New Jersey Motorsports Park Off To A Fast Start In 2008
Millville, NJ – As the inaugural season at South Jersey’s New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) winds down, evidence of the facility’s positive economic impact on the region is surfacing. NJMP’s 3 major racing venues – Thunderbolt Raceway, Lightning Raceway and F1 New Jersey Karting – have been booked virtually every day over the course of the season and will continue to host events until it closes for the winter. Since it’s opening on July 5, 2008, NJMP has hosted six marquee spectator events – drawing well over 30,000 fans – as well as hosting over 60 different car and motorcycle clubs, driver training schools and corporate events.
Major spectator events included the Eastern Motor Racing Association (EMRA), SVRA Vintage Racing Association, Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC), Grand-Am Road Racing Association, Mazda Formula X, “Wheels and Warbirds” airshow, and the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Every day one or both of the two road courses have been rented to organizations such as racing teams looking for private testing time, car and motorcycle enthusiast clubs, or private businesses like Supercar Life, which rent exotic cars and provide instruction to paying customers.
Another benchmark of the track’s successful inaugural season is the 60-plus sponsors and partnerships NJMP forged with businesses around the region and the country – including household names such as Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Subaru, Sunoco, and Verizon, just to name a few. Roger Patel, owner of Millville’s Quality Inn and Economy Inn, provided an example of the benefit NJMP had for local businesses. “The Motorsports Park had a very positive impact on our business this year. Although leisure travel across the board was down about 15%, our business still increased 10 to 15 %. In fact, we are in the process of adding more rooms for 2009, including a major renovation of the Economy Inn, turning it into a Super 8 Hotel with all new rooms and carpets, plus upgrading the outside.”
Phase One of the NJMP development, which opened progressively over the summer, included two wholly separate road courses, a re-configurable kart racing track, and nearly a dozen large buildings. At Lightning Raceway, the F1 New Jersey Karting building was completed, with retail and concessions space. Also built was the Lighting Raceway Driver’s School building, housing garages, classrooms, and a control tower to run that track’s operations.
On the opposite side of the park, at Thunderbolt Raceway, a multitude of buildings were constructed to service the thousands of guests that utilize NJMP’s signature facility. Buildings include the Event Garage (capable of servicing up to 44 vehicles), the four-story Chris Economaki Media Tower, the VIP Suite/Garage complex, the trackside medical building, and a major events building called “The Hangar” which features concessions, the CDOC Pro Shop and the Officer’s Club Banquet Hall. Additionally, the Driver’s Clubhouse, home to the members of the track, NJMP’s corporate offices, and a full bar and restaurant, was also completed.
The next phase of construction has begun even as refinements are being made to the Phase One projects, as Principal and Development Project Manager Joe Savaro explained. “At NJMP, we worked non-stop for the last year to get the facilities built and ready for business. We launched in July, just 14 months after breaking ground, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’ve received from participants, spectators and sponsors alike. The planning and development stages of the next phase include more racing facilities – a ¾ mile paved oval for stock car racing and a 30+ acre ATV and off-road course, as well as the development of amenities such as multiple hotels and restaurants plus a 400,000 sq. ft. “SpeedPlex”, designed as a custom-built area, serving automotive manufacturers and the automotive industry at large.”
“We are very proud of the strong economic impact we have already made to the area in just a short period of time. Over 180 jobs on site, plus hundreds of construction jobs, filling area hotels and restaurants with patrons, and a significant amount of increased aircraft traffic at Millville Airport are just some of the positives NJMP has brought to the region – and this is just Phase One. For certain, it will be a busy winter of planning, but we’re all looking forward to the next season already!”