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Old December 25th   #1
Samir
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Want a Motorsports Park in Huntsville?

I was talking with my father yesterday who is a real estate developer. He is about to start working with an individual which has a lot of capital, and no immediate need for capital appreciation or liquidity.

He showed me some plots he was interested in for my opinion, and they were close to the drag strip and some spots, so we got to talking about racing and the task force assigned to illegal street racing for this next year. When I explained to him that I think the solution is not a task force, but a motorsports venue, he simply asked how much a motorsports park might cost.

Now that's where I need some help. He needs some information to present to the investment group.

First, I need to know the layout for a good venue. The 3 things I think it should have are a 1/4 mile drag strip, a road race course, and a smaller go-cart course that can run smaller go-carts that anyone can drive as well as the fast carts (which can also run on the road course). The smaller carts can provide a small stream of revenue when non-gearheads come with gearheads to the venue. They also won't be bored and will be more inclined to come again.

Second, I need to know how to get the city involved in something like this, because a privately owned venture like this would probably fail due to lack of revenue and political and legal roadblocks.

Third, I need to know costs. Initial and maintenance. How much does pavement cost? How often would it need to be refinished, etc? What are the legal and liability costs? And any other cost anyone can think of. If there is no way to make this work financially, then it won't work at all.

This may be a start of something. Or it may be pie in the sky. But it's worth a try.
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Old December 26th   #2
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As for getting the city involved....you need to get ALL the info you can, which is what you are trying to do, then present it to the city. You must show how the city will benifit from such a venture and also show how it will profit. I think that if you get in touch with a man named Keith Shonorock he can be of help as far as how to present it to the city and what exactly you need. He can be found at the iceplex in the early mornings. As far as anything else I can't help you. Except to maybe suggest gettng in touch with Barber motor park in Birmingham.
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Old December 28th   #3
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As far as presenting it to the city, I think the developer group will be doing most of that, although I definitely will try to get in touch with Keith once I have something to show him.

But the first thing is that we have to know what we want in a venue and a general layout--that's where anyone can help. Ideas?
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Old December 29th   #4
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1. This is the wrong place to ask about this. Ask in the larger forums: corral.net, honda-tech.com, etc. Hopefully you can get someone's attention who's done this before.

2. Call the owners/managers of similar facilities. Just calling the front office and asking for Mr. So-And-So will get you surprisingly far. Just don't expect help from direct competition.

3. As for the layout, race tracks are built to the terrain. Barber has 85 feet of elevation change because there was 85 feet of elevation change for them to put a course on. I guess what I'm saying is that you need a plot of land before you can make any real decisions.

4. Make it interchangeable. Look at Willow Springs or Tsukuba, or even Lil Dega to some extent. They're all crisscrossed with options for the course. This is a common theme for "Motorsports Complexes." It means that you can put in a 1/4 or 1/8 mile drag strip with grandstands and a tower and use that as a front straight, then connect it to the small kart track and the roundy round track, etc. Throw in a bridge, a skidpad or two, a black lake and connections for everything, and you now have thirty different courses to run in twenty different series. Max usefulness/usability = max revenue per investment dollar. With intelligent arrangement, you can have a facility that everyone can use, autocrossers, road racers, straight liners, four wheels, two wheels, magazine testing, oem testing, track days of all kinds(often several at once).
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Old December 29th   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vehicular
1. This is the wrong place to ask about this. Ask in the larger forums: corral.net, honda-tech.com, etc. Hopefully you can get someone's attention who's done this before.
That may get the attention of someone who's done it before, but I wanted to get Huntsville feedback first since I assume they're the ones that will care more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vehicular
2. Call the owners/managers of similar facilities. Just calling the front office and asking for Mr. So-And-So will get you surprisingly far. Just don't expect help from direct competition.
I personally haven't visited the tracks that are close-by so I'm looking for feedback from those who have. I don't have the time to personally get involved in a project like this, but I do have some of the connections to make a project like this reality. I'm just trying to put the right pieces in place and then let someone else assemble the puzzle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vehicular
3. As for the layout, race tracks are built to the terrain. Barber has 85 feet of elevation change because there was 85 feet of elevation change for them to put a course on. I guess what I'm saying is that you need a plot of land before you can make any real decisions.
This is the type of stuff I'm looking for. So you think a dead flat piece of land is the wrong way to go? That's probably the type of location that the devlopers can acquire at reasonable prices. Remember, it would have to be as far away from current development as possible to accommodate the noise and persistant expansion of the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vehicular
4. Make it interchangeable. Look at Willow Springs or Tsukuba, or even Lil Dega to some extent. They're all crisscrossed with options for the course. This is a common theme for "Motorsports Complexes." It means that you can put in a 1/4 or 1/8 mile drag strip with grandstands and a tower and use that as a front straight, then connect it to the small kart track and the roundy round track, etc. Throw in a bridge, a skidpad or two, a black lake and connections for everything, and you now have thirty different courses to run in twenty different series. Max usefulness/usability = max revenue per investment dollar. With intelligent arrangement, you can have a facility that everyone can use, autocrossers, road racers, straight liners, four wheels, two wheels, magazine testing, oem testing, track days of all kinds(often several at once).
Wow, I didn't even realize how many uses the track can have. I guess the key is whatever design it is, it must be able to accomodate the current local events simultaneously and allow quick track interchange. I haven't looked at any of the tracks you mentioned, but I think I'm getting at what you're saying. Now, the question is layout. What type of basic layout would you suggest if you had to design a track? Keep in mind, this is just to get the ball rolling. The developers can run with an idea as long as there is feasibility, and that's simply all we have to show.
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Old December 30th   #6
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Samir, call me... I have an answer for this problem. Much of the work has already been done.
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Old January 1st   #7
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I've been attempting to reach my dad to see what type of funding is actually available. He admitted that 10 million will probably not be initially feasible, but if the numbers can speak, maybe that will change or funding could be done in phases. I'll keep you posted.
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Old January 15th   #8
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Samir not to be an ass, but it can't be done. This city wouldnt even help build a 1/4 midget track. I couldnt see them building a big track either. It doesn't matter how many people you get behind it, it takes money and alot of it. Race tracks overall arent profitable. I doubt this city will ever do it, but I would love for them to.
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Old January 16th   #9
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I've actually talked to a few people about the funding and the possibilities. It can actually be done without even getting the city involved. But I think there are two reasons the city should be involved.

