Wes and Jackie Jeffress opened Ville Go Kart Racing in the fall of 2011, and it is enjoying remarkable success. With over ten thousand rides sold to a public eager to experience the thrill of racing in a controlled setting, the couple feels vindicated that despite the risk they took in opening a new business in a struggling economy, their dream has come to fruition.
You have been very successful with your go kart enterprise. It was selected by the readers of E-T as the best family entertainment venue in Erath County. What prompted you to choose the business of go karts?
“My husband was on his way home from shoeing horses one day with my dad. They were talking about Stephenville and its need for entertainment for everybody—adults as well as kids. And my dad told Wes, ‘You know what this town needs is a go kart place.’ And after that Wes just couldn’t stop thinking about it. He’d wake up during the night, going over the numbers and studying all aspects of the business.
“We went to several go kart places for research. We worked on the plan for about two and a half years before we got it all together. Part of it was saving up the money. We paid cash for the business.”
You obviously are experiencing a great wave of popularity. What do you think is the appeal of go kart racing to the community?
“Of course, the kids love that they get to drive their own little car, and they can go fast. But surprisingly, women like it, too. They are generally such cautious drivers on the road. But on the track, they can go as fast as they want. I even see a competitive side to them. They want to race against their husbands.”
Who is the average patron of the Ville Go Kart Racing?
“Well, we naturally have lots of kids. But we have found that older people love it, too. I see grandparents actually participating. They don’t just sit and watch the kids have fun. They get to jump in the karts and race their grandchildren. We don’t have a particular demographic. At first we thought it would just be young boys. But it hasn’t been that way.
“I had a little girl following me the other day and she said to me, ‘I love this place. It’s my favorite place of all.’ And then two hours later a college girl said the same thing. She was running down to get into the kart, and she said, ‘This is my favorite place.’ Go kart racing appeals to everyone.”