UPDATED: Fayetteville denies permit for ‘Slide the City’ event

Courtesy photo

The company hoping to bring a giant slip-and-slide to Dickson Street this summer will have to find another location.

Utah-based company Slide the City filed a permit application with city planners in Fayetteville with the hope of closing Dickson Street on Saturday, Aug. 29 to set up a 1,000-foot slide, but their permit application was denied in late January.

Sharon Waters, the city’s Parking & Telecommunications Manager who also handles special event permits, said the city does not close public property for for-profit entities. Waters added that closing “a major public street for an extended period of time” was also a concern.

Slide the City director Nichelle Jensen said the company is now pursuing a location in Rogers for their event, though the company is already seeing similar resistance up north for the same reasons they were denied a permit in Fayetteville.

The company offers a few different packages for would-be-sliders, from one-time slides to all-day VIP passes. The price to slide ranges from $15-$60, though Jensen said the company would not need to issue any refunds in Fayetteville because they had not yet opened registration, thus no tickets had been sold.

The Rogers Transportation Committee is expected to consider Slide the City’s permit application at their next meeting on March 10.

Update: After reading through some of the comments here and on Facebook, we asked Sharon Waters to clarify the city’s position on the denial Slide the City’s permit application. Here’s what we found:

  1. Slide the City’s for-profit status combined with the fact that they asked to close a major city street for an extended period of time (5 a.m. to midnight) was the recipe for denial. In other words, a for-profit entity isn’t always immediately denied, and an extended closure of a street isn’t always out of the question. For example, Waters said All Sports Productions, Inc. (for-profit entity) is allowed to close certain sections of streets for the annual Joe Martin Stage Race, but those sections are only closed during the time the participants are expected to ride through the area.
  2. Waters said the Fayetteville Roots Festival wasn’t on her calendar yet, so the fact that it is that same weekend apparently did not have an affect on the decision to deny the application.
  3. We asked why Dickson Street is sometimes closed during Bikes, Blues & BBQ (non-profit entity). Waters said the Police Department makes that call, not Bikes, Blues & BBQ. She said the department only closes a street when there is a large enough pedestrian traffic that public safety warrants the closure, something she said is true for any type of event.