Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting expands outside

  • Riders take a curve on the indoor track at Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting in Hatfield. The business has added an outdoor track and expanded its fleet this year. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • The layout of the new outdoor track, at right, at Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting in Hatfield. SUBMITTED PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 7/15/2019 12:19:21 AM

HATFIELD — Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting is no longer confined indoors. The seven-year-old business recently expanded its offerings to include about 1,000 feet of outdoor track.

The Hatfield facility, located in the former Danco furniture warehouse building on West Street, has also added an entire new fleet of gas-powered go-karts that can achieve speeds up to 50 mph. PVIK officials believe the business is now the only gas go-karting facility on the East Coast that has one continuous indoor and outdoor racetrack.

According to owner Ryan Bouvier, the new track features an elevation change and a straightaway on which racers can pick up speed. Bouvier said about half of the money for the $600,000 renovation went toward the new track, while the other half went toward the new karts.

The outdoor track is joined with PVIK’s 1,500-foot indoor track. The outdoor extension is open (weather permitting) during the weekends and on Wednesday nights during PVIK’s weekly car show. Riders can still race on the indoor portion of the track when the extension is not open.

“(Karting is an) all-inclusive, immersive experience that’s usually exciting and thrilling for kids and adults,” said Bouvier in a recent phone interview. “We call it an ageless event ... Anybody can be anybody on the track.”

Bouvier opened the facility in October 2012, and for nearly seven years the go-karting business has continued to draw people from throughout New England. Bouvier said that, despite the increasing competition as more facilities have opened in the area, PVIK is “still being recognized as one of the top tracks around.”

Bouvier said there are several reasons PVIK opts to use gas over electric go-karts. Gas karts offer riders a more autonomous experience because they are controlled by individual drivers and can race at high speeds, Bouvier said. Electric karts are sometimes controlled remotely by an operator, and are heavier than gas karts, he said.

In addition to “arrive and drive” racing, PVIK frequently hosts birthday parties and corporate events. The facility can accommodate groups of over 100 people. Customers can rent the entire facility or hold a semi-private event. According to Bouvier, customers can also pay for PVIK to coordinate additional catering and entertainment.

PVIK hosted the Brewers Cup in 2016 and 2017, an event that brings together Valley beer brewers for a day of racing while fundraising for CHD Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Bouvier said that PVIK has raised a total of more than $27,000 from two previous fundraisers. He will host the race again this September and hopes to expand the event to include outdoor entertainment.


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