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New raceway in Helen, GA


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#1 Jim Difalco

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

Check this out racers. This was formerly Slingshot Speedway in Lawrenceville, GA. The former owner of the track sold it to a gentleman who owns a few other businesses in Helen and now works as the manager there. The longer track is an incredible 480' in length. They expanded the layout from the paltry 375' when it was in the original mall location.

 

As of now they have two 1/32 tracks but they will be getting a 1/24 track early next year. They do seem to have a racing program as well for 1/32 cars. They should do very well with rentals and parties as the place was packed during the times I was there.

 

Helen is a very popular tourist attraction as the entire town was modeled after a typical Bavarian town in Germany. There is tubing on the river that flows through the town. You can also pan for gold at a few places in the area. We have rented cabins there a number of times when my kids were younger.

 

Screenshot_2020-09-12 Alpine Speedway Slot Car Racing in Helen, Georgia(1).png

 

Screenshot_2020-09-12 Alpine Speedway Slot Car Racing in Helen, Georgia.png

 

The website is www.alpinespeedway.com.

 

sales@alpinespeedway.com
8016 South Main Street 
Suite A2, Helen, GA 30545

706-878-0111


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#2 MG Brown

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:51 PM

I attempted to race on the former Discover Mills mall track (the first Ninco USA Nationals, 2006).

I felt it was extremely difficult to race on due to the number of corners, lack of clear sight lines and just being able to see a 1/32 scale racing car that is so far away.

 

But a certain amount of that probably was age and unfamiliarity with the venue.

 

Best wishes to the new owners and hope to see a proper 1/24 commercial track there soon.


That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#3 Jim Difalco

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 06:51 AM

MG, I was at that Ninco race. Did they race on the large track? I didn't think so. I borrowed a car and ran on the shorter 375' version and I did not like it either. The cars were relatively slow and on that huge track the corners felt so far apart. I hope they have paid marshalls for the rental customers as to me it would be very frustrating to fall off and have to walk all that distance to get my car. They would be better off with a couple small tracks in my opinion.


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#4 Cheater

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 07:57 AM

When Slingshot was in the mall near me, they did indeed have paid marshals for the rental customers.

 

FWIW, I took a 75-mile road trip to Helen yesterday, mostly to get out of town for the first time in months and to enjoy a drive in my new Jetta TDI, but also to visit Alpine and to grab some pics for their Slotblog raceway listing. Had a nice but short visit with the folks there.

I believe they'll do well here. The facility is right on the one main road that bisects the town, near the center of Helen, and their graphics makes the place very visible. Helen is basically a minor-league Gatlinburg-style tourist town and during normal summers (the summer of 2020 is not in that category...) there is an enormously-high level of visitation.

 

In its previous location, under multiple owners, this raceway was operated more as arcade than a traditional slot car raceway, although was organized racing at various times. As such, the vast majority of the raceway's revenue is going to come from rentals and birthday parties and they seemingly realize that.

 

Most involved in slot racing seem to believe that the raceways exist solely to furnish a place for their competitive contests and in reality that simply is not the case, especially since the revenue generated from the racing activities alone is never sufficient to keep the doors open.

 

FWIW, they did confirm their intention eventually to put in a 1/24 wood track; they have a good bit of adjoining space available if needed.


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Gregory Wells

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#5 MG Brown

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

MG, I was at that Ninco race. Did they race on the large track? I didn't think so. I borrowed a car and ran on the shorter 375' version and I did not like it either. The cars were relatively slow and on that huge track the corners felt so far apart. I hope they have paid marshalls for the rental customers as to me it would be very frustrating to fall off and have to walk all that distance to get my car. They would be better off with a couple small tracks in my opinion.

 

Jim: Here is my album of photos from that event: Ninco Nationals 2006.

I cannot recall what the lap length was of the track used for that event other than it took forever to get around with those no-mag Ninco cars. Each to their own, but I did not have an enjoyable time participating in that event.


That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#6 MG Brown

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 03:54 PM

FWIW, I took a 75-mile road trip to Helen yesterday, mostly to get out of town for the first time in months and to enjoy a drive in my new Jetta TDI, but also to visit Alpine and to grab some pics for their Slotblog raceway listing. Had a nice but short visit with the folks there.

 

Thank you for taking the time and effort to report firsthand from this new raceway venture.


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That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#7 Jim Difalco

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:46 AM

MG, after checking out all your photos I was not there the first year of the Ninco races. That was not the track layout or name of the raceway at that time.

 

When Slingshot was in the mall near me, they did indeed have paid marshals for the rental customers.

 

FWIW, I took a 75-mile road trip to Helen yesterday, mostly to get out of town for the first time in months and to enjoy a drive in my new Jetta TDI, but also to visit Alpine and to grab some pics for their Slotblog raceway listing. Had a nice but short visit with the folks there.

I believe they'll do well here. The facility is right on the one main road that bisects the town, near the center of Helen, and their graphics makes the place very visible. Helen is basically a minor-league Gatlinburg-style tourist town and during normal summers (the summer of 2020 is not in that category...) there is an enormously-high level of visitation.

 

In its previous location, under multiple owners, this raceway was operated more as arcade than a traditional slot car raceway, although was organized racing at various times. As such, the vast majority of the raceway's revenue is going to come from rentals and birthday parties and they seemingly realize that.

 

Most involved in slot racing seem to believe that the raceways exist solely to furnish a place for their competitive contests and in reality that simply is not the case, especially since the revenue generated from the racing activities alone is never sufficient to keep the doors open.

 

FWIW, they did confirm their intention eventually to put in a 1/24 wood track; they have a good bit of adjoining space available if needed.

 

Cheater, any place that gets people introduced to slot racing of any scale is a benefit to the sport. I bet that place will be packed on rainy days with tourists. He really needs more small tracks instead of that behemoth.


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Jim Difalco
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3075 NE Loquat Lane
Jensen Beach, FL 34957
(772) 334-1987
askjim@difalcoonline.com


#8 MG Brown

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 05:35 PM

 He really needs more small tracks instead of that behemoth.

 

Yes – let us hope that they get a reasonably-sized eight-lane 1/24 routed track that will fill that need.


That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 






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