INSTEAD OF waving the white flag when the recession put a stop to his old business, a County Limerick entrepreneur is now waving a black and white flag.
The death of the Celtic Tiger put an end to Colm Wright’s home cinema installation company. So he followed his passion for motorsport and opened a karting track, first in Roscrea.
Then just over a year ago he opened the National Karting and Adventure Centre in the old Burlington factory near Corbally.
It started as a karting track but now they have completed the first phase of a major expansion plan. They currently have five full-time staff and this will be grown to 15 by the end of the year.
Drifting (cars cornering sideways) is growing in popularity so Colm and his team came up with the idea of making karts drift.
“We found the solution and actually invented it here. We have a big event on February 11 with the drift karting and it’s already full. It has taken on a life of its own. We’re going to try and market this and sell the concept,” said Colm.
It is now Europe’s first drift karting facility in association with ProDrift.
Around €150,000 has been invested in to the National Karting and Adventure Centre to get it up and going and all the money earned is going back in to it. “Ninety nine per cent is going back in to keeping growing the business. We are taking very small incomes out of it,” he said.
They were expecting to be practically closed for January but they are still “full on”. They are also surprised at the age group of their clientele.
“Our main target is 12 to 50 year olds but we had a 78 year old karting here with his grandkids a few weeks ago!” concluded Colm.