New racing simulator in Elk Grove aims to build on trend of 'competitive socializing'

Like Topgolf or Puttshack for golf, a proposed immersive racing simulator in Elk Grove Village aims to be the next “competitive socializing” entertainment venue for motor sports.

Owner Justin Mayer says he wants to capitalize on the growing interest in eSports, arcades and the Formula One racing series in opening his 3,000-square-foot arcade and bar in the Elk Grove Town Center.

His target market would be die-hard motor sports enthusiasts and casual gamers alike, in hopes of welcoming corporate team building events and families from across the suburbs.

“We are confident that our proposed motorsports racing simulator venue will not only provide a much-needed entertainment hub for Elk Grove Village but also significantly contribute to the local economy by attracting visitors from neighboring towns,” Mayer wrote in a letter to village officials.

Mayer owns the F45 fitness studio that opened in the same strip mall space at the onset of the pandemic, but is converting the lease over and planning renovations.

Plans call for the installation of six video racing simulators that would replicate the experience of being behind the wheel of a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a racecourse.

A massive 8-by-12-foot high definition TV wall would broadcast races; it could show one major visual or be broken up into smaller screens.

A full-service bar would be situated in the middle of the room, as alcohol sales and the rental of driving simulators — at $75 per hour — would be the primary revenue drivers, according to the business plan submitted to village hall.

Bar food offerings include sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, salads, snacks and desserts.

The addition of food and drink is what Mayer hopes distinguishes his business concept from Sim Racing Chicago, a professional driving simulator studio with 10 simulators in Algonquin.

“Our vision is to elevate the experience, creating a sophisticated and immersive entertainment venue that appeals to a wider audience,” Mayer told village officials.

But he also plans to target marketing on social media to motor sports enthusiasts and gamers, while collaborating with local racing clubs and eSports organizations to host events.

A timeline for opening hasn't been announced, but when it does, the venue plans to be open five days a week with the most popular times Thursday through Sunday.

A sketch shows the layout of a planned racing simulator entertainment venue with full bar in the Elk Grove Town Center. Courtesy of Elk Grove Village
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