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Lehigh Student Zooms Into Business

By Beth Orenstein | Business Journal Correspondent
Mike McCreary isn’t waiting until he graduates from Lehigh University, where he is majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship, to start his first business.
With one course to go, he’s starting construction on the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, an indoor karting facility, on S. 10th St., Allentown. The 48,000-square-foot facility should take about four months to complete and should open in June, McCreary said.
The facility will feature a quarter-mile road course that can run 10 karts – Sodi with 6.5 horsepower – at a time.
McCreary said he chose this business because karting is the fastest growing motor sport in the country. Also, he said, the Lehigh Valley has a lot of NASCAR fans and “is a very favorable area to start a business.”
In addition to the track, the facility will have conference rooms and will offer catering.
McCreary, who is from Wilmington, Del., expects the facility to be popular with area companies as a team building activity. “It’s an alternative to golfing or paint ball,” he said.
His partner, Chris Cooper, graduated from Lehigh in May as an international relations major.
McCreary got the idea from a friend who opened a similar facility in Wilmington and is having great success. The friend, Jeff Schwarz, and his brother, Robert, are consultants. Just like at racecar tracks, McCreary expects to sell wall space and Web site advertising as well as kart sponsorships to area businesses. The Web site is under construction and should be up in about two months, he said.
McCreary has been working with the Small Business Development Center at Lehigh to get his project off the ground.

Source: Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal | February 12-18, 2007

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