13 Jun Next-level go-kart track opening soon in Osage Beach
By MITCH PRENTICE
(as posted on Lake News Online)
Miner Mike’s is only months away from housing the largest elevated, indoor go-kart track in the country.
Nearly 10 years ago, Miner Mike’s in Osage Beach had the vision of installing a new go-kart track at its facility. It would be the next step in entertainment, based indoors and built with elevated steel and concrete. Unfortunately, the kart technology at the time was too obsolete to accomplish this goal. Flash forward 10 years later and Miner Mike’s is only months away from housing the largest elevated, indoor go-kart track in the country.
The new space is called Buster’s Garage Route 66 Indoor Go-karting. The track is built directly adjacent to the existing Miner Mike’s establishment and is slated to be open at similar times during the weekend.
Daniel Howe, job superintendent on the project, says that the style of the track is unique and hopes it will stand out among other lake attractions. He says the original concept ideas attempted to marry the verticality and fluidity of a roller coaster and the track design of a go-kart track.
The design team of Miner Mike’s attended a technology seminar in Tennessee that helped them bring these ideas to fruition, according to Howe. They reached out to Amusement Products, a go-kart and amusement park attraction company, to work on designs for track construction and to build the go-karts. Howe says that they have also reached out to local concrete providers and building workers to complete the construction.
The theme of the track will take heavy inspiration for old-style car garages. Howe says customers will enjoy rustic design with memorabilia hanging in all corners. From old school car models to antiques, he says they wanted to create a distinct look that would match not only the karts, but Miner Mike’s as well.
“We think people are really gonna get a kick out of this place,” Howe said.
The track will be able to house 25 karts, 20 single passenger and 5 double passenger. Though there aren’t any specific rules currently in place, Howe expects ages eight and up to be able to take part.
Safety standards were a main focus when beginning development on the track. Howe explained that one of the more advanced features of the karts is an on-board, computer controlled speed and guidance system. The driver of any kart will still have full control of turning and speed, though if anything on the track were to go out of control, track personnel would be able to restrict or slow down speeds. The karts will also feature state-of-the-art harness systems.
“This system allows us to take control if rules are broken, making the experience safer for all involved,” Howe said.
Another advanced feature housed on the karts is a wireless charging systems. By installing in-house charging pads, the karts not in operation will constantly be charging in their parking positions. Howe says this will allow each kart a minimum 85 percent charge at all times.With no cord maintenance for the batteries, flow between charge and use will be more seamless.
Services offered by the track are still to be determined. Howe says he isn’t ruling out kart races or other similar events. By leaving this open for now and changing what’s offered over time, he says this should better adapt to what they understand as the customer’s needs.
Buster’s Garage is aiming at a soft opening as soon as possible to test and tune the track. The ultimate goal of the team is to have the grande opening sometime during summer 2018. The track is slated to remain open throughout the year during similar operating hours to Miner Mike’s. Howe says this will allow them to utilize summer traffic to a high degree, while also giving locals an option during the other times of the year.
“We want to be the best indoor entertainment option at the lake,” Howe said. “This is something brand new for the lake. We’re excited to step into this arena.”