Some 50-plus years ago a young Gary Coleman celebrated the end of the school day by parading his homemade go-kart around his schoolhouse in Iowa. Being quite a handy young man, he had mounted a lawn mower engine to a welded frame to create a belt driven go-kart. As his classmates lined up to take their turns driving, his father, Harvey Coleman, saw nothing but potential.
Shortly after the go-kart lineup in Iowa, Harvey and Marcella Coleman left their farm in Iowa, and with three young boys, Gary, Don, and Bill, moved to Colorado.
Land was purchased below the existing dam of lake Estes and a dirt go-kart track started to take shape in 1959. With this development, a young entrepreneur with a dream started what has become not only a staple to many vacationers and locals, but also provides a fun place to work for many locals.
As each summer came and went, Ride A Kart began to evolve. Brothers Don and Gary successfully ran and expanded the business first with the guidance of their father Harvey, and eventually for many years on their own. New rides were added such as bumper boats, krazy kars and the famous Silver Streak Railroad. The train was purchased from Phil “Casey” Martin and came with decades of history. The train has been rebuilt a few times but continues to bring smiles to all who take a ride on it to this day.
In 1989 the first 18-hole mini-golf course known as the “Mountain Course” was built. Two major water features were constructed including a waterfall over hole #1 and a major cascade and stream through the back nine. In 1992 the second 18-hole mini golf known as the “Meadows Course” was built. It figure-8s with the other course, has water interactive holes, and is stroller and wheelchair accessible. The courses are meticulously maintained and something not to miss on your visit to Estes Park.
Now, 64 years later, the go-kart track stands proud as a locally owned and operated family entertainment center in Estes Park. Gary’s daughter Kelly Coleman, now Kessler, her husband Andrew, and their daughter Bryce will continue the family legacy starting summer 2023 with a new license to sell alcoholic beverages. Opening day is May 5.
Read full article at Estes Park Trail Gazette