Blokart and Baypark join forces
Tauranga’s iconic Blokart business is on the move, with its new home offering increased opportunities for the public.
The Blokart and Drift Trikes (formerly named DriftKarts) enterprise is moving from its recreation park site in Papamoa to Bay Venues new entertainment zone, at Baypark called “BayStation.” BayStation opens with the drift trikes on Friday, ready for Easter weekend.
Blokart International Ltd general manager Matt Beckett says joining forces with Bay Venues Ltd adds a new dimension to the business. The new location offers an all-weather drifting track in a specially designed indoor pavilion, which will be home to the Drift Trikes. The Blokarts too will be on a purpose-built track, which will be ready for action in the near future.
Bay Venues commercial manager Ervin McSweeney says the Blokarts and Drift Trikes are a wonderful addition to the Baypark Entertainment Zone, which is enjoying a growing reputation as the go-to place for action-based activity for all ages. Paintball and Laser Strike are already based there. The intention is to make further additions to BayStation as opportunities arise, he says.
Matt says the Blokart clients – including tourists, corporate and school groups as well as the general public – often ask if catering, conferencing and team building opportunities and facilities are available. While that wasn’t on offer at the Papamoa location, it is now.
“Everything is there, at Baypark – including ample parking – so it seems like a perfect fit for the two entities to work together,” he says.
The Drift Trikes will be located in the pavilion adjacent to Baypark arena opening on to the main carpark.
The move was another way in which the business had refined its offering to its public, Matt says.
In 2009 DriftKarts (now named Drift Trikes) were introduced to provide an exciting new experience as well as an alternative activity to transfer would-be BloKarters to if the wind wasn’t right for Blokart sailing.
“That was a roll of the dice as this involved introducing a unique activity – one not available elsewhere. It was a successful move, but we were still at the mercy of the weather,” he says.
Riding Drift Trikes in the rain isn’t necessarily considered an attractive wet weather option, he says, but that’s a problem removed thanks to the new all-weather venue.
Matt says the move was also spurred by a re-zoning of the Papamoa recreation site into residential land.
“It was time for us to move on. We have had discussions over the years with Bay Venues and these discussions were picked up more seriously recently”.
Blokart International Ltd was started by Matt’s Dad, Paul, early in the 2000s with a focus on manufacturing blokarts for the domestic and export market. Success was instant, with strong demand, plus a European design award accolade.
Matt, who has been with the business from the start, says the business moved to its Papamoa location in 2003, establishing a track to showcase the sport, so people could try the product.
“Once we had that established the business evolved from there. Blokart export remains the biggest part of the business,” Matt says.
Blokarts provide the experience of sailing on land. Learning in a safe, land-based situation suits many – all the more appealing given the resurgence in interest in sailing. Drift Trikes are three-wheel electric trikes developed to replicate the experience of drifting in a less challenging and more accessible way.
“Both are a huge amount of fun for all ages,” Matt says.