The Austin Slot Car Club has been quiet for a little over a month now with no posts to the website or Facebook. It’s time to share with everyone what’s been going on with the club.
On July 20th we were told that Kings Hobby, the clubs’ home for the past 11 years, was going to have to reduce their retail square footage due to a sizeable increase in rent. The result of this reduction was the Austin Slot Car Club had to find a new home.
We had a great time having our club based out of Kings back room. A big shout out goes to all our club members, who did a great job taking the 70’s shag carpeted storage space into the club house we called home for the past 11 years. A big thanks goes out to Marc – Kings owner, Rudy, Brad and the entire crew, who have been so gracious to us over the years. The club would not be what it is today without their support.
The question now is: what happens to the club? After numerous meetings, laying out all the options and taking input from all of the members, it was decided that our best option was to find our own warehouse space – to house the clubs two tracks and serve as our new home. This decision was not taken lightly, since the current membership model would have to change from a small annual membership fee to a significantly larger monthly fee that would cover the cost of the warehouse lease, utilities, insurance and internet. This is a huge step forward for the club and shows the commitment level of our members to keep the club together. Sure there is more risk with this business model, but it is also more rewarding, as the club can chart its own course and create a facility that is exactly what it wants.
We have always admired the great clubs in Europe, where members had a place to meet, share food, drinks and race slot cars. These clubs are more of a social outing than just a place to race, which is what we are now trying to achieve here. As more commercial tracks disappear, this might be the only model for the next generation of slot car enthusiasts – a club that charges slightly higher rates for members to participate and in return, provides a fantastic place to race and hang-out. We are about to find out!
We would also like to give a shout out to Tom and Chris, at Capital City Slot Car, for offering up space inside their beautiful building. That was a great option and we were glad to know they were there for us. We are looking forward to running there when the flat track is completed.
Stay tuned for some great pics and stories about the clubs next chapter.
Thanks to every Austin Slot Car Club member for making the commitment to the group. What an amazing group of people.