ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular spot for birthday parties, car clubs, and date nights is closing its doors for good, after 13 years of business in the metro. “It took us everything we had to finally decide. We just started to break up the track Monday,” said Benny Gallegos, the owner of Albuquerque Indoor Karting.
Business took a sharp turn away from a great year in 2019 once the coronavirus hit New Mexico in early March. “In March, we just started our volleyball leagues and we were doing fine,” said Gallegos.
After a seven month closure, Gallegos says the family decided it was time to make a tough decision. “We hung on, hung on as much as we could. There was, I’m gonna say government help, but the bills just kept piling up, piling up so as a family we decided to, we put it up for sale,” said Gallegos.
The announcement came as a shock to hundreds of people across the Metro who had been going to the track for years. Many shared fond memories at the track, including Charlie Mund.
“I’ve been going since they opened. You know I was fresh out of high school, I think when they opened. You know, I’d go whenever I needed to cheer myself up, you know, that’s where I’d go,” said Mund.
He says he wishes he would’ve spent more time at the track while he had the chance. “The driving itself. I mean really, just you get an opportunity to drive as hard as you want, granted you’re in a go-kart driving 50 mph but you can go as hard as you want. You can’t do that on the street,” said Mund.
Mund says he will also miss the track because there is nowhere else like it in the Metro. “There’s nowhere you can go and everything is there for you in a controlled environment and it was really cool,” said Mund.
Gallegos did hope to reopen. However, he harbors no ill-will toward Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for continuing to extend or amend the public health order. “I want to say, we respect what the governor has done because we have to keep everybody safe, but, in the meantime, small businesses go down,” said Gallegos.
Gallegos says he and his family will miss serving the people of Albuquerque. “Well, let me tell you, as a family business we wanted you to be comfortable with us and we enjoyed you,” said Gallegos.
While the track is closing for good, the family is still deciding on what to do with the building. Gallegos says they are actively looking for investors who may be able to help them turn the space into another recreation hotspot, once the economy improves.
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