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Racing org director says Alpenrose Dairy sale would have ‘profound’ impact

Posted by on August 29th, 2019 at 11:50 am

In many ways, Alpenrose is the headquarters of the regional race scene. If the land is developed, we’d lose something very special.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The future of cycling events at Alpenrose Dairy once again looks grim.

This morning Oregon Bicycle Racing Association Director Chuck Kenlan wrote in an email that, “OBRA is at risk of losing access to the facilities… The effect… would be profound if this happens.”

Back in March a potential sale of the dairy and adjacent land spurred an intra-family lawsuit. Fearing the loss of baseball fields, a theater, cycling velodrome, and other facilities, the community rose up to loudly support the family members who wanted to stop the sale. Thankfully that episode ended well and the sale was derailed.

“If this sale happens, the impact will be felt far and wide.”
— Chuck Kenlan, OBRA

A similar dynamic is playing out again as another sale looms. News broke two weeks ago that a Seattle-based company has entered sale negotiations with some members of the Alpenrose ownership group. Members of the dairy’s founding family have re-opened their lawsuit in an attempt to stop the sale.

And once again, the potential loss of the velodrome and events that happen on land around the dairy are at the crux of the debate. Some members of the ownership family (who support the sale to the Washington-based dairy) feel the events are too expensive and carry too much liability risk. Other members (suing to stop the current sale and have their own sale offer accepted instead) are committed to the community events.

In his email this morning, OBRA’s Kenlan laid out what a sale would mean to the local racing scene:

“We would lose access to the velodrome, the sole track venue in Oregon and one of 18 in the country. We would lose our ability to host the Annual Cross Crusade weekend, the largest cyclocross race in the country. Our beloved Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series would be lost. Additionally, OBRA would lose its storage location for all the race equipment we provide to race promoters statewide.”

“If this sale happens,” Kenlan continued, “The impact will be felt far and wide… I think all activities at Alpenrose are in jeopardy. If the court rules in favor of the majority that wants to sell to Smith Brothers we could be asked to leave immediately.”

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OBRA isn’t taking the matter lightly and Kenlan says they’ve hired a lawyer (working pro-bono) to help fight the sale and to support the founding members of the Cadonau family who want to buy the dairy and maintain the community facilities.

To help raise money for legal fees (for both OBRA and the Cadonaus), OBRA is hosting an event on Saturday, September 7th at Chris King Precision Components Headquarters (2801 NW Nela Street). There will be fresh food prepared by the Chris King staff chef, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Stay tuned for more event information in the coming days.

Another way to help is to donate to the Save Alpenrose crowdfunding campaign, which has raised almost $10,000 in the past week alone. And if you haven’t already, add your name to the over 13,000 people who’ve signed the Save Alpenrose petition.

The lawsuit is expected to be heard at the Multnomah County Courthouse on September 18th. OBRA officials are encouraging Alpenrose fans to show up and wear special t-shirts to show support. Stay tuned: Time and location for the court hearing will be released prior to the meeting.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

7 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jim Lee August 29, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Alpenrose is sacred ground.

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      Sam August 29, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      You should buy it and you won’t have this sort of trouble anymore!

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    Brian August 29, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    The velodrome will be one of 17 left in the country after the one in Blaine MN closes after tonight.

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    bikeninja August 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    To anyone of my generation growing up in Portland, Alpenrose was an omnipresent fixture in our lives. The big new problem we are facing is the meager or no profits in the modern dairy industry. This can be traced to many factors but it is the driving force for this sale by the less community minded members of the family. In a perfect world Portland would purchase this as a park, but with the current budget shortfall that is very unlikely. Our best hope is to join the OBRA and the good folk in the family and get this sale delayed until the dairy industry gets better or the property market gets worse. If Portland can’t step up in the future then maybe Washington county can annex this land and the THPRD can buy the property for an amazing park.

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    Laura August 29, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Another option would be for the “good” side to create a non-profit. Run the community side of the facilities, similar to how Oaks Park is run. (Oaks is run by a non-Profit). Alpenrose could probably get some form of National Register of Historic Places designation, or at least Oregon historic designation. As a not-for-profit, they could still raise operating funds from renting the fields, hosting ‘Cross races, and may be eligible for a redesignation (lowering) on property taxes.

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    Mike Quigley August 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    “Another way to help is to donate to the Save Alpenrose crowdfunding campaign, which has raised almost $10,000 in the past week alone. And if you haven’t already, add your name to the over 13,000 people who’ve signed the Save Alpenrose petition.”

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    Cory P August 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I certainly hope that the velodrome can be saved at Alpenrose. But if it is lost this might be the perfect time for Portland to build a world-class velodrome undercover with seating for big cycling events. I would love to see our city become a destination for major track cycling events.

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