Waukesha welcomes newly improved indoor speedway with help from local fundraiser

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Motors were hot in Waukesha on Wednesday, May 11 at the grand opening of a new go-kart speedway and Event Center.

The all-day event has brought in business to the new facility, with the side-goal of raising money for an important foundation.

The Accelerate Indoor Speedway and Event Center are located on Westwood Drive in Waukesha, taking over the place of Veloce Speedway.

In addition to the go-kart track, the newly improved facility has axe throwing lanes, arcade games and a virtual reality experience.

Waukesha County and city leaders joined business partners on Wednesday for the grand opening.

"This is our first new location since the pandemic, so it's cool to be able to get back to growth mode and be expanding, and bring our excitement," said Director of Operations, Donald Wagner.

The facility provides unique recreation, while teaching the culture and passion of racing.

"It's our life-blood, and we want to share that passion and excitement with everybody who walks through our door," Wagner said.

Wednesday's fun was for a good cause. Accelerate will donate 50% of the day's revenue to the United Performing Arts Fund. UPAF supports 14 member stages in the Milwaukee area, as well as 26 affiliate arts organizations.

Money is much needed in the local performing arts industry, as the pandemic turned stages dark.

"It's a lot of recovery, and not just recovery of spirit, but recovery of dollars. When you don't host a performance, you don't have revenue," said UPAF's Development Manager, Jennifer Wareham.

UPAF holds fundraisers throughout the year, giving critical donations to groups like the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and First Stage, among dozens of others.

"Our goal this year is to raise $10.5 million in support of our member groups and affiliates. We are well on our way, but still working hard at it," Wareham said.

For Accelerate, their entry into the Milwaukee and Waukesha areas is more than just adding a new business. They also want to make a difference on a local level.

"Being able to partner locally with great organizations that give back to the community, it's important for us," Wagner said.

The donations to the performing arts provide a unique fusion of entertainment, helping each other thrive.

"Being part of an ecosystem with sports, recreation and the arts is really a unique thing here in Milwaukee," Wareham said.

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