One, it is their responsibility to provide these venues for sports. They do it for soccer, baseball, ice skating and other sports. Motorsports is a sport, period. Two, I think having the city behind a project like this increases the chances that it will be a long term venture.
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Old January 17th   #10
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The head of the investment group is going to be here in Huntsville area this Friday. He'll be back also the 4th of the next month.

I'm going to see if he has time to sit down and talk about the Motorsports Park.
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Old January 18th   #11
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go for it, I would love for this to work out
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Old January 18th   #12
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An all encompassing motorsports park would be cool.
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Old January 18th   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowhammer
Samir, call me... I have an answer for this problem. Much of the work has already been done.
I need some of the documents that we spoke about if you can dig them up by Friday. Let me know or give me a call.
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Old January 19th   #14
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Samir, I may have some of these documents that you spoke about with John. My copies were originally obtained from him. Let me know if he can't dig any up, I can get you some of it.
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Old January 19th   #15
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Not sure why it says Unregistered, I posted the above just after registering. Wouldn't it not let me post if I was unregistered????
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Old January 19th   #16
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Not sure why it says Unregistered, I posted the above just after registering. Wouldn't it not let me post if I was unregistered????
Either because you weren't logged in or the validation wasn't complete. It's all good. I need to remember to call John.
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Old January 24th   #17
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I really like the idea of Motorsports Park. I think one would do great in the area. I really like the go-karting idea a lot. There's a place I use to go to in Conneticut called Kart Trak (www.karttrak.com) and I think it would be perfect for this area. Everytime I went it was packed, and that was just on the weekends, apparetly the place was absolutely nuts on weeknights (I use to live in Vermont, so weekends were the only time I could get there). It was inexpensive to race, $10-15 for seven mintues (which doesn't sound like a lot of time, but believe me it is, you definitly feel it when you're done) and you could even rent the place for birthdays or corporate functions. I've already mentioned the idea to Samir, but thought I'd post it here as well, to see what everybody else thought. Later.
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Old January 24th   #18
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After finding out how much the kart track in Decatur charges for a year of use, I think potential revenue for a park would be strong. It's now a matter of finding out how much capital would be required for a facility and running the numbers to see the profit potential.
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Old January 24th   #19
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Hey Samir, you might also consider talking with George Howard about helping with the funding. He has a good deal of financial backing, and with the current status of Huntsville Dragway, he may be interested in getting further out of the city.

Just an idea, I think it would be cool to have a motorsports park-type facility in the area.

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Old January 24th   #20
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Samir,

Don't let the nay-sayers get you down. You can't do it until you do it. Then everyone says, "Hey, he did it."

I'd love to see a Motorsports park. Depending on space, a small road course that could be used for motorcycles and/or cars would be great. For a model, look at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway. It's literally in the middle of a farmfield. We go there a few times a year for open track road racing. It's also very popular with karts and motorcycles.

One in Huntspatch area would really be great. I'm sure it would be very popular.

Last edited by MarkDorner; January 24th at 03:06 PM.
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