Fort Myers Zoomers reopen as FastTrax with new attractions

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Go-karts parade on a winding track. Children scream with joy as the Cobra roller coaster clicks along its metal tracks. And the arcade resonates with the sounds of video game gunfire, roaring motorcycles and even a Guitar Hero solo on Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

After being dark for over a year, the old Zoomers theme park has come back to life under new owners and a new name: FastTrax Entertainment.

And Brianna Coon-Walsh is here to tell you: it’s pretty awesome.

“We used to come here all the time,” said the Fort Myers woman, taking a Thursday break after bowling with her 10-year-old daughter. “It’s 800 times better now! “

Drivers try out the new electric karts at FastTrax in South Fort Myers on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

That’s good news for manager Marc Ciniello, who quietly opened Fort Myers South Park last weekend. He hopes FastTrax becomes the go-to place for fun and games in Southwest Florida.

Hundreds of people flocked Thursday night to play video games, go carting races and try out duckpin bowling (the first in Southwest Florida, according to the owners).

“The word is starting to get out,” says Marc Ciniello.

Pat and Lisa Ciniello – owners of Southwest Florida’s HeadPinz Entertainment Centers – bought the 18-acre property in July 2020 for $ 2.8 million. Since then, they have been busy renovating it and adding new attractions.

These changes include new go-karts, mostly new games in the arcade, seven bowling lanes, two bars, and an expanded kitchen.

And more changes are coming, including a two-level covered patio with seating and a bumper car pavilion.

“We’re not at full throttle yet,” says Pat Ciniello. “We have other attractions that are not totally ready to go. … It was done in phases.

Previously: The FastTrax amusement park under construction for the Zoomers site in Fort Myers

Military museum on wheels:New Bus Brings WWII, Vietnam and Civil War Exhibits to Southwest Florida

6-year-old Tynslee Ogorzolka plays air hockey with her mom Tiffanee at FastTrax in southern Fort Myers on Thursday, July 22, 2021. "We have been here three times since they opened last week," said Tiffanee.

Unlike Zoomers – which catered primarily to children – he hopes the place will attract a lot of adults as well.

“We wanted to change the park to suit all ages,” he says. “(But) families certainly still have the mini-trains and we have some of the kiddie rides.”

He estimates he’s spent around $ 3.5 million on renovations and new attractions so far, and he plans to spend an additional $ 2.8 million by the end of their current plans.

Then they might start to consider adding other attractions as well. Only 12 acres of the property have been developed, leaving six more for future additions.

“We are looking at other options,” says Pat Ciniello. “We want to open up completely and go from there. “

They originally planned to open FastTrax by February 2021, but this was delayed by the pandemic, supply shortages, permits and a shortage of applications for new employees.

The amusement park held a “soft opening” last weekend without much publicity or publicity, explains Marc Ciniello. The idea was to give employees a chance to get used to the job before the bigger crowds started showing up.

Regan and Brian Webb from Kirksville, Missouri ride the roller coaster at FastTrax in southern Fort Myers on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

For now, the park will only be open Thursday through Sunday as they continue to try to hire more people. They already have around 60 employees, says Pat Ciniello, but they plan to eventually have around 90.

FastTrax attractions include:

  • The Brickyard Bistro restaurant with a larger kitchen, brand new equipment, two pizza ovens and offerings such as New York style pizza, sandwiches, salads and, optionally, Neapolitan pizza. Everything is made from scratch, says Marc Ciniello. “I come from an Italian family and we love good food.
  • Two bars: one upstairs and another outside with a covered seating area.
  • An intermediate area full of carnival rides, mostly remnants of previous Zoomers. They include the Cobra Coaster roller coaster, a kids’ mini train, and the Drop Tower.
  • And a new Game Zone arcade filled with 64 games, most of them new, says Marc Ciniello. Games range from Halo Fireteam Raven’s alien blasting and NBA Hoops basketball dunk to Ultra Moto motorcycle racing.
Brianna Coon-Walsh watches her daughter Kyla bowling at FastTrax in South Fort Myers on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

The biggest draws, however, should be go-karts and bowling.

FastTrax has two go-kart tracks – one 700 feet long and the other 333 feet – but they can be combined into one huge “mega track” 1,100 feet long, explains Marc Ciniello.

“It’s the main attraction here,” he says.

Unlike the previous trolleys, these are fully electric. They are therefore quieter than gasoline carts and do not have the smelly fumes.

They are manufactured by the Italian company OTL Electro Kart and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph. They also have new security features, explains Marc Ciniello. For example, they can be stopped remotely.

Then there’s the duckpin bowling – a first for Southwest Florida, says Pat Ciniello. The game uses smaller bowling balls, smaller pins, and a shorter 24-foot-long track.

“It’s exciting and it’s fun,” he says. “Everyone who has experienced it so far really liked it. But it is very difficult.

Fort Myers resident Coon-Walsh tried it on with her daughter on Thursday, and she left in awe. “I like it,” she said. “” It is also easy for children to handle, because of the small ball. “

FastTrax opened last week, taking over and renovating the old Zoomers space near Fort Myers Beach.

Coming to FastTrax: a bumper car pavilion, more games, an upgraded golf course, and the two-story covered patio.

The bumper cars could be ready to go in about two months, says Pat Ciniello. They have just obtained the permit on Wednesday to begin construction of the covered pavilion which will house the electric cars.

Park visitors seem to like the changes. Coon-Walsh had already spent about five hours there on Thursday when she arrived at the bowling alley.

“It’s more active,” she says of the renovated park. “More optimistic. “

Whitney Collier, 29, of Sebring, felt the same. She often comes to Southwest Florida and had visited former Zoomers several times.

“I love it,” said Collier, sipping a glass of wine as he watched his children play nearby. “I think they did a great job.

“I liked the Zoomers, but the remodeling was well done. … It’s definitely prettier!

FastTrax is located at 17455 Summerlin Road south of Fort Myers, just east of San Carlos Boulevard. It is open from noon to 11 p.m. on Thursday, from noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 481-9666 or visit fasttraxftmyers.com.

Connect with this reporter: email [email protected] or connect on social media at Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter) and @ crunells1 (Instagram).

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