Vroom! Traxx indoor racetrack in Mukilteo for sale

Ian and Rick Wanzer, who have owned and operated Traxx Indoor Raceway for 24 years, sit in their two go-karts near the track in Mukilteo. Now, with young grandchildren and hobbies they want to spend more time on, the Wanzers are retiring. (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

MUKILTEO — Another Mukilteo speedway is for sale.

After 24 years, the owners of Traxx Indoor Raceway are looking for a buyer for the go-kart entertainment complex.

“We’re one of the longest running tracks in the country and one of the first,” said co-owner Ian Wanzer.

The deal includes 32 go-karts, 66 helmets and all the trim for the quarter-mile track with 17 turns. Pricing has not been disclosed, and the new location is elsewhere.

Not included is the 36,000-square-foot leased warehouse at 4329 Chennault Beach Road, a block from the city’s main street. Buyer will have to move business to another site.

Wanzer said the slightly smaller footprint should do the trick for a race center with concessions, billiards and a climbing wall.

What else is needed?

“Someone younger to move the business and take it to the next step,” Wanzer, 69, said.

Traxx operates over 100 hours a week, closing only on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“Some weekends we’ve had 25 birthday parties,” Wanzer said. Not to mention team building, bachelorette party and bachelorette party.

Drivers choose their helmets before hitting the Traxx Indoor Raceway.  (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

Drivers choose their helmets before hitting the Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

According to her, it is mostly men.

“Only 20% of women get speed,” she said. “There’s hardly a guy who doesn’t like it.”

There is a wall of “Leading Ladies” records.

Charlie Carson, 10, of Snohomish plans to take part in it someday.

She said she enjoys “really everything” about karting. She has a go-kart at home that she takes to practice at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe. At Traxx, she uses a kid-sized go-kart.

In the Traxx, drivers as young as 6 years old can get behind the wheel on their own. The go-kart park has 18 for adults, 10 for children and four super-fast “beast” karts.

A sales transaction includes everything you need to do business. “All the decor, all the office stuff, four party rooms, cafes, sync systems, Corvette couches and antique gas pumps,” Wanzer said.

Wait, what… Corvette couches?

“We bought all these things before the man caves came out and people didn’t dig these things up,” she said.

A young racer receives instruction during a practice session at Traxx Indoor Raceway.  (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

A young racer receives instruction during a practice session at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

During the pandemic, the track was closed twice.

“People are back. They lacked something to do. Sales this year are higher than ever before,” Wanzer said. “It’s kind of a time out. It’s very intense. You have to focus on 4 feet in front of you and that’s it.’

She deserves loyal employees and customers.

“We have a huge database, 35,000 customer emails,” she said.

The manager, Chris Kruse, has been with the company for 23 years. Helped in 2018 save the customer’s life with cardiac arrest, giving the first shock with a defibrillator in the office before the arrival of paramedics. The Defib comes bundled, the Kruse doesn’t.

Wanzer hopes the business will reopen in the county. There are indoor go-kart tracks in Redmond and Tukwila. Blue Fox Drive-In in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island there is an open path.

A racer races around the Traxx Indoor Raceway.  (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

A racer races around the Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

She and her husband, Rick, never set out to open a race track. She managed gymnastics centers. He was an industrial designer for Precor exercise machines.

The idea came to them when they were on holiday in Greece in 1998 without their three children, then aged 6, 10 and 16.

“We rented mopeds and were driving around the island of Paros and we saw these flags on top of the hill. It was an open circuit and there were very fast karts on it. My husband did it and said, ‘Oh my God, if you brought these go-karts to the United States, people would go crazy,'” she said.

“The clincher was when we were in Amsterdam and saw an advertisement for an indoor karting center. It was a random moment. We saw it and it just blew us away.”

A month or so after returning to Mukilteo, they returned to Europe to purchase timing systems and go-kart manufacturers.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” she said.

Chris Kruse, manager of Traxx Indoor Raceway, gives a driving lesson to visitors, talks about safety.  Kruse has been with the company for 23 years, working at Wanzer almost since its inception.  (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

Chris Kruse, manager of Traxx Indoor Raceway, gives a driving lesson to visitors, talks about safety. Kruse has been with the company for 23 years, working at Wanzer almost since its inception. (Ryan Berry/The Herald)

Traxx opened in December 1998.

Her husband was engaged in the design of the track.

“We used to keep changing the track plan for our regulars and then they hated it because they were working on their track time and this was a different track,” he said.

The clock is ticking.

“The last round will take place on October 30,” she said.

Serious buyers can inquire at jan@traxxracing.com.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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