News

Indoor Karting

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Bill Sawyer, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    I'm consulting with a client interested in creating an indoor karting facility. Since the members of this forum represent the ideal client I'd like to hear your opinions. Here are a few questions to get you started, but don't let them stop you from commenting on other areas I haven't touched upon:
    What have you liked/disliked about facilities you've visited?

    What are you looking for in an indoor kart track?

    Are conference facilities and meeting rooms important to you? Would you encourage your employer to hold a business meeting at a kart track?

    What sort of dining facilities do you want?

    Should beer and wine or liquor be available?

    What would you be willing to pay for a 15 minute driving session?

    I'm sure that's more than enough questions at this point. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    20,928
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Will
    Glad to hear about your idea. There is great place in Houston TX called Davy Jones Kartzone. You can get some great ideas from them. 15 run sessions cost about $30 est. You can run longer in an enduro class for 30 minutes, well worth it & will tire you out as well.

    They offer a meeting room for corporate groups, b day parties, business functions, etc....

    Please remember to keep in mind about serving liquor & the liabilities from it. Kartzone tried it, but later became a problem.


    For more info, please check out this link.

    www.kartzone.net


    Will
     
  3. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Jordan Witherspoon
    Dromo1 is a kickass indoor gokarting place out here in Socal. Their prices are very reasonable and they have a few activities on site that aren't related to racing. Check them out --should be an ideal business model!

    www.dromo1.com
     
  4. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    20,928
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Will
  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    49,196
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    TBC here in Dallas and a few other locations in USA and Canada has put much money into their operation.

    The greats...

    Fast performance karts, indoor nice tracks, timing system records laps, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, and other games.

    The bad...

    Karts get beat up and they don't fix them, timing system doesn't always work, and large companies get priority over FCA DFW :(.

    Someone will need to post their website, very professional. The Kart Zone in Houston I've never been to, but heard it's really good.

    I know the TBC in Dallas is loosing money hand over fist. They put millions of dollars into the facility, they have 10-15 employees, they might average 50 runs at $10 each of walk-ins a day, they book up with companies that might bring in $500-1000 a day. They ain't making money.
     
  6. pdiack

    pdiack Karting

    Nov 19, 2003
    236
    Bill -

    I see you are in the Atlanta area - not sure if you are aware - but there is a place in Alpharetta (Andretti's I believe it's called) that might be a good competitive situation to check out - I went there about 18 months ago and had a blast - but they had corporate meeting rooms, corporate events, competitive leagues, and a bar area (there is also a Fudrucker's franchise in the facility that serves the food).
     
  7. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    Thanks for the references. Rob, no one will get preference over the Ferrari guys if I have my way. I'm not nuts about liquor, but I think beer and wine have their place if it's controlled properly.

    The TBC stuff is interesting. You have to create a place that is attractive and has the right ambience but doesn't make it impossible to make a profit.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
     
  8. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    I'm going to try to go by there next week, but the facility we're talking about won't be in Georgia.
     
  9. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    49,196
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Bill, I found their website...

    http://www.tbcikr.com/

    Here's the website that FC user Tillman put together when we were doing monthly competitive events. After many problems with being overbooked and poor communication from the TBC management we stopped going for awhile.

    http://www.strahan.org/FCA/

    They have partly new management now and they begged us to come back. Although their karts are still in bad shape, they have hired a Panoz mechanic to fix them up in the racing off-season. They also actually communicate with us before we show up and are told they overbooked us.

    Bill, if you want to make money, they have to take whichever group is paying you the most. We understand that, but we need to find out before the night of.

    Their karts are electric, but the manager says if they could get gas karts they would be more reliable. The #1 problem with the electric karts is the charge doesn't last long. I think more glitches with the electric motor too.
     
  10. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    Thanks Rob, that's very helpful. I tend to like electrics indoors because of pollution and safety issues, but they do run out quickly. My son and I did a 2 hour stint with electrics and we changed karts every 15 laps or so. it wasn't as bad as it sounds, in fact it was kind of refreshing because you got a chance to catch your breath.

    One of the things that bugged me about the place we used to go was that they mixed kids and 'carnival riders' in with the serious drivers. My son is only ten, but he's quite fast and he takes his driving seriously. Nothing is more frustrating than getting behind a fat old lady who doesn't want to get her blue hair mussed up. I think a good way to handle that is to have two adjoining and interconnected tracks, one with fast karts that you have to be approved to drive on, and one with the slower karts for the wannabees. Then, when you want to do a big race you can use both tracks at once.
     
  11. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    552
    Tyngsborough, MA
    There is a great indoor karting facility in Boston too called F1 Boston. Here is a link to their site that might help you out... http://www.f1boston.com/ . They offer meeting rooms, a restautant, bar, club, billiards, lounge besides for the karting. They have 2 tracks that can be combined for special events. Definately a great idea but I think it would be hard to recoup intial costs within 4 years. you also have to get the right area for it. Good luck.
     
  12. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    11,234
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    Randy
    www.rpmir.com here in Austin, TX. 9 minute races (no qualifying laps like Kart Zone in Houston) for $20. two courses, or one huge grand prix course when they are joined together the last week of every month.

    They serve beer and other drinks there. Nothing hard at all. Conference room - not really for myself nor any other occassion that I can think of. I've been to large bday parties at both places and neither was necessary. But others might have differing requirements.

    Kart Zone has an upstairs which is for parties, and overlooks the course itself. Great to view and discuss the track or just party.
     
  13. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2003
    35,490
    95370
    Full Name:
    PeterS
     
  14. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Pete
    Disliked the fact that most indoor centres are dirty grubby little places and the karts are too.

    Good fun with even karts so you can have good clean even races.

    No, because most places I have been too are very unprofessional looking, and would not help my image. Plus too noisy and not everyones cup of tea.

    Hamburger and chips type stuff ... again keeping the places clean would help considerably.

    Only after the karts and racing has stopped ... imagine the law suit if a drunken karter hurt somebody ...

    $10. This is the problem and why most places end up looking like a tip with very poor performing karts. I think it costs a lot to keep these karts going with the accident damage, etc.

    I have been to a few really good ones, even had ashfelt circuit, and belonged to a good club, but most are run down shacks and the maintenance of the karts is discusting.

    Need to ensure you have heaps of spares and rotate the karts on a strick maintenance schedule. Need to have clean mechanics, ie. ones that understand that it is not uncool to have clean hands and overalls ...

    Good luck.
    Pete
     
  15. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    Great input! Thanks guys. Cleanliness and maintenance are obviously big issues. Some of the better known facilities are very upscale, but do they cover their costs and actually make money?
     
  16. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    70,755
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    I spoke with an agent for MoKart years ago. Even reviewed the franchise agreement.

    Gianpiero Moretti had a franchise structure they were using.
    They had a prototype facility in Florida, I believe.

    It's hard not to end up a glorified bowling alley, in appearance and feel, IMO. You either keep up the machines, or you'd be better off with putt putt golf!

    My .02
     
  17. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    70,755
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba

Share This Page