By: Ashley McCubbin
While some drivers have laid low this year staying quiet, others have been embracing new projects around the globe. One of those is Alex Tagliani, who recently announced he will be opening a 65,000 square foot family entertainment centre in Plaza Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec in the spring of 2021.
The TAG E-karting & Amusement Centre will put a focus on go-karting, offering three different tracks on three levels – one for adults, a spot for children, and a super track combining both with a length of 0.5 km, featuring six course choices as each track can be ran in clockwise and counterclockwise.
“It’s been a long dream that I’ve had that started a long time ago,” Tagliani told POPULAR SPEED. “Karting was so big in my life when I was young and I remember a lot of go-karts get stored in the garage and you don’t see them again until the spring of next year. So I had this thing in my mind of why can’t we get karting inside?”
In putting together his dream of the right facility, Tagliani knew he wanted to ensure an ability to offer the right length of track for his consumers. While noting it was not cheap, the ability to have three levels of usage will allow him to “create a track worthy of a indoor center in 2020.”
“Then you want to have the karts and have them performing really well, and you want to have a range of performance; they’re good for everyday clients, and they’re good for the more experience,” he added. “That’s why we’ve partnered with GRG. They can get those go-karts performing well, as well as have a lot of other features for around the track in the way. So yeah, you need a bit of everything.
“I’ve had the chance to build a go-kart track in the past, but it was on one-level, on the ground, in a building, in an industrial park. So by looking at it, it didn’t really make a lot of sense because we weren’t’ going to build anything special. This one is very unique because it has a lot of other attractions also attracting people, but also this go-kart center will be running a team. This project became really more interesting because we’re going to be unique and the first of its kind in the country, so there’s pride with that.”
The karts will be imported from Italy, and 100% electric, silent, and non-polluting, a first for North America. There will be several features including a a digital steering wheel, bumper-integrated sensors for safety, and a Boost button for accelerated passing.
Though the facility goes even beyond that, including eight other activities to keep the family entertained, including a laser tag game arena, six axe-throwing lanes, six bowling lanes, a Triotech 7D interactive cinema, interactive trampolines, a multi-sensory virtual reality experience, numerous state-of-the-art arcades, and an interactive children’s wall.
“We needed to add something else as it’s all about the investment,” he commented. “It’s really complex to put together, and also have the best go-karts, those go-karts are really expensive, about $20,000 a pop. So people don’t tend to spend that much money on a go-kart so to justify that investment, we needed to build a business that would have other attractions to provide a birthday party, able to have an arcade, and have food in the building – cafeteria on the ground level, and a restaurant / bar on the top.
“We have six-lane bowling, six-lane axe-throwing, a 7D cinema with interactive gaming, multi-sensory virtual reality experience, a huge arena of laser tag, and we have 500 square feet of co-operate with a retractable wall. We can also offer a private area, depending on the size of the group, and all those are equipped with audio and video. We also have an area for evening gatherings that you can go after work; you can go into the lounge. So we have a lot of revenue generated activities justifying our expense in the best track and go-karting to get involved in the business. We also have a race team that will be racing across Canada and also in the States, so we’re touching so many segments – this is why we’re able to do this project.”
Everything has been made possible courtesy of a partnership between Tagliani and a group of seasoned entrepreneurs from the business community: Vincent Chiara (President of the MACH Group), Mario Bouchard (founder of iBwave), Richard Scofield (President of the St-Hubert Group), France Dubé and Tommy-John Gélinas (GD Lead real estate developers), and Jean-Frédéric Laberge (property manager and racing driver).
Stay tuned for a second article with Alex Tagliani, where we discuss this past season in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.