Some kneejerk thoughts...
For every "racer" in the real world of racing there are millions of vaguely interested players/spectators...likewise with video games, bowling, lawn darts, running for political office, gourmet chefs, angry birds, Rubiks Cubes and....slot cars.
No "race track", whatever the scale, can be successful without something going on all the time that helps pay the bills.
In the 1 to 1 scale world it's promotion that draws the watchers to the stands where they pay the bills/overhead by just gong through the gate and buying beer and Slim Jims. There's no need to have the spectators there every day, just getting them there for the races is enough.
In a slot car raceway focusing on selling everyone a slot car and then having them come to an organised race just doesn't work.
Offering a few hours of organised racing in a 40-60 hour week has proven to be an abject failure as the way to pay the bills.
I know, and so do all the other long term Raceway owners out there, that simply filling the track with players when there are no scheduled races makes more money than anything else.
The focus on organised racing is too narrow. The smaller the market one focuses on, the smaller the participation, means less money in the register.
Yes, it really does matter what sort of slot car one presents to the players...but, the game is to somehow get them to come in and play with it, not race with it.
In the boom of the Sixties the tracks were full of players and the "racing" was limited.
The cars that were sold were designed to play with, fall apart and discard and if the interest was still there at that point, another was purchased and the demolition continued. Crash & Burn races, wildcat races or just disorganized mayhem kept the tracks full all day.
I've whined for years about using computers to do things besides run organised races, so I'll do it again.
How hard would it be to have a program running all the time that detects 2 or more cars running on a track, flashes on the monitor that a race will begin in 30 seconds if the players will bring their cars to the line, run a 5 lap race, declare the winner and flash that the next race will start in x minutes? Such a simple thing, use a computer to run a race, no lane change, just sort of organised, heads up racing.
The SRT guys didn't do it...maybe now that we have Windows based programs it could be done?
Would it solve all the problems?... no, but it would be a way that players that don't own super duper highfalutin overpriced "race cars" could have more fun on a slot car track.