For the third consecutive year, thousands of adventure seekers will converge in Platte County to test their athletic mettle in the Warrior Dash. This year’s Dash — organized and produced by Chicago-based Red Frog Events, LLC — will once again be held at Platte Ridge Park, just north of Platte City, where participants will battle a 3.1-mile obstacle course that includes leaping over bonfires and crawling through mud pits to the finish line. The Dash is scheduled for April 27-28 — 12,000 participants are expected to run on Saturday and another 2,000-plus are scheduled to run on Sunday.
But this year’s event will include a dynamic not included in last year’s event at Platte Ridge Park — a concerted effort by local officials and civic groups to showcase not only Platte County, but the Platte City community and business district. That effort includes the Pre-Dash Bash, a fund-raising event set for 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Platte County Fairgrounds in Tracy. The Pre-Dash Bash — created by the Platte City Area Chamber of Commerce/EDC — is open to the community and aims to welcome the event to the area as well as raise funds for the Farmer’s House, a non-profit business on Highway 273 west of Platte City that provides a hands on work environment to help youth and adults with developmental disabilities practice vocational skills.
“The Pre-Dash Bash was created with two purposes in mind,” said Chamber Vice President Vic Perrin, who was instrumental in organizing the event. “We want to promote the community and the businesses in the area and second, we want to raise funds for a business that we believe in.”
Perrin said Monday more than 250 tickets have been pre-sold for the event, which will include a spaghetti dinner, music, prizes and giveaways. Advance tickets may be purchased for $6 at Platte Valley Bank, National Bank of KC, the Platte City Chamber office, J-Ray’s Restaurant, The Farmer’s House, Kelli Goforth/REMAX Homes Center, Edward Jones and Apple Market in Platte City. Tickets may also be purchased at the door Friday for $10.
Another logistic improvement aimed at promoting the area is the parking and traffic flow planning. Last year, participants parked at available lots near KCI Airport and were shuttled to and from Platte Ridge Park. That resulted in the Platte City area, for the most part, missing out on the economic impact felt in other areas of the County. This year, per an agreement with the Platte County Fair Association, Warrior Dash participants, their supporters and other spectators will park at the Fairgrounds in Tracy and be shuttled to and from Platte Ridge Park, where there is no public parking. Parking at the Fairgrounds costs $10, but there is no charge to watch the event. When they leave the Fairgrounds, vehicles will be directed through Platte City on Highway 92, where local officials are hoping the business community will reap the benefit. To spur visitors to spend money in the community, a flier will be handed out to Dash participants that includes dozens of Platte City area business coupons.
“The goal is to keep participants and spectators in Platte City for as long as possible after they leave the Fairgrounds by offering coupon specials,” Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Goering said. “Economic impact studies on communities similar in size to Platte City who have hosted a Warrior Dash event (show an impact) projected at $500,000-$750,000 for the area.”
Platte County Commissioner Jason Brown, who lobbied on behalf of the County to bring the Warrior Dash to Platte Ridge Park last year when the event was on the verge of moving to Wellsville, Kan., said the County is excited about the Warrior Dash’s return.