17st, 2004  Click for next Rally info

Applied for Non-Profit Corporation Status
The "Save Carlsbad Raceway" Committee has submitted the paper required to become a non-profit corporation. The process should take about 20 days.
The corporate name should be approved in just a week.    09/10/04

Senator Morrow endorses our efforts.
"As you know I am interested in local access for recreational opportunities such as your project would provide. It certainly appears to be a reasonable and viable land use, which should be given serious consideration."    Sen. Morrow, letter dated 09/07/04
Click here to view Sen. Morrow's letter

SDORC pledged their support with a donation!
The San Diego Off Road Coalition after seeing our presentation has thrown us their support, as well as a $2,000 pledge. This they said was a good start. They had indicated to us that there could be more assistance as time goes on.
To E
veryone at the SDORC, the Save Carlsbad Raceway Committee thanks you!   09/07/04

We had a successful Demonstration!

Tuesday Sept. 7th @ 7:00 am.- 8:30 am. (Rush Hour)
The SCR (Save Carlsbad Raceway) Committee put on a successful demonstration at two locations simultaneously. The traffic was bumper to bumper solid, for 2 hours. This gave everyone plenty of time to read our messages. I already have received feedback from people passing by asking what they can do to help! Just think, as bad as that traffic is now, if the planned construction is allowed to continue, another 10,000 ADT's (average daily trips) will occur on Palomar Airport Rd (per the Carlsbad Planning Department).

September 7st, 2004

Great Job everyone!
Click for next Rally info

September 1st, 2004

Street racing fatality.
By: YVETTE URREA - Staff Writer
CARLSBAD ---- A driver and his pregnant girlfriend were killed Wednesday during an apparent freeway race, authorities said. Witnesses told California Highway Patrol officers that a red Honda CRX was racing a similar make and model vehicle of dark or primer gray color in all the lanes of traffic on southbound Interstate 5, Officer Tom Greenstone said. The red Honda was apparently in the lead going in excess of 100 mph when it started to cross the lanes to the right and lost control about 12:50 p.m. just south of Palomar Airport Road, he said.

The Honda collided with a cement mixer and slid partially underneath it, then ricocheted back across the lanes and crashed into the center divide, Greenstone said.
A 24-year-old Vista man driving the Honda and a female passenger, who is also in her 20s, were killed instantly, he said. Their names have not yet been released by the medical examiner's office because their family has not yet been notified. CHP officer Larry Landeros said the female passenger was four-months pregnant.

Rather than two deaths, there were three, he said, "...all because someone wanted to win some kind of race."

(North County Times)

Our deepest & sincerest sympathy go out to the families. We mourn your loss.

Bruce Santourian

August 28th, 2004
Bruce Santourian, Chairman of the SCR (Save Carlsbad Raceway) Committee, was live on The KFMB Auto Show Radio program, 760 AM with Dave Stall. When asked if the Carlsbad Raceway is finished, he was quick to respond "No". Then Bruce went on the record as stating that the SCR Committee would work to reopen the facility.
"It is not over yet" he stated, "We will win!"
Currently the property is owned by an out of state bank.

1st Meeting Results for 8-25-04
August 26th, 2004

This first meeting was a strategic and enthusiastic one. Everyone that attended shared our vision to stop the construction, enable the State Department of Parks and Recreation to negotiate and purchase this already pre-qualified prime property, and then renovate the existing Raceway into a world class multi-use recreational facility. Saving open space, reducing traffic while further protecting the environment. As I looked over the many faces that attended our meeting, I saw commitment, determination, I saw the strength of our committee members to see this fight to the finish line. Seeing that, I have no doubt of the result, we will win! Our tasking has only just begun. We have only just formed our three fully active committees. We have strategic plans, that can yield just one result, a World Class Multi-use Facility.

We have also paged several of our elected officials, soon to be on the record, and they are telling us that they favor stopping this construction to save the raceway.

We want local residents to enjoy go-cart racing, BMX, rock climbing, skateboarding motocross, hiking, street legal drag racing, camping, and many more enjoyable activities. We say NO to the proposed Industrial Park!

This Industrial Park is NOT what the people of Carlsbad want. It is our job to help government officials and real-estate developers alike see that this is wrong for Carlsbad, wrong for North county, and wrong for San Diego. This is what echoed from our first meeting. And with your support, this is what will be heard all the way from the Carlsbad City Council Chambers, to the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Thank you Courtesy Chevrolet, CEO Norman Erb and Kushan Peykarian, their #1 Salesperson, for being so proactive. Your attendance indicates to me that you care about our community. It was an honor having you there. We continue to seek your support. I would like to thank everyone at the Miramar Speed Circuit for being such great hosts and allowing us to use their conference room. It worked nicely for us. Plus, my kids loved those Go-carts. They had a real blast!

Keep coming back to this site for the most current and honest information, as we plan to post up breaking news as it happens! We won't leave you behind! We are fighting for you.

Bruce S.

