Kyle Suhr works the dinner rush as a server at the Plant City Outback, but his main gig is a lot more fast paced.
The father of three is the creator and designer of Rilocam RC Racing. He debuted a new racetrack at the Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales Friday, Nov. 20. The racetrack is located between the Regal Cinemas theater and First Frame Bowl, inside of the mall. The racetrack allows for up to eight remote control cars to race at a time.
The new track is Suhr’s second Rilocam endeavor. Two months ago, he debuted a mobile trailer, complete with a two-layer racetrack that can race between four to six cars at a time.
Though the trailer just launched a few months ago, Suhr and the rest of the Rilocam team have already hosted the trailer at three events and multiple birthday parties.
“Rilocam is the first of its kind,” Suhr said. “Nobody else has it. There are car tracks, but no mobile one in the United States. Everybody’s into it.”
Suhr decided on the name for the business by combining the first two letters of the names of his sons: Riley, Logan and Camden. As a single father, Suhr wanted to start a business that would allow him to spend more time with his children, as well as something they would enjoy.
“I did this for my kids,” Suhr said.
The first talks of Rilocam happened nearly a year and one half ago, when Suhr sat his boys down for a “Suhr meeting.”
“We have a Suhr meeting anytime we need to have a family meeting,” Suhr said.“I think that’s very important, to be engaged with your kids.”
The venture into the world of RC racing is far from Suhr’s first career. For years, he owned a successful bounce house company, but the competition was fierce.
He worked as a proprietor for Chili’s for 10 years before becoming an interpreter for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Suhr picked up his night job at Outback as a way to pay for Rilocam.
As the design process came together, Suhr first built the racetrack out of cardboard. Then, his sons built the track on Minecraft before beginning the building process.
Now, the racing business has become his full-time job.
“The goal is to do 10 events per week at the mall and four on the trailer,” Suhr said.
But there’s more to Rilocam than just a well-built racetrack. All of the RC cars are customizable and can go between 20 to 30 miles per hour.
Each car has a microchip, and so does the carpet of the race track. As participants race, the microchip is able to determine who finishes the race first when the finish line is crossed. At the racetrack in the mall, the winner’s name flashes across a television screen.
While other participants wait for their turn to race, they can play video games on two additional 60-inch television screens built on the side of the track. The walls of the track are lined with opportunities for advertising. Cars can be rented or purchased, and participants can rent cars for individual races.
The trailer, which is built to go anywhere, also has extra features. The mobile RC racetrack is complete with GoPros so that racers can watch themselves watching the race. The trailer also has a gaming system and a music system.
The trailer is mostly used to host events and parties, but Suhr also wants to take the trailer to be used at charities, such as the Wounded Warrior Project.
Though the racetracks serve as a different type of venue for kids’ birthday parties and other similar events, Suhr has found that adults, typically men between the ages of 20 and 40, are also interested in RC racing.
“Mostly adults buy them and race them,” Suhr said.
This summer, Suhr plans on bringing his family on the road with the Rilocam trailer to go to state fairs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas and New York.
In the future, he would like to see a Rilocam racetrack at every mall across the country.
Contact Emily Topper at email@example.com.
Race with Rilocam
Rilocam hosts parties at its mall track, as well as parties and larger events through its mobile trailer. Rilocam also sells RC race cars that are customizable and have a microchip.
COST: Party Packages begin at $249 for the mall track, which includes two hours of race time. Trailer rentals begin at $349 for two hours, and $1,800 for eight hours. RC cars can also be purchased beginning at $229. After a car is purchased, racers can use their car at the mobile track for a $5 fee and race as long as they want.