Alan Rudolph, CEO of Speed Sportz Race & Park, talks about corporate events and entertainment.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello, Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We have a great program going today. I mean, it’s a dandy. It’s all about extreme fun. It’s all about teamwork. It’s all about leadership and having fun. In this particular segment, Matt had to step out, so I’m Jay Curry, your host, and I have a terrific guest here. His name is Alan Rudolf. He is what, Alan, CEO, owner, president?
Alan Rudolph: President and co-owner, yep.
Jay Curry: Of Speedsportz Racing Park, this is kind of a new thing here in Houston, and it is going to be hot as hot potatoes. It’s going to be good. Before we get started though, let me remind everybody to sit back, relax. You don’t need to take any notes. You can go to Texas Business Radio, Alan will be there as all of our guests are, all of our sponsors, all of the information about Texas Business Radio and everything we do is at TexasBusinessRadio.com. We also monitor a 24-hour call-in line, so if you have questions, you hear something from Alan you want to ask, get that call in.
You don’t have to do it now. Enjoy the show now. Do it tonight. Do it at three o’clock in the morning, we really don’t care. We’ll get Alan, we’ll get the expert on, we’ll get the answer, and we’ll get that on the air for you. The telephone is 844-814-8144. Get that call in. We also monitor #TBR if you’re in the Twitter world. Lots of ways to get ahold of us, lots of ways. All right. We’re talking about extreme fun, and we’re talking about having meetings that really keep people there. Alan, what the heck is Speed Sports?
Alan Rudolph: Great question. Thanks for having me, Jay. It’s a kart racing facility like no other in the world, pretty much. The problem is that when you say kart racing, most people think little kiddy karts, and they go 10 miles an hour, and can I bring my eight-year-old and have a birthday party there? It’s nothing like that at all. In fact, these cards that are open to the public, they go about 40, 45 miles an hour. It’s a real outdoor kart racing, a half-mile track. The way I designed the whole thing is that there’s actually two separate tracks. One of them is the one I just described, open to the public, the rentals where we do our corporate team building events and things like that.
Those karts go 40 miles an hour, and then the whole other separate track is for professional racing. That’s a whole new level, a whole different level, but those are for kart owners. You have to own your own kart. We have garage spaces so people can store their stuff at the track and just to show up, open their garage and get right out on the track and away they go, but that’s on the racing side of things. The day-to-day grind is the open to the public. We were listed on the Houston CVB’s as the Top 20 Date Night’s Cool Things To Do, get out with your spouse or boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, and just have a fun night. Come out and do some kart racing. It’s really unique in that way.
Jay Curry: Wow. I’m an old Indy 500 guy. I’ve lived 26 years in Indiana. I’ve been to that race many, many times. It sounds like a little micro racing set up. You have professionals, and you can also go out and just have fun.
Alan Rudolph: That’s exactly right. I’m glad to hear you’re from Indy. I didn’t know that little tidbit of information. That’s cool, so a racing fan a heart, right?
Jay Curry: Yes, absolutely.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah, it is. I’ve been racing since I was nine years old, and been all around the world, United States and around the world racing-
Jay Curry: You’re talking professional here?
Alan Rudolph: Professional kart racing. Believe it or not, there is something professional kart racing. In fact, the largest kart race in the world is coming up next weekend. It’s the 24st annual SuperKarts! USA race in Las Vegas. It’s 21 years been going on in Las Vegas now. There’ll be over 500 drivers from all around the world there. That’s on the professional side of kart racing, so it’s cool to hear that you’re a fan. A lot of people these days are familiar with indoor kart racing. Indoor kart racing has become very popular, and that’s really cool for our business because it raises awareness of what karting is and how they can get involved. That indoor environment, if you just take it outdoors and you go faster on a real track, that’s what we have to offer for the public.
Jay Curry: So these can be like social parties?
Alan Rudolph: Yep.
Jay Curry: What’s that mean? Give us some examples of the types of companies that would be using this.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah, so social parties, let’s talk about that first. That could be a bachelor party, girl’s night out, a group of girls. One of the funnest groups we had was a group from ExxonMobil. There was a group of ladies. There were like 12 of them. They came out and had a great time. You wouldn’t think a group of ladies would want to go to the racetrack, but trust me, they had an amazing time. It was a fun little group, so a social party can be a bachelor party, birthday parties, things like that. When I say birthday parties, I’m talking adult birthday parties, or 16 and above. Our age requirement to even drive the karts is 12 and 58 inches tall, so eight-year-olds aren’t going to be able to come and play.
Jay Curry: This is not a place you go if you’ve got an eight-year-old and you want to go get some entertainment and have a birthday party.
Alan Rudolph: No.
Jay Curry: This is serious fun, extreme fun. How does this turn out for a business? Our listeners, many of our listeners, most of our listeners are actual CEO business owners, trusted advisors, and people like that. How might this fit into their plans?
Alan Rudolph: That’s a great question. That’s a big portion of what we do. It’s something I’m very passionate about. In fact, the way we met is through a Vistage group. Vistage came out, hosted their meeting. They had breakfast and then had a meeting throughout the day, had a guest speaker. We had lunch, and then we followed it up with some racing. How do you go wrong with that, right?
