Those missing or the long-gone Willow's driving range and miniature golf course have a new outlet for their entertainment needs.
And though you can't pick out a little colored golf ball and try to avoid a spinning windmill at Lightspeed, there is plenty to do.
, which opened in two months ago at 4251 S. 27th Street, offers indoor go-karts and laser tag, a one-of-a-kind combination that is quickly making it a popular thrill-seekers' destination.
“We’re really off to a nice start,” owner Jon Majdoch said.
Majdoch has owned the warehouse where his electric go-karts now cruise for the last five years. It housed his Halloween Express store, which was open to the public for a couple months each year. When Majdoch and his buddies were at a trade show in Las Vegas recently, they were looking for ways to stay out of trouble, and tried indoor go-karting. It was so much fun they ended up doing it five nights in a row, and the idea to bring an indoor track to Milwaukee was born.
“It’s really unique to the whole area,” Majdoch said. “It’s one of the only places like it in southeastern Wisconsin. It’s hard to say if it will be highly profitable, but it’s highly fun.”
Majdoch said he employs about 20 people and that the entertainment center has blown past a projected $300,000 budget. But the excitement customers bring to the center makes it worth it and he loves the location.
“I’m a huge fan of South 27th Street,” he said. “It’s some of the best clientele around. They don’t spend money foolishly, but they’re happy to spend money on a good time.”
And spend money you will at Lightspeed. A game of laser tag costs $7.50 while a spin on the go-kart track is $12.50. Majdoch said the go-kart price seems steep but said most other electric go-kart centers charge $18 or more per race.
“I agree, on the surface it sounds kind of expensive, but once people ride it, we haven’t had people leave disappointed,” said Majdoch, who added Lightspeed has frequent discounts and specials available.
Majdoch said his goal was to create a location where parents could have as much fun as their children, and added the groups of people that stop in – parents with young children to groups of grown men – reflect that.
A.V. Club Milwaukee said in a recent review that "weeknights draw more of a rowdy teenage/college crowd, while weekends bring more kid-friendly minivan loads."
Majdoch initiated changing his Haloween Express location to when his proposal went before the Plan Commission. Two months later, the Common Council .