Indoor go cart tracks remain a popular, year-round, recreational destination for people of all ages, as well as an outlet for serious racers. A challenging track paired with a youth-friendly track and other lucrative entertainment and refreshment options is the key to creating a fun environment and a lucrative career in the go cart industry. If your town lacks family entertainment or there is a demand for racing, you could do well to start your own indoor go cart track.
Conduct market research to ensure that your indoor track will be profitable. Considerations include the local population and demographics, the type of tracks and karts offered, how much you can reasonably charge per ride, the duration of the ride, start-up costs for your location, track and amenities and additional entertainment or refreshments. Many indoor tracks are part of a larger recreational center that may include kid-friendly activities such as bowling or miniature golf. Other tracks focus on serious riders looking to race at top speeds using the latest industry carts. You may choose to pair your track with an arcade, party room and café, caterer or snack shop.
Contact your state’s licensing department to learn the rules governing an indoor track, such as safety concerns, speed limitations, signage requirements, age requirements, inspections and liability insurance requirements.
Contact a go kart track design firm to help you develop your indoor or racing track and connect you with a liability insurance provider familiar with insuring tracks. Creating a challenging, yet safe track is much more than simply throwing some tires down. You’ll need to consider the slope, width of the track, surface, turn radius, straightaway length, pit area, lighting, safety rails and signage. You’ll also want to ensure that your indoor track is designed to minimize wait times. While you may be able to conduct the research on your own by visiting and testing local tracks, an easier option may be to simply go straight to the source. After you’ve got a better idea of the type of track you want to have, lease commercial property. Look at warehouses—a popular choice for indoor tracks—which are easily accessible and offer a degree of visibility. According to J & J Amusements, an ideal track is at least 700 feet long with plenty of turns, and requires about 30,000 square feet or commercial space.
Work with the design firm or contractor to create your track and amenities. Purchase go karts for serious riders and for youth, helmets, neck braces, replacement parts, safety signage and gloves. Secure a catering company or purchase snack and beverage equipment, in addition to any other amenities, such as arcade games and a sound system.
Hire an adequate staff to monitor the operations. Ideally, look for employees who are familiar with go kart racing. Expect to need about two to five employees, depending on the amount of carts you own. Develop safety training policies for your employees and youth, such as requiring children under a certain age to obtain a junior license.
Purchase a website and detail your operating hours, weight limits, food and drink options, additional amenities, footwear requirements and operating and safety procedures. If you will offer a party room or conference room, include your rates.
Start-up costs will easily exceed $100,000. In order to procure financing, you will need to develop a business plan. Contact your local Small Business Administration office for assistance.
Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.