Jay Curry: Yeah.
Alan Rudolph: Insperity had their big sales conference so we had almost 100 Insperity sales folks from around the country. They came in, and they were camped out here over in the woodlands doing meetings for a few days, and then what a better way to cap it off than come out to the track and do some racing, and really big team building? You can come out and rent the space. We have an 8,500-square-foot building with a couple different meeting spaces, the way to utilize it. We’ve had 100 people there, and it barely feels like it. We could host two, three, four hundred people, probably.
Jay Curry: Wow, so this is a big facility. This is not a little go kart like you said. This is serious stuff. It is interesting for the listeners, the way Alan and I met is I’m a Vistage share, I have a group of CEOs that I coach, and I was looking for a place, and I had heard about this, first time ever, so this is pretty new. You can go there with a group and they have meetings, they can provide food, and just everything you need for a meeting, and then have some fun together, and build the team, and build the bonding and the camaraderie, and just have a lot of fun. I mean, it’s exciting.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah. That’s really what it’s about. Like you said, you’re trying to build your team, build camaraderie. There is nothing else that’s going to get a group of salespeople more excited than getting them out on the racetrack and having some competitive fun. The program that I like to do the most is what we call our Team [Enduro 00:07:28]. Let’s for argument’s sake say you have 20 people in your group. We would put together two-person teams and do a 30-minute long endurance race where there’s driver changes and pit stops, and there’s a winning team, right?
Jay Curry: Right.
Alan Rudolph: So there’s a lot of camaraderie there amongst the team and trying to strategize when you’re going to do pit stops and things like that, and how long each person’s going to drive. Can you imagine now a group of 100 people? That’s what we did with the Insperity group. There was almost 100 of them. There were 10 teams, or 12 teams I think, with eight drivers per team. So now, you got eight people as a team trying to collectively figure out who’s going to drive first, and second, and third, and how long each person’s going to drive. Then, you should see the excitement of the pit stops when they come in and do the pit stops and driver changes. This is something that they go on and talk about for years after.
Jay Curry: How do they get comfortable with this? I mean, people are hearing this, they’re going, “Boy, that sounds neat,” but I don’t know. It’s kind of like race car driving or something. How do they get comfortable, it’s safe?
Alan Rudolph: Yeah. First of all, I don’t let anyone go on the track without a safety briefing, and then the karts, like I said, they go 40, 45 miles an hour, but they have safety bumpers all the way around them. The track is very safe.
Jay Curry: You’re buckled in, I assume.
Alan Rudolph: You’re actually not buckled in.
Jay Curry: No?
Alan Rudolph: No, because with karting, if you buckle in, you got to have a roll cage and everything, and then you stay inside the thing.
Jay Curry: Is it physically low-gravity so that you’re not going to flip over?
Alan Rudolph: Yeah, very low to the ground.
Jay Curry: That’s got to be the key then.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah, they will never flip over. They, you know, an inch and a half on the ground. They slide around, slide off before they would ever turn over.
Jay Curry: You also mentioned charity events.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah.
Jay Curry: This is a neat idea for charity events where you’d normally go out and rent a golf place for a while. What a great idea. Talk to us a little bit about that.
Alan Rudolph: Yeah. There’s a couple different ways. Some people, restaurants as an example, may donate proceeds, on tonight. Thursday night, we’ll donate the proceeds to the charity, so you get your charity, get set up with us, come on out, and through your networking and stuff, everyone who comes that night, proceeds go towards that charity. That’s a simple way of doing it. Something a little more organized though, what I really like is instead of doing the golf tournament, everyone’s golfed before, so instead of selling a foursome of golf, you simply sell a foursome of racers.
So XYZ company is going to pay for their foursome to do a race, and then we put together this organized race, where it’s that Enduro Race that I was talking about where we do driver changes, and pit stops, and all that, and there’s a winning team. But you get corporations that will pay two, three thousands dollars for their foursome, of which it’s for charity, right? So instead of a golf tournament, let’s do a racing tournament.
Jay Curry: I love it. Folks, what a great idea for your business, what a great idea for adult entertainment, reemphasize that. We’ve been talking to Alan Rudolph, who’s the owner of Speedsportz Racing Park. How do they get ahold of you if they want to know more, Alan?
Alan Rudolph: Yeah. If you want to know more, just simply go to the website, SpeedsportzRacingPark.com, or call into the phone number, is 866-607-RACE, which is 7223, or just come by. I encourage anyone to come by. We are just right off, you can see us from the freeway just north of Kingwood off the 59, just above the new 99 Grand Parkway right off the 242 and Highway 59. You can see us from there. Just come by and see it. You almost have to see it, feel it, touch it to really understand it.
Jay Curry: There you go, folks. This is a great idea. You need to go try it. Speaking of which, we need to go. We got to pay a few bills, and we’re going to be right back. Don’t go anywhere. We’re going to have more extreme fun coming your way right after this.
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Jay W. Curry
Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.