Indoor go-kart track to open at mall

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The Skip Barber Racing School plans to open a Skip Barber Racing Go-Kart Academy in the center of American Dream mega-mall and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands near Primark. 

The racing school was founded in 1975 and has racing schools and defensive and high performance driving schools across the country. It has tracks in New Jersey, California, Texas, Connecticut and Florida. 

The 40,000-square-foot go-kart facility is being built and will have one large track. It will be open all year long and will be family oriented. It is expected to be ready by year’s end.

“Racing starts with go-karts,” said Theresa Gilpatrick, membership program director for the driving school. “It will be fun for the entire family and is a great skill builder.” 

Children as young as 5 will be able to race the go-karts. “We love to start building a program to bring young kids into racing and gives them a place to learn with great people,” Gilpatrick said. 

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Skip Barber Racing School has had alumni win events in NASCAR, INDYCAR and other motorsports. 

The racing school chose American Dream to be its first go-kart location because the family-owned business originates from Long Island and New York, Gilpatrick said. 

“We could not be more excited to open our first SBRS karting experience, within this unrivaled entertainment/retail center — what a great fit,” said Dan DeMonte, CMO of Skip Barber Racing School. “We’ve trained some of the best in motorsports, and will bring this same dedication to excellence by providing karting fans with the ultimate racing experience.”

The academy is the latest addition to the mall that also plans to open a giant Ferris wheel and a luxury retail wing featuring a champagne bar this fall. 

The retail wing, dubbed “The Avenue,” will open on Sept. 17 and be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, which is making its return to New Jersey after closing its last Garden State store, at the Mall at Short Hills, five years ago.  

“At American Dream, we always strive to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests and have teamed up with best-in-class partners to ensure we meet this goal,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream. “This is why we are thrilled to welcome one of the top names in racing to design a unique karting experience that our guests can enjoy year-round.”

Other open attractions include DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Big SNOW Ski Hill.

Kristie Cattafi is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: cattafi@northjersey.com

Twitter: @KristieCattafi