Indoor go-kart, entertainment complex on track in Lincoln

Indoor go-kart, entertainment complex on track in Lincoln

The Collyer Business Center at 100 Higginson Ave., in Lincoln, is the planned site of an entertainment complex featuring an indoor go-kart racing track, laser tag, paintball and airsoft areas, as well as bowling lanes, a restaurant and a bar. (Breeze photo by Brittany Ballantyne)
Indoor go-cart track, laser tag and paintball venue, restaurant to open

LINCOLN – In just a few months, Lincoln is expected to see an entertainment center come to life – complete with an indoor laser tag, airsoft, paintball and arcade venue. Come October, an indoor go-kart facility, bowling lanes, indoor playground, restaurant and full bar are planned.

Those operations are anticipated to open within the Collyer Business Center at 100 Higginson Ave., said Michael Bromley, owner of the center, who works in Florida.

Bromley calls the center an “entertainment destination experience,” and a one-of-a-kind venue for Rhode Island. While discussions are still ongoing with a nearby business owner about the laser tag, airsoft, paintball and arcade venue, Bromley confirmed it would be about three months until that facility is opened.

The go-kart track facility, F1 RI, Bromley explained, will be “first-class” and highly competitive, where individuals can race on a 72,000-square-foot asphalt track with battery-powered carts. F1, Bromley explained, is affiliated with car racing in Europe.

Mike Hezemans, a professional race car driver from the Netherlands, is serving as an operating partner for the track venue, where he’ll lend his expertise to help plan the structure, track configuration and details of the venue, Bromley said.

Hezemans told The Breeze he first built an indoor track “from scratch” in Holland in August 1995. With about 20 years of operating experience, Hezemans said, he wanted to see European-style racing brought to the U.S. He said it’s something he has yet to see carried out successfully in the country. The construction project in Lincoln, he said, he expects to be the best in the nation, given his experience working with tracks, logistics, equipment and the go-karts themselves.

Hezemans said he came from a family of racers, and won a few awards himself, earning both world and European championship titles. “I come from a racing family,” he said, pointing out that both his father and grandfather loved and lived the sport as well.

After befriending one another, Bromley said, he and Hezemans spoke about the racing industry. Hezemans told The Breeze that go-kart racing is very similar to driving a race car, and said some of the best facilities are located in Europe.

“That’s what I wanted to create,” Hezemans said.

Bromley said when he introduced the business center in Lincoln to the race car driver, Hezemans felt a track would be a great success. After conducting studies, the two decided to pursue the development project together. Bromley called the venue “easily accessible,” as it’s located about one mile off Interstate 95, and on the Pawtucket line.

Since the track facility will be temperature controlled and not subject to the outdoor elements, Bromley said, it will remain in top-of-the-line shape for racers – something that’s lacking in the area, Bromley said. Bromley said the business has contracted with British-based manufacturer, BIZ Karts, and the vehicles will be electric and “completely eco-friendly.”

Both an adult track and cadet track, or juniors track, will be constructed within the building, and Hezemans said he plans to incorporate some type of elevated element within the track pathway. While this type of racing is physical and challenging, Hezemans said, “everybody can do it.”

An enclosed upper deck area will look over the track, Bromley said, where customers can dine in at Fuel, a restaurant complete with a coal-fired pizza oven and full bar. Bromley said he also plans to include rotisserie chicken selections at the restaurant, though specific menu items are not determined just yet.

Also on the entertainment deck will be a bowling alley, televisions displaying sporting events and VIP spaces for birthdays, holiday parties, corporate or business functions, Bromley explained, where customers can watch races below.

The track was designed to travel below the entire upper deck, Bromley said. Though the business is still in the early planning stages, Bromley said, F1 RI may use social media as a tool to post ongoing race details as they’re happening at the track.

An indoor playground will also be constructed on the first floor by the track, Bromley said, where parents can bring their younger children while older siblings race. The way the venue was designed, Bromley said, keeps everyone occupied.

Bromley said the business center is “re-branding” itself as an entertainment and athletic venue after Dean Warehouse Services reduced its footprint in the building.

Some residents may already know the center for Rock Spot Climbing, which has been there for 15 years, as well as Ken Ryan’s KR Baseball Academy – a facility run by former Boston Red Sox player, Ken Ryan, who was with the team from 1992 until 1995. Ryan, who was born in Pawtucket, then played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1996 until 1999.

Bromley said he’s excited to establish these new venues in Lincoln, and said customers and racers alike will be part of a completely “unique” experience.

Bromley said he’s hoping to establish web presence soon to post photos of construction and share narratives about the progress of the development within the center.

Saturday, Oct. 1, is the date slated for the “soft opening” of F1 RI, Bromley said, and he hopes the “generously sized” center becomes a place for people to get engaged and experience all the center has to offer.

Comments

This sounds very cool. I wish you all much luck, this is a great thing to have in Lincoln.

Heard this might be a possibility a couple of years ago. Finally, positive development at the Collyer Park that will promote local fun for all ages. Can't wait to try it! Hope they'll be a good neighbor :)