If you live in Waynesboro, Virginia, you’ve probably been to or at least seen the fun happening at Fastrax, a family fun center with a go-kart track, putt-putt, batting cages, an arcade, and more! For long-time employee, Kylie Miller, much of her childhood was spent at the fun center that was run by her family. Drawing from her twelve years at Fastrax, she’s sharing her experience of working in a family business, why she has a passion for what Fastrax represents, and her advice to other business leaders.
As a child, Kylie had a front row seat to the inner workings of Fastrax. Her uncle owned the business, while her grandmother ran the day-to-day operations. Even as a child, Kylie was known to tell her uncle that when she grew up, she would run Fastrax. As a teenager, with the prompting of her grandmother, Kylie was officially hired at the family business.
Spending time with her family is what she loved most about working at Fastrax. “Getting to work with them all the time was great. I loved it,” Kylie explains. This is why one of Kylie’s favorite things about Fastrax now is seeing kids and families enjoying themselves and making memories there. “There are so many kids who, when I was working there, started coming in riding the kiddie carts. They were tiny, and now they’re all grown up. Some come back for their first dates with their special someone years after outgrowing the children’s games. Just watching the families come in and out while having a good time has been a great experience through the years, ” she reminisces.
Her experience as a child enjoying all that Fastrax had to offer while understanding the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to run a business is extremely helpful in her role. It also gives her an advantage in helping Fastrax evolve over the years. Like many businesses, one of the most unexpected challenges Fastrax has faced is the worldwide pandemic.
Fastrax was scheduled to reopen in March 2020 for the spring after a long, cold winter of being closed. That’s when Kylie got a call from her uncle suggesting they wait a week to see what happened with the virus and the surrounding businesses. The following Monday, everything was shut down; there was no option to “figure things out” as they had planned. For the first summer in 11 years, Kylie and her family found themselves without a job. The challenge of being away from the business was difficult for her aunt and uncle, who were used to working hard during peak seasons.
However, the silver lining was evident towards the end of the lockdown. “I think everyone realized that during COVID, those places where you can go and have fun and just spend time together are significant, and everyone missed that so much,” Kylie explains. “So when we opened up again in 2021, it was huge. Many people came by because everyone was looking for something to do outside the house. Everyone was trying to get back to some sort of normalcy.”
For new business owners, leaders, or entrepreneurs, Kylie recommends making sure you’re still living your life and taking care of yourself while taking care of the business you’ve poured so much into. “The pride that my aunt and uncle took in the place, in addition to the new owner, makes a tremendous difference to people when they come to your establishment and see how invested the owners are in their work and your experience,” Kylie says.
Fastrax also goes above and beyond to support the local community by donating tickets for go-karts and batting cages to different organizations when they have raffles or giveaways for fundraising. In addition, the team at Fastrax is welcoming to young individuals and students looking for their first job. “Giving high school students their first-time job out in the community is super important,” Kylie expresses.
Next time you’re looking for a fun experience with family and friends, consider heading over to Fastrax. It’s safe to say that everybody can find something there that would be enjoyable for them to do! You can keep up with Fastrax news and updates on Facebook or stop by on the weekends. They are located at 1110 Red Top Orchard Road, next to the Super 8 and Cracker Barrel.
To learn more about Kylie and the crew at Fastrax in Waynesboro, check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/FastraxGoKarts. You can also learn more about Fastrax by listening to their Waynesboro at Work podcast episode on Spotify or watching the episode on the Visit Waynesboro YouTube channel.