DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. – The two brothers behind the proposed equestrian venue in Douglas County are trying to address concerns with the project.
At a recent county planning commission meeting, several community members raised questions about how the project will impact jobs and quality of life in the county. However, the commission gave Drew and Quinn Millegan unanimous preliminary approval for the project.
The Millegans said they hope to be transparent with the community as they move forward with plans to bring the massive competition venue to an empty property off the Metz Hill exit on Interstate 5. It would include a resort, spa, cross-country course and polo fields.
But the family's efforts to build a large equestrian facility has not been a smooth ride. This is their third attempt to bring the project to fruition over the past decade.
“Looking at the fact that we’ve been public in a couple other sites is actually a benefit because it means we have done our homework,” said Quinn.
In 2012, their father, JW Millegan, tried bringing the project to a property just west of Salem. The brothers said that failed due to a lack of investors. In 2019, the brothers said they fully took over the project while they attempted to bring it to a property in California. They said that failed because of COVID-19.
Quinn said it’s completely understandable why some people would be concerned about their background.
“That’s a valid concern to be wondering about those other projects,” he said. “We were searching up and down I-5 because we needed to find the right site to go forward.”
However, Drew said they are confident they will get it right this time around.
“The process in Douglas County is very straightforward,” he said. “We’re able to have all the interactions and public comment up front.”
The brothers claim the project will cost $120 million, which will be paid out in five years through private investors including themselves.
“Significant portions of the overall project are going to be funded by Drew and I and our own money from our own business,” said Quinn.
In 2019, their father JW was hit with a 13-count indictment in federal court for tax evasion and investment fraud. However, the brothers said JW has no financial control or ownership of Pegasus Equestrian and the project is wholly theirs.
Kimberli Holmquist, who does community outreach for Community Rights Douglas County is one of the residents that strongly opposes the project.
Not only is she concerned about the agricultural impact of the project, but she said she’s concerned the Millegans are not going to live up to their promises.
“It’s a scam,” said Holmquist. “They’re hedge fund operators and they want to get as much money invested as possible.”
Holmquist said she’s concerned people will get hurt if they don’t follow through.
“They’re getting the public excited about it going to happen,” she said. “But it’s pie in the sky stuff.”
Unless someone appeals the project, the brothers will close on the property by October and start construction by next year.