MEDFORD, Ore. – Speed. Adrenaline. And a love for racing.
That drive is what brought Dale Wolfe to Rogue Karting twice a week.
“Everything kind of seemed like it didn’t exist when you were on the track,” Wolfe said. “I eat sleep and breathe driving and racing. So whenever I was on the track it was like nothing else existed, it was really nice.”
He would drive an hour and half from Roseburg to get his need for speed in.
But now, he’ll have to drive more than 3 hours for indoor karting.
On November 14, Rogue Karting, Southern Oregon’s only indoor karting facility, closed it’s doors permanently.
Former operations manager Dylan Bloom said it was a decision that was not taken lightly.
“Unfortunately a company came in and offered the building owner a significant amount of money that he just couldn’t turn down,” he said.
Exact details about the deal are unknown at this time.
Bloom was prepared to buy the business, but he wasn’t able to get financing finalized before the other business bought the building.
The facility is 50,000 square feet. Featuring a massive lobby with sim-racing, food and a slot car track.
To find another facility just like it, it would be difficult to produce.
“We were kind of looking what our other options are out there,” Bloom said. “But the amount of money it would have cost to build out the lobby and kind of delivery the same kind of experience we were delivering for the last five years was just a little too much as such short notice.”
For Wolfe, he found out the track was closing two weeks before it shut down.
Now, K1 Speed’s Portland or Bend location is where he’ll have to go to get his racing fix.
“I don’t know what I‘m going to do without Rogue Karting around,” Wolfe said. “Everyone there was super cool, everyone was super welcoming and that’s pretty disappointing because I‘m going to have to go to Portland and see how K1 is.”
This isn’t the first go karting track to shutdown in Medford.
In 2016, “Go Kart Hero,” a 30,000 foot facility, closed.
But Bloom wants to keep Rogue Karting alive.
“It’s not the end, as people from this valley know,” he said. “Karting comes and goes. It’s just about finding the right fit so hopefully in the next couple of years we’ll open something new back up.”
Bloom said the existing building will not serve a karting track under the new building owner.
On Friday, Rogue Karting will be having a garage sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..
They’ll be selling off many miscellaneous items, a huge slot car track and even a few karts they have left.