Ryan Bouvier of Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting in Hatfield. KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »
Job title and company: Owner, Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting, 10 West St., West Hatfield
Your duties: Owner, operator, marketing, sales and everything else that comes up.
How did you land your job? I spent 10 years traveling and researching this business. I spent most of that 10 years working in the business banking field for a few different banks. I always knew I wanted to open a business and my ultimate dream was to open an indoor go-karting facility.
What’s most challenging about your work? Educating people on what we are all about. Everyone thinks go-karts and immediately thinks kiddy karts. We are the only place where you can experience high speed open-wheel racing while in a controlled environment in western or central Massachusetts. Our karts are capable of speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
What do you like about our job? I have always loved making people happy. I love watching drivers after a race run to the table to get their times. Whether it’s their first time or 20th. People tell us all the time that they wished they’d come sooner, or they are so happy a place like this has come to the Valley.
What is your key to success? We have the No. 1 karts in the world. Rental karts like ours don’t get better or faster unless you take them outside. They handle like high-performance sports cars and are super-responsive. They truly give our customers a driving experience like no other.
How do you feel the Valley economy will fare this year? New and existing businesses are developing and I hope people keep spending and supporting their local communities. We will be working to hold multiple fundraising events to help support organizations in the Pioneer Valley. It has been a goal of mine while working to open this business to be able to also help support other local nonprofits, as well as people in need.
Why did you choose to do business in the Valley? There’s no place quite like it. The people, scenery and the atmosphere that the Valley has to offer is like no other. I feel there’s no better place than to start here.
Who has helped mentor you professionally? My good friend, Brian Foote, got me started in my business career, giving me direction in my first banking job in 2004. Since then I have always been inspired by his unique approach toward achieving life goals.
Name a few of your goals for the coming year: In the past three months we have gotten over 3,000 members. I hope to have over 9,000 by the end of the year.
Tell us a little-known fact about you: I told my mom when I was 4 that I wanted to open a go-kart land.
What is your advice for others seeking business success? Don’t ever think your dreams are unachievable. If you put your mind to something, the sky is the limit.