- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A new go-kart attraction that originally planned to open this week won’t be ready for racers until August.

The Track, at 9589 North Kings Highway, will include two elevated go-kart tracks and a 5,800-square-foot arcade on six acres.

Construction started in December, but has been delayed by weather and issues with workers, general manager Travis Kearney said.

“We set high goals, you know what I mean, with the construction, and it varies,” he said. “You run into problems you don’t realize (would happen). We were hoping to hit July 1, but now we’re slated for sometime in August.”

Kearney previously worked at The Track in Destin, Fla., which is owned by the same company. The Myrtle Beach location, close to Restaurant Row, is on land owned by the Horry Shriners Club. The Shriners will still occupy a space on the second level of the main building, Kearney said.

“I’m thinking this would be something people year-round will be at,” Kearney said. “That’s our goal. We plan on supporting the local community, and we would be working on maybe having a local discount.”

However, The Track may end up missing the bulk of its opportunity to make money this year by opening as the summer tourism season is winding down. A single ride at The Track costs $9.18 plus tax for four minutes.

Kearney said he did not have an estimate for how many people might ride, or how much money the park would make. He also said that although he worked at a go-kart park in another beach town, “this will be a learning experience for me.”

Mark Lazarus, the owner of Broadway Grand Prix at 1820 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, said that park makes about 65 percent of its yearly revenue in the year’s three busiest months — June, July and August. He said that on Labor Day, business drops 50 to 60 percent.

This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 5, giving The Track less than a month to attract the rush of summer visitors.

“It’s all about marketing and driving the customer to where you are,” Lazarus said of his new competition. “Starting late is tough. You’re basically starting when the season’s over with, and you have to carry it through the winter.”

Lazarus bought Grand Prix, formerly called NASCAR SpeedPark, three years ago and said his business has increased every season. The property includes rides other than go-karts, as well as concessions.

“Competition is a good thing,” Lazarus said. “It’s not a bad thing. It makes everyone pay more attention to what’s going on, and it brings more attention to your business.”

On Friday, crews were still pouring the pits that would be placed under the elevated circuits at The Track. Kearney said he was hopeful that he would be able to grow a loyal base of customers to support The Track through its opening.

“We hope that when they come to ride they have a great time, and keep coming back every year,” he said.

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Information from: The Sun News, https://www.thesunnews.com/

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