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Accelerate races to Mokena grand opening

L-R: Richton Park Village President Rick Reinbold, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, State Sen. Michael Hastings, Mokena Village President Frank Fleischer, State Reps. Anthony DeLuca and Marcus Evans at Accelerate’s Jan. 11 grand opening

Mokena shifted into high gear on Jan. 11 as Village President Frank Fleischer cut the ribbon at Accelerate Indoor Speedway, a 75,000-square-foot go-kart themed entertainment center, located at 8580 Spring Lake Drive.

The grand opening included appearances by State Sen. Michael Hastings, State Reps. Anthony DeLuca,  Marcus Evans, and Margo McDermed, Richton Park Village President Rick Reinbold, and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, as well as chambers of commerce, the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, local law enforcement, and Special Olympics officials and athletes.  Fifty percent of the event’s proceeds benefited the Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.

“This new attraction is a true economic driver for the region, creating additional new jobs and tax revenues which will allow the Chicago Southland to put the pedal to the metal,” said Jim Garrett, President / CEO for the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Accelerate Indoor Speedway is a unique, family-oriented attraction that draws racing enthusiasts and corporate outings from across the region, contributing significantly to our retail sales tax base and could possibly generate up to $100,000 in amusement tax revenue to help fund road maintenance, police protection, and other core public services that directly benefit Mokena residents,” Fleischer said.

The facility features two Grand Prix-style indoor tracks and next-generation Italian-made, electric karts with touchscreens, boost buttons, speakers to simulate a Formula 1 engine that can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour, along with glass walls to watch all the action. Guests can also relax at the mezzanine level Victory Lap Bar & Grill, featuring craft beers, with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the racing action. The center also has racing simulators with world-famous tracks and course, video games and other attractions.

The venue is a “green” project that uses solar panels to generate most of the electricity needed to power the zero-emission karts. The new business is expected to create 75 jobs and draw more than 100,000 visitors each year.

Two of Accelerate’s partners, Mike Larson and David Larson, grew up in the South Suburbs of Chicago.

“We had to be part of the vision and the energy that is making Chicago Southland such an extraordinary destination not just for the region, but for the entire country,” Larson said. He, along with his partners, operates 10 other indoor go-kart tracks in locations from Massachusetts to Arizona. More photos are here.

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