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Lack of Racetracks Around Charlotte

Lack of Racetracks Around Charlotte

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Old 04-16-2019, 02:57 AM
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Default Lack of Racetracks Around Charlotte

Hi folks,

I decided to get back into RC after a 20 year hiatus, and was so excited to see that there were a number of tracks around Charlotte when doing a quick web search. Then, it quickly became apparent that all of these tracks were closed very recently. The Grove in Rock Hill, the Speed facility in Mooresville, and another track over in Monroe is gone. I also see that there were a few others to quickly come and go over the past few years. That leaves a grand total of zero tracks in the Charlotte area.

It makes me so sad to see this collapse. It probably makes you guys who have been racing here for years even more sad because there doesn't seem to be a decent track between Charlotte and Myrtle Beach.

So, I once looked into opening a hobby shop and track. I talked to friends in the industry and a couple of hobby shop owners that I had worked for many moons ago, both of which have closed their doors as well. They both told me that when the big hobby distributors decided to sell direct to the public, it killed their businesses. The tracks were still active, the plastic models and trains sold well, but the RC stuff just died, outside of parts and tires. I don't really want to get into it here, but the distributors are cannibalizing the industry.

What I have been thinking about, since this is a dire situation for those that are passionate about the hobby, and seeing as I want to race locally without having to drive to Myrtle Beach every weekend, is approaching parks and recreation in Mecklenberg County to see if they would allow for a track to be placed on city property and be maintained by me with club fees.

It may come as a shock to some but this setup exists in other places in the US. There are tracks that are housed by municipalities which don't have any overhead aside from the maintenance of the track and insurance. Or, at least, there used to be. There are a couple of parks in Charlotte that have huge areas that are undeveloped, just barren vacant land. For a couple grand, a nice track could be set up on the property. I have a friend with a grading company. I have a friend who is a contractor. I can get the stand build and the land graded for almost nothing. I'm sure that many of the local racers here would like to pitch in to get a functioning race track up and running. Of course, I'd need to get the arrangement sorted with city council and the parks department.

If anyone has any ideas or input regarding this matter, I'd like to hear them. If anyone of you shop or track owners that recently closed your doors are reading this, please contact me. I'd like to get as much information from you and pick your brains a bit so that I'm better prepared for the proposal I make to the county. Please PM me directly on these forums.

Funny thing is, I don't even own an RC car any longer. I sold the last of my RC gear in 2004. But this is such a great hobby and gives kids and young adults a bit of a technical challenge, and inspires people to go on into technical fields. It did for me. It forced me to think about the laws of physics, electronics and electricity, engineering, and helped to develop my problem solving skills.

With the technology addiction epidemic that young people face today, spending all of their free time playing with video games or glued to an iPhone, and disconnected from the real world, RC hobbies offer something that is real; Something tangible, based upon the laws that govern the real universe, unlike the rigid man-made rules which govern a digital environment.

That's about all that I can think to say. I think that it's worth a shot to approach the county and see what they can do for us. My home track in Coral Springs FL was set up in this way, on city property, and the club and race fees went to maintain the track. It was a NPO. That's what I hope to do here and any help that I can get from you guys would be much appreciated. The more of us demanding this from the city the more likely that we can make this happen.

Thanks For Reading This,
Daniel
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:39 PM
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Pretty well stated Dan. There are a couple, with one in particular that would like to expand. Drop me a PM and I will put you in touch with the park owner. They have been really good to us with our on road facility.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mleemor60 View Post
Pretty well stated Dan. There are a couple, with one in particular that would like to expand. Drop me a PM and I will put you in touch with the park owner. They have been really good to us with our on road facility.
I appreciate it. Thank You. I'm currently in school, which lets out in a few weeks; and this will be slow moving until I get some free time. My plan is to make this my summer project. So far I've contacted a couple of tracks that are currently residing on municipal land and I've heard back from them both. I'm gathering details regarding liability and insurance, and some of the other finer details.

If it's alright with the park owner then I'd be delighted to discuss this with him/her, and you as well. I'll PM you and set something up when I get closer to the end of my education program.

Thanks for the help.

Anyone else in the area that is interested in potentially seeing a track on municipal property please reach out. If this thing does get the greenlight from the city, I'm going to need help. Lots of help. Please let me know if you're interested in helping build and/or maintain/operate the track, or can pitch-in in any way.

Thanks,
Daniel

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Old 04-23-2019, 01:47 PM
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New Off-Road Facility in Boonville NC
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