AVONDALE, La. Right now it's just a dirt track. But by June this once remote area of west Jefferson Parish is expected to be transformed into the garage mahal of racing venues for car and motorcycle enthusiasts.
General Manager Mitch Wright took us on a rainy tour of NOLA Motorsports Park, now under construction just south of the TPC Golf Course in Avondale.
Plans for the $30 million development call for two race tracks, a clubhouse, three go-kart courses and upscale condos built above garages.
'We're a racing camp. You can build a villa, store all your cars in it. We've got four that are just getting ready to go up,' Wright said.
The park is already attracting a lot of attention. Leonard Folse rode his motorcycle from Thibodaux to check it out.
'Kind of early yet I think, and the weather is kind of inclement to go out and see the facility. I plan on coming back on another day,' Folse said.
Folse said there is definitely a market for this type of sports entertainment.
'We travel the country checking out events at different venues and the fan attendance has been really great and we're looking forward to having something nearby,' he said.
Memberships start at about $5000, but park managers say there will be plenty of activities for the public as well, including race days for cars, bikes and go-karts and other events.
'Team building type activities, corporate parties, birthday parties, it's not out of the question that we won't do weddings here,' Wright said. 'The last facility I was at we did a lot of weddings.'
Developer Laney Chouest, a retired doctor from Galliano, is bankrolling the first phase of the project. The park general manager says Chouest decided to turn his passion for fast cars into a business opportunity.
'I think with the right product, we could do quite well and really draw a lot of people in from out of town,' Wright said.
Right now, the park is geared toward motorsports enthusiasts, but the owners aren't ruling out more professional racing here in the future.
Wright said NOLA Motorsports has already been approached by major car and motorcycle racing organizations.