New owners refueling Minden go-kart track
|By Joseph Quigley - Staff Writer | May 17, 2019
John and Alisa Dermott want to transform Minden’s old go-kart track into a whole new experience.
The pair purchased Pole Position Kartways in April and are working to remake and paint the facility, which also features mini golf and batting cages. The location is now rebranded as The Minden Experience Adventure Fun Park and is having a grand re-opening ceremony May 18.
John Dermott said having come to the place as cottagers with their kids for years, they decided to ask about buying it. After moving to the area full-time in November, they finalized the sale last month.
“Our dream has come true,” he said. “Having two young sons, it was a great time for them to learn business and have fun at the same time.”
The facility’s previous owner Gerry Hogenhout had it for 20 years, running it using third-party operators. He said living in Toronto made it difficult to execute his vision for the property.
“I came to the realization the property deserved to be in the hands of someone who not only shared my vision but was in a much better position to make it happen,” Hogenhout said. “I wish them the best and I really look forward to seeing them develop the property and maximize its potential.”
The park is more than 50 years old. Alisa Dermott said previous ownership did a great job maintaining it but her family is working to give it a fresh look.
“We’ve been hearing from a lot of people that it’s just kind of got no presence. They weren’t sure if it was still open,” she said. “We just want to put the word out that yes, we’re here and yes, we’re making changes.”
The pair hope to expand the park over time. This year they are implementing a new snack bar and gift shop, with plans to add zip lines, archery, paintball and camping in years to come.
“We have lots of space to keep adding fun things for locals and tourists alike,” John Dermott said.
“It’s happening, 100 per cent confident,” Alisa Dermott said. “We’re not going to all of a sudden have 10 new items. We’re going to slowly build it up.”
The park is opening for the public May 18 at 10 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon.
“We want to build a business so we can retire and pass it down to our kids someday,” she said. “It’s a nice little getaway.”