Invitation to Save Carlsbad Raceway Meeting!
When: Wednesday, August 25, 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Where? Click Here!

What happened?
The State said Carlsbad was Prime candidate for purchase, in June, 2004!
August 24th, 2004

The publication is: Strategic Planning Approach for from the California Department of Parks and Recreation OHMVRD dated June 2004. It says the Carlsbad Raceway site was a prime candidate for purchase! What happened, or should I say, what didn't happen!
Read this PDF file!



Beware of Mis-Information!
August 17th, 2004

No, the dragstrip has not been destroyed! We are working to save the raceway.
I have been to a website that is preaching doom and gloom for the raceway.
Yes, we are well aware of the sewer / drainage trench, this was unstoppable. This is no surprise. I have the plans in my hands that are associated with this construction. It facilitates the construction to the south. Again, we know this.....but the Raceway itself will remain until the first projected phase of construction could begin. We plan to prevent this!

The Raceway Site cannot be bull dozed until the grading plans have been approved. This could take months. But the trench, we will repair it, of course. We need a new strip anyway, its only 40+ years old remember. Change is not going to happen overnight. We have a fight on our hands. This is a big issue. We have many enemies, like the operators of the negative web site. They seem to be wanting to make sure the raceway remains closed. We, on the other hand, DO NOT want the raceway to remain closed!

But we have good sound workable ideas. The people we have are being mobilized now. I feel our chances are good for success. We want to make a difference. But we need to work hard, and get the support of the community. And this is what we are doing! There are web sites just developed showing the destruction of a section of the track.
As unpleasant as this is, there are reasons these people are publicizing this.
The operators seem not interested in our efforts to save this facility. That is sad. But it is a free country. In reality, there is plenty more track area left, as well as the motocross areas, the unused go-cart track, and other open spaces for potentially more recreation, like skateboarding. We want to use this again, don't you?

Listen to us! We are fighting for you!
There is a letter that was posted as well, preaching doom and gloom, and rejecting our efforts to save the raceway. This really has no impact on us, or anything else for that matter, with exception of misleading you. They do not own the property, they are just the operators. We are not associated with them whatsoever. No, we have not had any contact with them. We have no need to. They seem to be our enemy. But they too have a right to voice their opinions! This is America isn't it. We on the other hand do not preach doom and gloom or negativity. We will give it to you straight!
This will be a tough fight! We know this, we know we are behind, the underdog.
But we still plan to win!

Bruce Santourian


There is interest for the potential funding
for the purchase of this property.

Carlsbad City Council Meeting
Tuesday, August 10th

We had a heck of a turnout on Tuesday night. As well, a North County Times reporter was there to report on this event. We believe that it is an important issue to many here in Carlsbad. Our supporters were on hand to picket at the corner and entrance of City Hall. This was a good well carried out demonstration. Furthermore, we packed the Council Meeting Hall, standing room only! We addressed the Council in a public forum, to inform them that we do not want an industrial park on this location. Rather, we are fighting for saving this racecourse and establishing a Multi-Use Off Road Recreational Park on that site. We have shown the Council our alternative plan. Unfortunately, this was not as well received as I thought it could have been. Most of the Council members do not seem at all interested in saving Carlsbad Raceway. Mayor Bud Lewis was on the record as for the industrial park, and against keeping the Raceway. Although I do not know where all the council members stand on the record, I have a feeling they are not supporters of our cause. I can tell you that all of the members were professional and straight to the point. Mayor Lewis and Ann Kulchin seemed to be paying particular attention to the fact that we had not come forward two years ago. It is safe to say that they seemed not at all sympathetic to our cause. But for the record, I can now release a very simple answer to their question. During these years, I was under the impression that the track operators were doing all they could to keep the raceway open, acting in our (the raceway users) best interest. And they may have been doing just that. But really, I have no first hand information either way. There is not finger pointing on this issue. I am sure that they all are fine and good people. Unfortunately, we now realize that this property was never secured long-term for off-road use proposes.

I hope we can continue to work in a positive atmosphere with all the Council Members. We want a chance to change their attitudes, and their positions on the development plans.

Several positive responses resulted from our presentation:

  • We informed the Council that there is interest for the potential funding for the purchase of this property for the operation of an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation facility by the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation, OHMVR Division. The Division already owns and operates seven such parks throughout the state.
  • The Council has given us permission to meet with the Carlsbad Planing Department in order for them to share all the related information with us.
  • The Council encouraged us to further contact the owner of the property, as we already had been.
  • Mayor Lewis had told us that we could then ask the Council to put us on the calendar as an agenda item for their next meeting.

It seems that we are gaining considerable support by each day that passes. This is extremely important in order for us to continue our work. We have organization now, and a sizable list of growing supporters that resulted from this City Hall gathering. It was a strong show of support, we are grateful for everyone that attended. But we still need many more to come forward.

The "Save Carlsbad Raceway" Committee is dedicated to the preservation and upgrading of the this facility.