Can Austin support a commercial raceway?

Home Forums Slot Car Talk Comercial Track Locations & Reviews Can Austin support a commercial raceway?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by porsche917 porsche917 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #569

    tomshaffer
    Participant

    What do you think? If so what type of tracks would you like to see.

    #1685
    porsche917
    porsche917
    Moderator

    Good to have you join the forum.  

    The club has looked into this and run the numbers on it.  The only way it would work is if you could find a place where the rent was really low and you would have to augment your income with sales of cars, parts and accessories both in-store and on-line.  

    As far as tracks are concerned, everyone will have their own opinion but I can say from our experience and looking at what tracks around the States and the world have been successful I would look to have:

    Construction:  routed wood with magnetic braid          

    Lanes:  between five and eight

    Length:  between 100 and 200 feet

    Layout:  as equal of lane length as possible, elevation changes, at least 4″ lane spacing, landscaping optional but it does add a lot to the look of the track. 

    It would be great if you could come by the track when we are all there and let’s see if we could work together to help you make this happen. 

    #1686

    tomshaffer
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply. I have approx 3500 square feet above an existing business that I have no use for. Its not a strip mall type location but not sure that matters much, we are located in Pflugerville and I am more or less retired so I am not expecting to make a livig at it, but I do not want to be sitting there on a saturday worried about having enough racers show up to have a good race.  I am thinking wood track and hopefully two if I can squeze two in my space. I have not been into slots since I was a teen racing up off Braker Lane and that was more that a few years ago so that also has me worried as it would take a while for me to catch up on everything in the hobby again.

    #1687
    Autorama
    Autorama
    Keymaster

    Like Marty (porsche917) said, it would be best if you could come by the club. This Saturday we have a race around 11am, we should be done by noon – good time to stop by. 

    I used to race what you probably know as slot cars: 1/24 scale with metal chassis and  lexan bodies, normally raced on a highly banked track sprayed with traction enhancers. Well, things have changed; 1/32 plastic chassis & body cars are the new thing, these are “almost perfect” 1/32 replicas of real cars, sometimes with working lights and, nowadays, able to change lanes (know as digital slot racing). The new tracks followed suit, the large banked tracks aimed for speed have given way to “slower”racing, more real life accurate tracks, loaded with scenery.

    I would say that you need to dust-off your trigger finger and get the slot car juices flowing before anything else. Come by the track and we will give you a full tour.

    Regarding racers showing up: with a good track and a well though-off set of classes & rules, I believe this will not be a problem.

     

    Ary.

    #1689

    tomshaffer
    Participant

    Ary,

        Thanks for the comments, this is one of my problems, to be successful I thing I would have to have a couple of tracks, one for the scale racers and then one for the “old school guys”.  I think this would add diversity to the raceway and bring in a larger customer base.  I might even throw in a drag strip.  Hope three different types of racers can get along with one another.Wink

    I am hoping to make it to Kings tonight to check out what your club is doing, Thanks for the invite.

    Tom

    #1692

    races2u
    Participant

    That is the real question.  Does the King’s Hobby Shop track count as a commercial raceway?  I believe the answer is yes, as there is a fee to play on it for non-members of the ASCC.  My trailers have been operating around Austin for 2 years now, and the Races2U Brick and Mortar store has been open since May, with our Grand Opening June 1st.  So far, it is supporting itself, but not making the owner (me) any money.  BTW, my rent is very low, and I am augmenting my income with soda machines, pinball, video games, and a skill crane on top of the car, track, and internet sales.   I would love to see more people get involved in the hobby, and would welcome growth and competition.  However, I can say that even with tens of thousands of dollars dumped into marketing, the results have been less than overwhelming.  And that’s even with a ton of publicity, including being on the local news several times.  It’s not true that if you build it, they will come.  They have to know about it first.  If you are not readily visible, how will they  find you? If you do want to build a commercial raceway, be aware that the rent is only a small portion of your expense.  Utilities are not cheap, and employees can get really expensive.  Also, there is never ending maintenance and replacement of cars and controllers.  Don’t forget that you probably want to make some money, too.  As with the ASCC, you are welcome to drop by my store any time, and I am happy to share my experience with you as well.    So- can Austin support a (or more than one) commercial raceway?  I sure hope so!

     

    #11134

    tomshaffer
    Participant

    So we have finally pulled the trigger. We have purchased a 1/4 mile drag strip, 155′ Kingman, an oval and a unseen flat track. We have plenty of work before we will be ready to run, but in the end it will be a 3600 sq ft facility located on Grand Ave Pkwy in Pflugerville.

    #11138
    BarkingSpyder
    BarkingSpyder
    Participant

    Tom- that sounds really exciting. I will bring up the topic in our next meeting.

    ** If at all possible, it could be very helpful if you came down to Kings one Saturday and discussed your plans with some of us. Check our calendar for when we are racing.

    QUESTIONS
    1. What specific help do you need? Moving logistics, final assembly, electrical, touch-up repairs, timing system setup etc?
    2. When do you forecast a grand opening? Spring 2018? Will this be a for-profit storefront?
    3. Are you planning to have any of the tracks ‘dry’ for 1/32 racers?
    4. Kingman = BlueKing?
    5. I can provide specific help with the dragstrip – I have experience running on the DSC track in Garland, my own portable track and other related experiences.
    6. Where is the location in Pflugerville?

    "...I caught Maybelline at the top of the hill..." chuck berry

    #11142

    tomshaffer
    Participant

    Here is a link to the tracks. https://www.facebook.com/AmarilloSlotCarRaceway/
    The location is on Grand Ave Pkwy.
    I hope to have the space ready to move the tracks in by the first of the year.

    #11143
    BarkingSpyder
    BarkingSpyder
    Participant

    Thanks Tom. How can we communicate directly?  [email protected]
    So, sorry but I am still not clear on any details:
    — You are moving/moved to Austin from Amarillo?
    — If you are moving the tracks in by early 2018, what is your estimated timeline for completing assembly and installation (May?) and grand opening (June?)
    — *What Help Do You Need*
    — Will you include a retail storefront, and/or will that come later TBD?
    — I got the Grand Ave part-but will this be on top of the concrete company?
    ……
    — Will 1/32 cars be supported by having at least one road track glue-free?

    "...I caught Maybelline at the top of the hill..." chuck berry

    #11179
    BarkingSpyder
    BarkingSpyder
    Participant

    He lives in ATX.  He got the Kingman track from Amarillo. (its not a BlueKing but is a banked track).
    Location will be on top of his paintball proshop (Outlaw?) Will have a retail parts counter.
    Flat track may be dry (or cleaned for any 1/32 races we have there).
    He needs to build out the room in Jan before moving in the track (already stored locally). He will let is know if he needs any specific help.

    "...I caught Maybelline at the top of the hill..." chuck berry

    #11220
    porsche917
    porsche917
    Moderator

    I can’t wait to see it all come together.  I am very interested in the flat track and would help out in any way to make sure its all it can be and will be a great alternative to our track and to driving to Dallas all the time.  It would be great to have a series with the Dallas and Tyler clubs if the track is nice enough to support it.  Looking forward to running the 1/24 ScaleAuto cars again.  Tom, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need any help.

    Marty

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