Track Owners Are Investing in Their Customers and The Community Despite Challenges in 2020
PITTSBURGH, Pa.- Less than 40 miles from its namesake, lies Pittsburgh International Race Complex. More widely known as Pitt Race to its fans and followers, the track has been under significant development by owners Kathy and Jim Stout since their purchase of the facility in 2011. Due to their overall investment of $15 million for infrastructure improvements, Pitt Race is quickly becoming known as a world-class racing and entertainment complex located on over 400 acres of land in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
A self-described adrenalin junkie, Kathy Stout understands the needs of her customers, and backs it up with her strong commitment to the community and the industry. “Owning a motorsports facility takes the right balance of passion and finance to succeed. Jim and I saw an opportunity to create something special in Pitt Race, and we have applied our extensive business experience to not only expand and beautify the property to create the ‘wow factor’ our customers need, but build it within a workable and affordable business model. This year has brought us significant challenges, but we chose to continue our plan of improvements and focus on creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for our community and our customers.”
Originally operated as BeaveRun in 2002, the facility featured only a 1.6-mile road course, as well as a .8-mile karting course. Plans were drafted to expand the facility for its customers but were never put into motion.
With the Stout’s purchase, the name of the facility was changed to reflect its proximity with Pittsburgh and relationship with the surrounding community. Much of the investment in the facility has been focused on improving the experience for customers of Pitt Race. The racetrack itself was extended and the entire track repaved. The paddock areas were paved to provide racers and fans with a better experience. Power was added for campers and RVs, along with new buildings for track operations, meeting areas and banquet facilities. The property is far better equipped to host a growing number of amateur and professional automobile, motorcycle, and karting events.
“Since Jim and Kathy took ownership a decade ago it gets bigger and better each year,” said Dan DelBianco, executive director of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. “Each addition has allowed our event to grow and raise more money for charity. To top it off, their staff are wonderful people to work with, because they know racing and care about the success of our event.”
The improvements in the facility are attracting more and larger events to the area. As word has spread about Pitt Race, more attention is being drawn to the Western Pennsylvania circuit and its surroundings.
“We have been thrilled to be a part of the transformation of a small, aging track in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania into one of the premier motorsports facilities in the country,” said James Curtis managing partner of N2 Track Days, operators of popular motorcycle events. “Pitt Race is our most popular track on the east coast with riders coming from all over the US and Canada.”
Jason Kennedy, president of AutoInterests Group said, “My organization operates at over 10 different road course venues each season and the amenities at Pitt Race make it the easiest to operate at, and most preferred by our drivers.”
But not all the investments have centered around racing and entertainment. There were also significant projects that were more municipal in nature. The paving of Penndale Road entering the facility, the sewer and drainage improvements and the addition of nearly 30 shade trees were all a nod to the neighbors in the surrounding community and a sign that Pitt Race cares about more than just racing.
A statement issued by Big Beaver Borough stated that “Big Beaver Borough has seen an increase in revenue from the various building projects. These capital improvements result in greater real estate taxes to the borough, school district, and county, in addition to creating more jobs in our community. Through the various events conducted at the track, monies are spent by fans and participants for lodging, and dining, etc., which benefit surrounding areas, not only our borough.
And their continued support of our community is shown in their dedication to our Big Beaver Volunteer Fire company, by allowing them to generate income each year from their sales of refreshments at the track during their premiere events.”
The main focus from the Stouts’ ownership has placed emphasis on customer service. The Stouts remain dedicated to bringing in more customer events as well as investigate more public spectator events for the community. Throughout 2020, the Pitt Race Staff has continued to grow their outdoor Karting business, as well as successfully navigate a professional motorcycle event through strict adherence to CDC guidelines and concern for public safety.
And while the Stouts remain focused on their customers, they also look to the future of the facility. In the first quarter of 2020, Pitt Race broke ground on a new facility headquarters that will house the administration offices, all full-time employees, a new retail store and more restrooms to serve guests. Scheduled to open during the summer of 2021, it’s just one more mile-marker in the Pitt Race road map to success.
ABOUT PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL RACE COMPLEX
Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt Race) is a motorsport and entertainment complex located less than 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh in bucolic Beaver County. Pitt Race has been under significant development since current ownership’s purchase of the facility in 2011.
The highlight of the 400+ acre Pitt Race facility is a redesigned 2.8-mile asphalt racing circuit annually hosting a variety of automotive and motorcycle events. The track can be divided into a north circuit and a south circuit as needed for its customers. Also onsite is a 0.8-mile karting track designed by well-known course designer, Alan Wilson. The karting facility entertains families, aspiring drivers and professionals, as well as certain motorcyclists. With a total area of six acres, the neighboring skid pad provides ample room for specialized training in an assortment of performance and evasive driving maneuvers.
Pitt Race also includes several meeting and event venues for corporate events, weddings and other group functions. Other activities can be combined to create a custom group or corporate event at Pitt Race, such as karting, pit stop competitions, car control experiences and much more.