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Disc golf pro shop at Fort Buenaventura bouncing back after 2023 flooding in Ogden

By Ryan Aston - | Apr 4, 2024

Photo supplied, Cody Nebeker

Flooding at Fort Buenaventura forced the closure of Disctracted, a disc golf pro shop located on the park's grounds seen here, in April 2023.

OGDEN — Cody Nebeker, owner of Disctracted — the disc golf pro shop located on the grounds at Fort Buenaventura — was living the dream at this time last year, having traded in the shipping/receiving jobs of his past to become more involved with a new passion.

“One of my friends came and got me one day and said, ‘We’re going to play disc golf.’ There’s a course in Riverdale, and I was just hooked right away,” Nebeker told the Standard-Examiner.

From there, he got plugged into the disc golf community and ultimately decided to open his shop, which is situated mere feet from the historic fort’s course.

It was prime real estate for the fledgling business; Fort Buenaventura notably hosted the 2021 PDGA Pro Disc Golf World Championships, during which James Conrad threw what has been called the greatest shot in the sport’s history.

However, the location became problematic last spring when flooding along the Weber River forced him — and the park at large — to shut down on April 13, right in the midst of his peak season.

“We were open, and then they told us to evacuate like the day before,” Nebeker said, adding that his business’ physical location remained closed for two months. “It was not good.”

During that time, he carted products around in his truck, met people for sales and even set up shop outside of events that were relocated from the fort. Nebeker also benefitted from a crowdfunding campaign to help mitigate his losses.

Meanwhile, the park itself suffered significant damage from the excess water, which was 18 inches high in some places.

Although major structural damage was avoided, cement pads on the disc golf course were “broken in half” and the just-manicured fairways were also damaged, park manager Mike Luna told the Standard-Examiner.

The wood flooring in the fort’s “primitive area” also took damage and the oversaturation of the grounds also resulted in multiple large trees falling over.

Consequently, annual events like the Ogden Music Festival and the park’s Mountain Man Rendezvous couldn’t be held at the site.

“As far as revenue, that’s a huge hit for the county parks and rec department, missing out on those,” Luna said. “But they’re glad to be back.”

So, too, are Luna and Nebeker, nearly one year after the flooding occurred. Not everything that was damaged has been restored to its previous state but, barring future flooding, a sense of normalcy has prevailed.

“It’s bounced back,” assessed Luna. “We’re rough around the edges but we’re getting there. We’re working on the disc golf daily with volunteers and parks and rec staff.”

The rendezvous and music festival will be held at Fort Buenaventura in May-June, as will a Disc Golf Pro Tour qualifier. Meanwhile, Nebeker — who says that running the pro shop feels like “selling fun” to his patrons — is back on dry ground, both figuratively and literally.

“Business is doing good, and as long as we don’t flood again here in the next couple weeks, I’m doing great,” he said. “Hopefully we’re better off this year.”


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