NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dozens of families are outraged after a local go-kart track, RaceComplex, closed without warning and without a reason. The track was home to local racers who travel around the country competing in karting events. With the track closing, the families will have to travel hours for the closest practice track.
"It's heartbreaking for this track to be going away," said 11-year-old racer Devin Boutot, who is one of three Florida drivers who qualified to compete in Nationals in New Orleans. "It takes away all the practice and testing we've been doing."
For the last two years, the track's owners leased the property from Lee Civic Center. In May, the owners said they got the "runaround" from Center officials when trying to resign their lease. On July 29th, the Center's board president, Randy Crone, sent the owners a letter informing them the Center would not be holding any future karting events, and stated the owners had 14 days to vacate the property and remove all their equipment.
The news came as a shock to the owners, racers and parents. Part-owner Luigi Sarracino said over the last two years, the owners invested more than $200,000 from their own pockets to develop the track.
"It's sad for the families, the kids and the parents who spend so much money in go karts to start it because it was something new and now they have no place to go," Sarracino said.
Lee Civic Center released a statement saying the board members decided not to schedule any further Kart Racing events through Race Complex because they are working on "new ideas for the property, but they are not yet ready to announce them to the public."
For parents, the news is hard to grasp.
"I can't comprehend how we're supposed to get shoved under the rug and just walk away from it," said Lisa DePinto, wife of one of the track's co-owners.
Four in Your Corner will continue to follow this story and the Board's plans for the future of this property.