http://youtu.be/vvVWHUFxgMYFor many years families had the opportunity to experience fast fun at the Grand Prix Family Thrill Parks in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. The parks, which operated in the area from 1976 until 2006, were a popular stop for many for 30 years.
Now, after being absent from the Grand Strand landscape for the past several years, this great Myrtle Beach attraction is back and better than ever, having recently taken over ownership of the park formerly known as NASCAR Speedpark.
Located just across U.S. 17 Bypass from Broadway at the Beach — and directly behind the new Hollywood Wax Museum — Broadway Grand Prix offers visitors the chance to drive on any of seven different go-kart tracks or to enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities including mini golf, batting cages, rides, arcades games and more.
“We’ve been looking to get back into [racing attractions] ever since we got out,” said owner Mark Lazarus, who also owns and operates Wild Water & Wheels in Surfside Beach and serves locally at the Horry County Council chairperson. “This was a great opportunity, because it was already here and we’re just putting own own touches on it and doing things the way we did with Grand Prix.”
According to Lazarus, many of the changes visitors will notice are operational touches learned through years of experience, such as a renewed focus on customer service and measures taken to make sure visitors are spending their time driving and enjoying themselves instead of standing in line.http://www.myrtlebeachlife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/05/BroadwayGrandPrix1-300×188.jpg
Mark Reynolds (foreground), Vinny Fernandez (background) and friends race around the Speed Racer go-kart track at Broadway Grand Prix on opening day Friday.
As far as the tracks themselves, everything is tuned up with a fresh coat of paint and new names like the Fast Track, Grand Prix and Speed Racer.
“It’s really fun. It’s always an adrenaline rush,” said Vinny Fernandez, 22, of Myrtle Beach, who was out riding the Speed Racer with his friend Mark Reynolds on opening day. “We used to come here all the time when we were kids and it’s just very nostalgic to be back and see what they’ve done. Everything looks a lot nicer now, and it’s just a great time.”
One of the biggest changes in terms of the go-kart racing will be the Family Track, which was formerly known as Thunder Road at NASCAR Speedpark.
This, the largest track on site will now allow for double-seat cars so kids can get in on the fun and racers will also be able to go head-to-head with each other in European-style “Pro Track” karts instead of simply driving individual circuits around the track.
Visitors can also expect more changes to the park throughout the offseason in time for 2015 season, however Lazarus and crew felt it was important to do a quick turnaround after purchasing the park in April so they could get it up and running for the summer season.
“We wanted to make sure and get the central stuff going first and then we’re going to be adding little things in as we go, including getting the Skycoaster up and running again,” he said, referring to the popular swing-like ride where riders are strapped into a harness and pulled more than 100 feet in the air before being released to swing back and forth at speeds up to 100 mph.
The Skycoaster ride at Broadway Grand Prix.
Wristbands will be $34.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids. Visitors can also purchase individual ride tickets for $2 each, with rides costing 1-5 tickets.
“You can really come out and spend as much or as little as you like and still have a good time,” said Marqueta Jackson, who does group sales for the new park. “We’ve really got fun for all ages and something for everyone to do. We’ve got rock climbing, midway games, and lots of great activities for the family even if you’re not wanting to race.”