Sports facilities include motor sports tracks and air fields. So why can’t they include spaces where enthusiasts can use remote-controlled cars and planes?
According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, the city is building a remote control off-road race track and a remote control airfield. It is anticipated the remote control race track could open in a few weeks. It will be adjacent to the city's skate park and bicycle motocross track.
City Parks and Recreation Director Mark Johnston said the remote control track will cost $25,000 to build.
"It's about 80 percent complete now," Johnston said. "It's probably a couple of weeks away from opening. We're going to move bleachers there, and there will be a charging station so people can charge their remote controledl vehicles. It will be an off-road track, and we believe it's going to be a nice one."
In addition, he notes, a city-owned truck will be at the track occasionally to allow residents to borrow remote controlled vehicles to use at the facility.
At the nearby Foothills Landfill, construction is underway on a $75,000 remote control airfield, where people will be able to fly small remote controlled airplanes, helicopters and similar aircraft. Johnston said two 800-foot runways, one going north to south and the other east to west, will be built.
"They will be paved, with millings from city streets that have been resurfaced," Johnston said. "There will be a solar charging station there so users can power their planes and aircraft, and there will be parking that will complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act."
Also at the old landfill, the city has plans to build a $50,000 archery range.
The concept of sports facilities for remote-controlled vehicles isn’t new. Tallahasse, Florida, offers the Seminole Radio Control Club, which has its own airfield and facilities, and Mozingo Lake Recreation Park in Maryville, Missouri, also offers flying space. In Michigan, the Washtenaw Radio Control Raceway is an indoor, heated race track for drivers of remote cars, and the OC RC Raceway and Hobbies in Huntington Beach, California, is one of the leading SoCal facilities for remote drivers. And those are far from being the only facilities across the U.S.
Remote-controlled flying and driving is touted as a family-friendly activity, and draws a wide and varied demographic of participants. While many will simply use any open space they can find, and will meet up casually with others who have similar interests, others will drive to competitions and events. Parents like the idea of children being in a dedicated space, rather than in deserted fields or parking lots. The Las Cruces, New Mexico, facilities will come as a welcome change.
Jon Newton, a remote control enthusiast, told the Sun-News, the facility will be popular in their area.
"Remote control racing is pretty big, very popular, in some areas of the country," Newton said. "It can become expensive, with some people investing thousands of dollars into it."