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Average retail price for commercial track time?


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#1 Garry S

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:54 PM

For those who own or visit commercial raceways, what do you pay for track time?


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#2 Les Boyd

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 02:58 PM

It will vary but many are around $10 for a day pass.



#3 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:03 PM

Many use a 'walk-in' rental rates for the separate car/track/controller for time periods as well as the 'racer practice' rate of a flat day fee.  Many use at least an hourly track rate as the day fee as the racer runs on a track for 5 minutes, then changes parts and does another 5 minutes to check the improvement - or failure.  An hour of track time can take a few hours and generate some parts sales as well.

 

A common practice 20 years ago was a punch card for track time sales.  It would have 15, 30, or 60 minute punch options and the whole card sold for the hourly rate while individual 15 min blocks usually sold for a higher price.  A handy specific use gift card and raceway investment.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#4 Mattb

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:43 PM

$5  all nite , use your own equipment.


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#5 slotbaker

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:22 PM

$5  all nite , use your own equipment.

:huh: Sounds too cheap. That means the track owner could have just 8 customers and make $40 for the night!!

 

My preferred commercial track charges $2 per 10 mins, using you own equipment.

 

Club racing is $10 per event. 8 lane, 2min brackets, 90 second lane change.


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#6 Garry S

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

I think I've discovered why raceways are not successful... !


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Garry Stoner

#7 Mattb

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:31 PM

I agree it is too cheap.   I mentioned in another post that an evenings entertainment ought to be worth $20-$30.   It is for most other forms of entertainment.

That's why I think the whole "business" side of slot racing is the problem and it starts with the local track management in a lot of cases.


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#8 Garry S

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:36 PM

Look at it this way: A Blue King takes up 1000ft² by itself (app 20 x 50ft), and lease rates are at least $7ft²/yr.  So that track needs to generate $583/mo just to justify its space - at no profit.  


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#9 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:06 PM

Space around Chicago can be over $20/sf, but there are some bargains where locations allow.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#10 Brinkley47

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:09 PM

Too cheap in my opinion. I spend more getting to the track then I do in entry fees.
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#11 Garry S

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:16 PM

Average prices are clearly WAY too low.  I'm beginning to think that slot cars and business sense are mutually exclusive.  :D   

 

But seriously, if your local raceway charged twice their current rate for track time, would you still pay it?  


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#12 MSwiss

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

C'mon, Larry.
Space can be $30 a sq. ft. but no raceway has ever paid $20 or $30 sq. ft.

Did you get the birthday party going at the fieldhouse?

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#13 MSwiss

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:36 PM

Average prices are clearly WAY too low.  I'm beginning to think that slot cars and business sense are mutually exclusive.  :D   
 
But seriously, if your local raceway charged twice their current rate for track time, would you still pay it?

If people aren't flocking to the raceways with cheap prices, somehow you think if the prices were doubled, people would be convinced it must be twice the fun, and come out more? Lol

One guy around here, about 10 years ago, tried the expensive route.

He was in the basement of a bowling alley, about 2 blocks from my current location.

He paid someone who built railroad layouts for rich guys, to put up 3 beautuful, landscaped 1/32 layouts.

I think I saved his ultra-professional advertisement card, touting their $350, $475, $650, standard, golden & platinum birthday party packages.

I don't think he lasted a year.

I'm guessing he pissed away $30-75K, overestimating what people would pay to slot race and book birthday parties in his super-impressive looking facility.

My wife and I, sometimes after I close on Friday night, go to that same bowling alley.

We spend a little less to bowl for 75-90 minutes. then I would charge 2 people off the street, to do a casual rental for 45 minutes.

Or we go to the movies, and kill 2 hrs., for less than half the price , again, a 45 minute rental would be, by me.
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Mike Swiss
 
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#14 Garry S

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:04 PM

I'm certainly not saying to build ultra-fancy layouts, that's completely different than what we call slot racing.  

 

I am saying that if a business undervalues their product, their customers tend to agree with them.  


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#15 NY Nick

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:09 PM

20.00 for a hour

Some nights 15.00 until close.


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#16 MSwiss

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:24 PM

I'm certainly not saying to build ultra-fancy layouts, that's completely different than what we call slot racing.  
 
I am saying that if a business undervalues their product, their customers tend to agree with them.

You are ignoring that this "businessman" went with the charge high prices tact, and failed miserably.

If people weren't willing to pay high prices to race and host birthday parties on these super-fancy tracks, what makes you think they would be willing to pay high prices, to race on my non super-fancy tracks?

