Tro Trax, a new remote control car park in Washburn, celebrated its grand opening on April 10. The new business, which is owned by Pete and Kati Rose, is located behind SW Sub Shop on Highway 90.
"Our number one goal is to offer a family or group atmosphere where people can do something together," said Pete. "Everyone enjoys this. From kids to their grandparents. It doesn't matter what your age is."
Tro Trax offers remote control car rentals and gives individuals who own their own cars a racing venue. The facility will also offer 30-minute Family Cup events and feature racing activities. Race events must be scheduled in advance.
"This originated with a fishing pond, but we didn't feel like that would be exciting enough," said Pete. "It evolved into this, which appeals to all ages, and is a safe, fun, interactive activity for the whole family. We hope it will give people another reason to come to Washburn."
Prior to opening the business, Pete and Kati attended a remote control racing event in Joplin. After watching the race vent, Pete began drawing a sketch of how he wanted his remote control race track to look.
"Our track is a figure eight design," said Pete. "The front half of the track is less technical for beginners. We wanted to keep it simple to keep the frustration level down and the fun up."
Family Cup races, which are for four to six individuals, are conducted on the first half of the track. Participants are given time to warm up and become familiar with the track before competing in a qualifier lap. After qualifying, drivers compete in three five-lap races.
"The feature races use the full course," said Pete. "You need more experience to race the second half of the track."
Feature races also allow four to six racers to compete. Feature racers are given warm-up time prior to a qualifying lap and then compete in three six-lap races.
"These are one-10th scale battery-operated remote control cars," said Pete. "They are built for a lot of jumping. Our track is very rugged. On this track, you are going to flip your car, and you are probably going to run off the road a time or two, but it is all fun."
Family Cup and feature racing reservations are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Friday and Saturday beginning April 16. Tro Trax will also rent cars on a first-come-first-serve basis each Friday and Saturday.
Individuals who own their own cars can purchase access passes for track usage during SW Sub Shop's regular business hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Over the next few months, Pete hopes to add a rock crawler course for four-wheel drive, off-road remote control cars and an oval flat track for modified remote control speed racers.
"It is really fun to just watch the racers," said Kati. "This is a neat spectator sport."
"No one in this area offers anything like this," said Pete. "We wanted something that would be interesting for the entire family. Families can go to the movies, but during the movie they don't interact with each other. This is something that will allow them to have a fun day with each other."
In addition to celebrating the grand opening of Tro Trax, Pete and Kati celebrated SW Sub Shop's one year anniversary on Saturday.
"We have done a lot of learning over the last year, but honestly this has been the most enjoyable business that we have ever owned," said Pete. "It is great to have the opportunity to interact with people and support the school."
The Roses have added a large screen monitor at the sub shop, which displays photos of Southwest High School students and alumni.
"A lot of people will watch the whole thing," said Kati. "It gets people talking about the history of the school and the area. It is really neat."
SW Sub Shop now serves fresh chicken breast and chef salads. The sub shop also continues to offer a wide variety of sandwiches, including several that have been named after Washburn community members.
"We have had a lot of input from our customers," said Pete. "That has been very beneficial to use. We continue to welcome feedback from the community."
For more information on Tro Trax or to schedule a racing reservation, call 826-4008 or visit trotrax.com.