RPM Raceway revs up Stamford go-karting scene
For four years, Eyal Farage and Karen Davis-Farage looked for a place along the Interstate 95 corridor in southwestern Connecticut for their next recreational speedway. The couple found that venue in Stamford, nearly a mile from the highway.
RPM Raceway opened an approximately 90,000-square-foot indoor complex at 600 West Ave., near the Stamford-Greenwich line, late last month. It features two quarter-mile go-kart tracks, a bowling alley, a full arcade with racing simulators and a restaurant-bar. Housed in a former FedEx delivery center, the entertainment hub is RPM’s first site in Connecticut.
“We think this space being right in Stamford is such an optimum space, being less than a mile off 95,” Davis-Farage said in an interview last week.
The new course will employ about 80 to 100.
An On Track Karting track closed last month in Brookfield. Farage and Davis-Farage coincidentally live in the same town and also maintain a home in Manhattan.
If you go
“When we built our business initially, we actually wanted to go to Danbury, but we didn’t feel the population was dense enough,” Davis-Farage said. “So we started looking four years ago for a site on 95.”
RPM features electric karts imported from Italy capable of speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
Races consist of 16 laps around the track. Driving options include head-to-head matchups, group races and year-round racing leagues.
Children must be at least 6 years old and 4 feet tall to race. Smaller youngsters ride in junior karts, while those taller than 4-foot-10 use adult karts.
Generally, children race only among themselves and adults drive with other adults, although there are exceptions for mixed groups such as families.
“My favorite part was the smooth turns,” said 9-year-old Henry Wahl, of Greenwich, after racing his 13-year-old sister, Hannah, during a visit last week.
More than 1 million drivers, with an average age of 35, have raced at RPM’s locations, which also include Jersey City, N.J., and four New York state locations in Buffalo, Farmingdale, Rochester and Syracuse. The Jersey City location was the first to open, in 2010.
Key customer groups for RPM include “arrive-and-drive” patrons looking for daytime or evening activities; gatherings for celebrations such as birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, reunions, corporate events and tourists.
Within the next four weeks, the two-level RPM Stamford plans to open its other attractions, including a 14-lane bowling alley; The Clutch Sportsbar; a four-player virtual-reality station; and a pair of racing simulators.
The arcade is already open. Visitors can earn prizes, including electronics, on points accumulated on the games, at the on-site “redemption store.”
“The kids and adults can enjoy the arcade together, and then a family can go bowling together,” Davis-Farage said. “There really is something for everyone.”
Henry and Hannah said they would be returning to check out the new attractions.
For Hannah, there was a clear highlight of last week’s race: “My favorite part was that I beat my brother.”
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