Fairfield Daily Republic: October 1st, 2010

BUSINESS PARTNERS DRIVEN TO SUCCEED IN FAIRFIELD

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas

Fairfield DR Storefront

Driven Raceway's Grand Opening:
Oct. 16th in Fairfield, CA

"Find a need and fill it" is an old business axiom that certainly applies in the case of two businessmen looking to open a family entertainment center in Fairfield. Matt Stearn and Rod Towery were working in the high-tech industry several years ago when they began thinking about the need for adult, family-friendly, high-quality entertainment in the North Bay Area.

After extensive research and raising capital, the partners opened Driven Raceway off Highway 101 in Rohnert Park (Sonoma County). Driven Raceway offers indoor European-style kart racing and other family entertainment. Their new location is scheduled to open Oct. 16 in Fairfield in the former Circuit City building on Gateway Boulevard. Stearn is chief executive officer and Towery is chief operating officer for Driven Raceway. We spoke with them this week about the upcoming grand opening in Fairfield.

"We believe our business model will be very well received in Fairfield," Stearn said. "Fairfield is the right location with the right demographics. Fairfield has a good population base with relatively little direct competition for high-end adult- and family-friendly entertainment."

"There is currently nothing in Fairfield like our entertainment facility," Stearn said. "We offer sophisticated high-speed electric karts for adults and kids, two lane mini-bowling, a modern arcade, miniature golf course and corporate special event/birthday celebration rooms."

Towery agreed that a big part of their business is corporate and team-building activities, birthday parties and other special events.

Stearn and Towery are busily putting the final touches on the interior improvements to their building, and the electric karts are scheduled to arrive within a few days. The karts can reach speeds of 45 mph on the specially designed indoor track.

Driven Raceway will compliment the other entertainment venues in the vicinity (Edwards Cinema and Barnes & Noble Booksellers) and will hopefully bring other customers to local businesses. The wide variety of eating establishments nearby led the partners to limit their cafe food service to soft drinks and snacks (nachos, hot dogs and the like) and reduced the need for substantial investment in kitchen facilities.

Driven Raceway is currently hiring for the new Fairfield facility and hopes to employ 35 people at this location. People interested in working for the company are encouraged to check out their employment page at DrivenRaceway.com for more information.

Fairfield may only be their second store, but the partners hope they have developed a transparent business model that can perhaps be expanded to other markets in the future.

"Fairfield's proximity to Sonoma County will allow us to maintain hands-on management and further develop our business model," Towery said. "In our search for a second location, we felt it was best to test our model in a market nearby our base so we could leverage our operation's resources and keep things under control."

Driven Raceway will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

An entertainment facility is an excellent re-use of the Circuit City building, and we look forward to the Oct. 16 Grand Opening.

All Content © Driven Raceway All Rights Reserved                                           Web Graphics & Design by JB Pictures Art & Design