The team behind one of the most innovative and popular indoor sports complexes in the region is raising the thrill bar on family fun.
When NasKart threw open its doors on New Year’s Day, local families got to experience the largest indoor go-kart racetrack in the world, right here in eastern Connecticut.
The 110,000 square-foot facility is home to two multi-level tracks. This is miles beyond the traditional karting experience, of driving around a circle. There are three stories of hills and dips and breathtaking curves. And because owners Dan Fawcett and Sandi and Stephen Sangermano wanted to construct a truly unforgettable attraction, NasKart also features an 8,000-square foot indoor trampoline park, complete with play areas for dodgeball and basketball. At $8/half hour and $14/full hour, a family outing is less than the cost of a movie, with the added bonus of getting some fierce, fun exercise. The family café and full-service sports bar are a great place to recharge and fuel up between activities.
Speaking of recharging, eco-minded parents will love the all-electric, zero-emission go-karts. You won’t find any fumes or noisy engines at NasKart, only fun in a great family atmosphere. But don’t underestimate electric power; the karts can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. And hang on - the electric karts have more torque, so riders get a faster acceleration without losing any speed.
Start your engines
The inspiration to build the attraction came – when else – when the Sangermanos were on vacation in Miami. One visit to an indoor kart facility had them saying, “We don’t have anything like this back home…”
But they thought they might do better, and do better they did.
The tracks are modeled after state-of-the-art, multi-level European tracks, “which were ahead of even the best indoor tracks here in the U.S.,” Dan Fawcett explains. “The tracks are bigger, longer and more exciting.”
“This sport is big in Europe,” adds Rachel Hannas-Metz, NasKart Sales and Marketing Manager. “We wanted to bring that caliber of racing here.” With three levels of tracks, “it’s like going to a theme park,” Dan says. “It’s unique and exhilarating. It’s a thrill.”
“But it’s a safe thrill,” Rachel, a mom of three, interjects, laughing. NasKart’s appeal is as unique as its design. It offers a serious riding experience in a controlled, but super comfortable setting. Parents can jump behind the wheel or catch the action from viewing and lounging areas, including the mezzanine – an elevated area which offers a full and dramatic view of the racing below. And again, the karts are quiet, allowing for grown-up conversation and quality relaxation.
NasKart is open and available to public group activities, including school and local organizations; corporate retreats; business, networking and team-building outings, bachelor parties, birthday parties, sports teams, booster clubs, and professional kart racers. Gift cards and e-gift cards are available online.
Kart racers need to be 48” tall to ride. Check naskartracing.com for updates on classes and events.
The climate controlled facility, at 1 Sachatello Industrial Drive, Montville, CT, is open year-round. Call 860-444-7700 or email email@example.com for more information.
Indoor recreation pioneers
The spacious NasKart building shares a campus with the equally impressive Wide World of Indoor Sports indoor turf facility, established eight years ago by Dan, Stephen and Sandi.
Wide World of Indoor Sports extends the playing and practicing season for many popular sports, giving local teams an edge and getting kids off the couch during harsh New England winters.
The bright, spacious indoor arena sports four fields and top-of-the-line turf. It hosts soccer, lacrosse, flag football, baseball, rugby, softball, field hockey, Frisbee, volleyball and Wiffleball. There are various youth and adult leagues, as well as camps, clinics and tournaments offered throughout the year.
If the NasKart facility was inspired, the indoor sports facility was a calling.
“Our kids were practicing soccer in gyms,” Dan explains. “The facilities they were using were smaller and retrofitted - some had columns which would really constrain the size of the playing area. We saw that there was a real need for this,” he says.
The idea quickly caught on. The inaugural facility in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, established in 2009, was quickly followed by another in North Kingstown, R.I., in 2011. As the Montville location enters its second year, its schedule is nearly full.
“When we first started this venture, our main focus was soccer, but we quickly realized the number of sports that need indoor turf time,” Dan explains.
The curtains that divide the fields can be pulled back, doubling the space for softball games, Frisbee – even drone racing.
“And it’s clean turf time,” Rachel adds. “Everyone who plays here says, ‘what an experience.’”
The facility’s mezzanine is one of its most remarkable features. Just like at NasKart, it’s spacious, with a sports bar and plenty of room for seating and viewing the games below.
“It’s extremely clean, extremely welcoming, and of course, extremely busy,” Rachel says. “But it’s never so busy that you can’t find a chair. And because it’s used by leagues in so many different towns, it’s really become this regional community’s gathering place, which is a terrific experience for everyone involved – kids and parents alike,” she adds.
For more information, visit www.wideworldofindoorsports.com or call 860-444-1234.
Click here to see more from the winter issue of Connecticut Family magazine.