FROM THE GRANDSTANDS: TWO TRACK OWNERS WHO GET IT

07_08_2009_grandstands.jpgWe all love walking into a race track where the owners 'get it'.

'It' is an intangible, which separates the great from the good. It also helps many consumers chose to frequent a business based off of one simple criteria, am I comfortable spending my money here?

There are two families, the Bader and Bandimere families, who understand what “it” is and it shows in their facilities.

Bill Bader Sr. and his family have been providing racers and fans with The Norwalk Experience since April 1974.  Their goal is simple, to ensure a positive experience for both the racer and the fans.  They accomplish this by staying true to their mission statement of providing a customer service driven, customer friendly facility that makes good sense and focuses on value.

Many Track Operators Take Customer Service Seriously, These Two Take It To The Next Level …

timglasseup.jpgWe all love walking into a race track where the owners 'get it'.

'It' is an intangible, which separates the great from the good. It also helps many consumers chose to frequent a business based off of one simple criteria, am I comfortable spending my money here?

There are two families, the Bader and Bandimere families, who understand what “it” is and it shows in their facilities.

Bill Bader Sr. and his family have been providing racers and fans with The Norwalk Experience since April 1974.  Their goal is simple, to ensure a positive experience for both the racer and the fans.  They accomplish this by staying true to their mission statement of providing a customer service driven, customer friendly facility that makes good sense and focuses on value.

The employees of Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, who proudly wear name tags with their years of service displayed, are always available to answer any questions a guest may have. And after every event, it is not uncommon to see Bill Bader Jr. alongside his staff personally thanking the fans and racers for supporting their business. They even have free water fountains for their guests. And on a hot summer day at the race track, a sip of free cold water is an exceptional service for everybody attending a SREMP race.

The Bderr's have also established some of the best traditions in motorsports.

 

 


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John Bandimere, shown here with wife Lorraine, is regarded as a father figure to many of his employees. (Jon Asher)
The ‘Night of Fire” is their signature event. Showcasing Jet Cars and Nitro-powered Funny Cars, fans and racers from across North

 

America have made this race one of the largest single-day drag races in the world. The Halloween Classic is a six-day drag race marathon traditionally attended by over 1,500 racers. And of course, the cherry on top of the Norwalk Experience is their infamous ‘Pound of Ice Cream’ for a dollar.  

If the Baders are the eastern-region distributors of quality customer service, their western-region counterparts are the Bandimere Family.

The owners of Bandimere Speedway, located just west of Denver, Colo., have been providing the Rocky Mountain region with racing entertainment for the better part of 50 years. Nestled on the side of a mountain, Bandimere’s unique location provides one of the most spectacular settings in motorsports.

bader_guarantee_003.jpgThe Top Eliminator Club seats at Bandimere offer arguably the best view for a sporting event-period. The sound of 8,000 horsepower echoing off the mountain is nothing short of a fine-tuned symphony.

If one word best describes the success of ‘Thunder Mountain’ that word is family.

“We all consider John (Bandimere Jr) as a father figure and we all roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done right,” said Bandimere Speedway Marketing and Media Relations manager, Jeff Sipes. “Whether your last name is Bandimere or not, John makes you feel like you are one of his kids and it’s an honor to work with this family.”

When the track opened up in the late 1960’s, the Bandimeres operated on an ‘honor system’ for racers. They placed a box near the starting line for racers to put their entry fee of one dollar into, for the privilege of making a run on the mountain. In 2008, as a part of Bandimere Speedway’s 50th anniversary, the track invested hundreds of thousands of those ‘honor dollars’ into creating one of the smoothest and technologically advanced racing surfaces in motorsports. This was done not only to provide a better racing surface for his racers, but to provide a better show for his customers.

When you visit both of these locations, as a fan, racer or a media member, you are treated like royalty.

Both of these facilities are immaculately clean, no matter what event is being held. Track operators from several countries come to S.R.E.M.P. and Thunder Mountain to learn from the best. Thousands of drag racing fans have put Norwalk, Ohio and Morrison, Colo. as places they must experience simply by word of mouth marketing.

The Baders and the Bandimere's are forward thinkers. These two racing families do not follow the trail blazed by others, they set the standard.

Bader and Bandimere make you feel as if you’re a member of their family. They take the time to thank you for your patronage. And honest to God, they mean it.

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Thank you to those who took the time to offer their support and suggestions for this column. If you have any ideas for me, please send them here: [email protected]

We will see you next month.....From the Grandstands.

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Tim Charlet, a.k.a. TIMMAH, writes a monthly column discussing life from the grandstands, the not-so-cheap seats in today's drag racing world. He speaks from a race fan's perspective, a side often displaced in many commentaries not to mention investigative articles. Charlet offers ideas as he sees them, from the average race fan's standpoint.

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