KP Exclusive: Breaking and Entering an Abandoned Dirt Track

Small update, increase excite…

Another week, another meeting with the town board. To recap, up to this point there was nothing in place at this plot that would allow us to even apply for the kind of use we’re proposing. Essentially it’s currently pigeonholed into a very specific use that allows for a limited number of weekend events per year and the kind of activity is geared more towards hosting races for entertainment purposes. Within that there is another ordinance that regulates how those racing events are conducted.

So, all the meetings and conversations up to this point have been to approve changes to the ordinance so that there is a means to begin the application process.

The last of that phase was approved last night following a public hearing. No objections from board or general public, so that was nice after the previous meeting.

Now we can begin the application itself and move forward with engaging the county in addition to the town.


What’s the likelihood that they will allow changes that make it useable as a commercial operation?

My sense is that the town board is keen to make it happen, it really depends on the community, it’s concerns and how we address them.

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I think it’s reasonable to assume that most community concerns will revolve around Sound and Traffic. I looks like from your video, the property is mostly surrounded by tree line, so that should limit your sound emissions in addition to the fact you are running 4 stroke motors that have far lower dB than the Stock Cars that ran there in the past. As for traffic, you could always point out how having new visitors to the area will have spill over in commerce for other businesses in the area helping everyone.

I was thinking about the durability issue of ice karting. Did you use sawdust in your ice mix last year? I remember seeing a documentary a long time ago that the US Navy back in WW1 or 2 was making ships out of a mix of sawdust and water frozen together. It was something like 10 times stronger than regular water ice and could even withstand munitions fire up to a point. Seems like that would reduce the amount of water needed to re-ice the track and the down time needed to do so.

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Yeah objectively, our sound emission will be zero, but it’s the perception that causes the problem. The town board seems on board.

At our current location you can’t even hear the karts 700ft away with clear line of sight. We’ve paused on the permit process now as we focus on getting setup for this winter at the fairgrounds in Stillwater.

Interesting on sawdust as an insulator. Typically we use packed snow as the base, grader and insulator. We did experiment with silage tarp on part of the track last year, it seemed to help as an insulator but it adds a pretty big cost in materials and labor to make it work.

Problem with snow is that we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature of course. But for now, that is what it is. Snow making is incredibly energy intensive. So while we could make our own, at this point I’m just going to work with the free stuff until we cross the inflection point where it make sense to invest in it and that assuming we do ever cross that point. It remains to be seen if there’s enough demand to support it.

For now I’d settle for being cashflow positive this year :laughing:

Insulator? Insulating from what? Ground Heat? I am talking about Pie-Crete. Its a solution of water and sawdust (or other wood fiber) that freezes into a super strong material. It significantly strengthens the ice and should reduce the amount of water you have to add back to the track to refreeze from wear or damage. Thinking it will cut the cost of having a water truck to come out and repeatedly spray the track down over the season.


Yeah I reread what you were taking about. Pretty interesting. Not sure how we’d deploy it at scale, or how the sawdust being whipped up by the studs would work out. But I think if we get time we might at least try it in the pits or something.

The daily maintenance isn’t too bad, usually we can cover it with 3x runs with a 300gal tank. Although this year it could be double that.

Not too bad. You could just start with a base layer of wood chips/sawdust on the track path you plowed out, pack it down then cover it in water. Let nature do the rest. You may have to water it few times to build up to what you want and given its strength you can probably get away with a thinner layer to boot.

Interesting, we’d need about 48,000 sqft of coverage for the track (1600x30ft) and I’m not sure how the fairgrounds would feel about it, but we could try it at the racetrack if that works.

(Which I think is what you said originally)

For sure if I have someone free I’ll have them test it out somewhere.

Update: The amendment to the ordinance (Which allows us to file for planning permission) was approved by the county in December.

Next step is to file for planning permission (With the city\town), which we’re probably not going to have the bandwidth to do until March since we’re operating (Well building) the ice track right now. Once we’ve filed that there’s another public hearing etc etc.

But nontheless another step in the right direction.