Discovery Channel's Street Outlaws closes roads, impacts economy near Scottsbluff
SCOTTSBLUFF, NE - For most of the day, Highway 71 just south of Gering and Scottsbluff is a normal stretch of road.
But in August after 4:00 p.m., the road is blocked off to allow filming of a popular Discovery Channel Show "Street Outlaws."
"I've been really impressed with the whole cast and crew and drivers that have been here in the area," Scottsbluff economic development director Starr Lehl said.
The show, now in its 15th season, focuses on a group of street racers who travel the country to track down competition.
Lehl says work toward getting the show to shoot in the area began back in May. She says the crew has been looking for smaller towns to shoot in due to COVID-19.
"I think they really like it here," Lehl said. "I know a lot of the cast are from LA and larger cities so it's kind of nice for them to get away to a rural area where we're kind of a little more laid back and people are friendlier."
The benefits work both ways, according to Lehl. The show has a place to shoot and Scottsbluff and Gering benefit economically. It’s something that is crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. Lehl estimates the cast and crew will contribute close to $2 million to the local economy.
"They're helping out the businesses that have suffered the most," Lehl said. "Our hotels and our restaurants and small convenience stores, shopping stores, and so I think it's going to be a big impact."
Lehl says she had never heard of the show before this opportunity came up and after looking into it was a bit leery of who they were bringing in. But after getting to know them, however, her attitude changed.
"They're very nice, they're very cordial, very polite," she said.
The cast and crew arrived in the area in early August and will be around for the next couple of weeks, according to Lehl.
Read more about the road closures associated with the show here.