We are a 1/4 mile away, so we obviously are/were both drawing from the same clientele, which includes the 39th, 63rd, and 99th most affluent towns in the USA.

When I book a during the week, scouting event, and tell the organizer the price per child, usually I get a reply like, "Great, that's about what we hoped to pay", or "OK, that will fit in our budget". Or occasionally , they'll tell me upfront, what is in their budget, and it's exactly what I had planned to charge.

Regardless of having a household income of over $200K a year, it's just a night out with their kids, not a trip to Disneyland.
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Mike Swiss
 
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#17 NSwanberg

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:45 AM

JB at Downriver Speedway in Lincoln Park Michigan charges $5 per half hour with the track supplying a Parma rental car and a Parma resistor controller. JB just loves repairing rental cars and controllers.

 

I think $10 for a half hour would be reasonable with moms always free.


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#18 willy wonka

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:22 AM

Either 5 or 10 bucks run all day using your own equipment.
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#19 don.siegel

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:30 AM

What's the breakdown on track rental income/parts sales income these days? I seem to remember it used to be about 1/3 - 2/3... 

 

If I understand correctly, rates are no long a buck an hour, or $1.50 on the big track... 

 

Don 



#20 Steve Deiters

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:36 AM

First of all let me state I'm a died in the wool capitalist who firmly believes there is no such thing as a "free" anything.

 

One thought I would have during the slow season if I were a track operator (which I am not) is when there is no one at or on my track(s) and they are as empty and devoid of people as the pit area what should I do to get people in here to be on it?

 

What do I have to do to get people (my regulars and nebies) on the track(s) running their cars? 

 

What happens when cars are running on the track(s)?  They like all slot cars have been since the hobby started are spinning themselves to being worn out so they can be repaired, upgraded, replaced, or the racers "fleet" of cars is expanded.  Net result?  More parts sales.

 

How do I achieve this?  Have "open track days" that are adequately promoted where the track time is free. Yes....free. That way the racers come in, there is activity on the track (shows the casual visitor to the track/hobby shop) that things are alive, well, and vibrant.  At the same time your regular racers are hanging out more at the track.  Wearing their equipment out.  Buying spares.  Building new cars.  All of which are things that deepen their commitment to your establishment.  A win/win for all concerned.  Icing on the cake?  You have experienced hands in the shop not pressured by the time constraints of a weekly or monthly race who can lend a hand to newbies who need help and explain to people who have stopped by what slot racing is all about.

 

Remember what I said about "free".  While the track time may fall in the category the sales of the parts certainly isn't.  Just a thought....


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#21 jimht

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:14 AM

If track times rates are low anyway, making time cheaper or even free won't help.

 

Folks either come to play or participate in organised racing.

 

Racers won't/don't use track time to wear out their race cars.

 

Players soon discover the current product line is composed of high priced and/or self-destructing race cars that are not amenable to hours of play.

The profit margin on time is 100%. Why trade that for a much lower margin on parts?

 

You want to see why the 1/24 tracks aren't full of players? Look at the product line, not at the cost of track time.

 


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#22 Steve Deiters

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:18 AM

The profit margin on zero track time being booked is.....zero.  No people in the place is not a good thing.


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#23 jimht

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:38 AM

 

 

The profit margin on zero track time being booked is.....zero.  No people in the place is not a good thing.

A statement that has nothing to do with profit.

 

I've got over 40 years of experience with profit margins on a slot car track and I'd rather sell high priced track time and 2 $40 cars to a player than one $80 race car and cheap track time. At least when you break a cheap car, if you've got 2 you can still play.

 

It's not about track time, it's about what's done with it.

 

If running a car on a slot car track destroys the car no-one comes back to play.

 

We sell fun not track time or parts. To attract players that fill the track having fun, the product line has to change...wouldn't hurt to change the tracks, too.


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#24 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:56 AM

For the past four years, my Dad and I have found quite a bit of success with our track time model.

$5 for 15 minutes.
$20 for a year long membership.

What's been determined through that is that when practice moves from a budgeted expense to something you can pop over and do at any time for our locals, we see them much more often as we've become the equivalent of "I'll stop in and say hey to the guys at the bar while I'm out."

Now we have more opportunities to speak with customers, and not only are they considering new parts purchases more frequently but they're consuming parts on a more frequent basis.

It may sound crazy, but our customer traction and our parts sales tell us that it works.
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#25 gjc2

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

I successful raceway owner once told me that when he sees what a raceway charges for track time he know how much their rent is.

 

I don’t know what the formula is. 


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