The Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws” will be back in Scotts Bluff County.
During Monday’s Scotts Bluff County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners approved a special events permit that will allow the production team, Pilgrim Productions, to use Highway 26 for four days between May 20 and June 6 to film episodes of the show.
Even though the show’s production team and race crew gave a big boost to lodging tax dollars when it filmed in the area in the summer of the 2020, it wasn’t an easy cross to the finish line with almost an hour of discussion.
Starr Lehl, economic development director for the City of Scottsbluff, said she had been notified by “Street Outlaws” that the production team hoped to return to the community about 10 days ago.
“I know that your county tourism director a few months ago reported on lodging taxes for Scotts Bluff County and our lodging taxes here in Scotts Bluff County were not as affected deeply as lodging taxes across the state, and she specifically said due to ‘Street Outlaws’ filming,” Lehl said. “They had a crew of about 85 people who were here for about a month and a half, and that doesn’t count the drivers that they brought in as well.”
Commissioner Charlie Knapper said he had been contacted by three hotel operators and that one hotel operator reported revenue exceeding $100,000 because of the production.
“We would love to have you come back,” Commission Chairman Ken Meyer told Kyle Anderson, a representative with Pilgrim Productions, during the meeting.
Asked why “Street Outlaws” sought to use the Mitchell location again, Anderson said, “The racers prefer it,” though he wasn't sure why. “We raced both (in Gering and Mitchell) and we didn’t have any complaints (from the racers).”
However, Meyer said he had received many complaints from residents affected by the noise and other nuisances while “Street Outlaws” filmed near Mitchell last year, while Charlie Knapper said he had gotten complaints as crews filmed near Gering.
Knapper said people were offered hotel rooms and ear plugs to use during filming, so he questioned the validity of complaints. “Is it really a nuisance or they just want to complain?”
Meyer said, "We want you ('Street Outlaws') to have the surface that you guys need to do what you need to do, but then to keep in consideration the folks that are going to be up all night.”
“The first time they ran, I bolted straight up in my bed. I thought they were in my front yard. It’s that loud,” one man said.
Randy Sorrell said some people who had asked to be accommodated with hotels reported problems. One mother showed up at a hotel with her children only to be told that the production company would not pay for her hotel. Another reported that it took more than two weeks to get hotel accommodations.
Scotts Bluff County Chief Deputy Troy Brown said that some racing outside of the show was reported around the county.
The show bills itself as being made up of underground street racers from around America.