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Are you ready to go Mach speed?

Newly opened Mach1 Speedway and Arcade gives locals a new opportunity to compete on an indoor racetrack

Friends and family can go head-to-head in go-kart races at Bellingham’s new indoor go-kart facility. Mach1 Speedway and Arcade opened on April 26 in Cordata, bringing a new form of entertainment to Bellingham.

While only a couple of people were at the morning opening, the crowd got busier through the night, with customers zooming around the racetrack and competing against one another in mini-putt. 

Mach1 is "the first electric go-kart facility north of Seattle,” their website says, offering customers the chance to race against each other, play retro arcade games, mini-putt and other yard games.

It's taken over the facility of Volli Bellingham, an indoor pickleball gym. After the closure of Volli, owner Dave Jones decided to take a new direction as business had slowed down.

“Dave had always wanted to get into go-karts, so that was something we were thinking about with the next venture,” said Heidi Taylor, manager of Mach1. “We wanted to turn it from a rec center to a family entertainment center.”

When customers walk in, they can sign up for races or enjoy the different games throughout the facility. Drivers get called for their heat on a first come first serve basis. Each race is 15 laps long and can have up to seven drivers competing. Before racing, drivers must sign a waiver and go through a safety lesson.

“Initially before anyone rides the karts, we have a safety lesson we go over. We don’t allow any bumper karts, cutting people off, or any roughhousing out there,” Taylor said. “We will stop the karts, take people out of the track if we need to.”

Mach1 Speedway and Arcade in Bellingham, Wash. on April 26, 2024. This is the first indoor electric go-kart facility in Whatcom County. // Photo by Miles Vander Vennet

Wylie Warner and his son Nash attended the grand opening and got to test out the new go-karts. 

“It’s really good for the community and also for all the parents to see their kids do something active and get involved in other types of sports, different avenues that they might not think about,” Warner said. 

Nash races gas-powered go-karts in Skagit County. He pointed out some differences he noticed in the electric power go-karts Mach1 uses.

“I wish they had gasoline engines because they’re two different kinds of animals. There are two different types of techniques and mindsets since the karts act differently,” Nash said. “If they had gas it would be even better.” 

However, using gas-powered go-karts for an indoor facility can be expensive due to the need for large ventilation systems.

“Most indoor places are using electric for several different reasons,” said Butch Noble, who has worked in the racing industry since the 1960s. “Electric karts are easier to maintain in some respects because you don’t have all the moving parts that you have in gas karts.”

Ryan Bowman came with his friends to Mach1 for a few races and preferred the electric go-karts to the gas go-karts he drove at other speedways. 

“I like the electric version,” Bowman said. “It’s quieter, you don’t get the exhaust fumes and it feels like it rides better.”

Whether people prefer electric go-karts or not, Mach1 hopes to provide a year-round indoor facility that gives an alternative to being outside, especially during the rainy months. 

“We want to get people in here so they can see how much fun it’s going to be,” Taylor said.

Miles Vander Vennet

Miles Vander Vennet (he/him) is a city life reporter for The Front. He is a junior transfer student and is going into the public relations major. In his free time he likes playing video games, going on hikes with his dog and playing basketball and lacrosse. You can contact him at

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