photo thanks to Kokopelli ATV Club

Mesquite, NV-

The City of Mesquite welcomed the new OHV Staging Area off Riverside Drive on January 27th with a ribbon-cutting grand opening ceremony. The event started at 1:00 pm and lasted about 1 hour.

“Ceremony went marvelous,” stated Bob Lopez, one of the leaders of the local Kokopelli ATV Club which initiated the project for the staging area.

An overview photo of the Mesquite OHV Staging Area Ribbon Cutting Ceremony off of Riverside Rd. (Courtesy of Kokopelli ATV Club)

City of Mesquite Athletics and Leisure Services Department Director Nick Montoya was present and one of the main forces behind the creation of the OHV Staging Area, along with several members of the city government, including Mesquite Mayor Al Litman, City Councilwoman Karen Dutkowski, City Councilman Wes Boger, City Councilman George Gault, and residents of Mesquite, mainly OHV enthusiasts were present.

The biggest of the enthusiasts were the members of the Kokopelli ATV Club with their OHVs lined up carrying a specific message to every viewer, orange and red, the consistent color of safety. Straight metal poles crowned with fluttering flags. Their flags dancing majestically in the crisp sun-tinted winter breeze.

This long-overdue project will help ATV and OHV enthusiasts find and enjoy the existing trail routes through the Mesquite and Virgin Valley areas. The project was a combination of the work of the Kokopelli ATV Club, The City of Mesquite, and the Virgin River Coalition Recreation Committee. A huge part of the planning process came from Travis Anderson, the Public Works Director, who along with his staff provided most of the physical labor involved with the staging area being done. Mayor Al Litman cut the ribbon for the ceremony.

The new staging area will also help bring security to tourists, visitors, residents, and off-road enthusiasts who have realized a recent rise in crime in relation to OHV recreation. The staging area comes equipped with cameras, lighting, and continual route checks by MPD on-duty officers. The biggest rise in crime in relation to OHV vehicles has been the theft of such vehicles, burglary of unoccupied vehicles, and vandalism. The Kokopelli ATV Club also has plans to help ensure safety and security at the new staging area which entails being “watchful eyes” to help keep the area comfortable and enjoyable for all those who utilize the area.

The Kokopelli ATV Club is a local nonprofit that works with the BLM to mark trails, clean-up litter, and help take care of the local recreational areas in and around Mesquite, NV, including Gold Butte Recreation Area.  The Kokopelli ATV Club was formed in 1996 as a Non-Profit recreational organization that “advocates and promotes the responsible use and conservation of our public lands and natural resources to preserve their aesthetic and recreational qualities for future generations.”

The OHV enthusiasts line up for the Grand Opening of the OHV Riverside Staging Area in Mesquite, NV. (Photo courtesy of the Kokopelli ATV Club)

Kokopelli leader Dominic Oliveto referred to the group as the “voice out there” for ATV and OHV enthusiasts locally. They’ve helped the BLM with mappings of the local trails and recreation areas as well as finding key spots for signs and conservation. Which will help with added security and safety to outdoor enthusiasts of all types. This will also help bring more OHV and outdoor enthusiasts to our community bolstering the economy of local business and helping to create long-term prosperity for Mesquite, Virgin Valley, and its surrounding communities.

The Kokopelli ATV Club also has become a forefront of the community, helping raise over 3,600 lbs. of found for the local food bank at the Mesquite Salvation Army and over $2,000 of donations to the program of “Shop with a Cop” which is fully utilized and put on by the Mesquite Police Department. The program which was a national program started in 1989 where officers began passing around a hat and collected money in which they used to take youth who were in danger of not celebrating Christmas, shopping to ensure that those youth had a Christmas to celebrate.

“We truly love our community and look forward to plans of adding a couple more staging areas in the future,” said Lopez. “We are still working on it, but we hope to bring a safe and fun environment for all off-road enthusiasts.”

If you would like to become a member of the Kokopelli ATV Club or simply would like more information visit http://www.kokopelliatvclub.com

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