published Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Sir Goony's revamps Brainerd attractions

IF YOU GO:

What: Sir Goony's Family Fun Center

Cost: Varies by attraction

Contact: 423-892-5922

Website: www.sirgoonys.com.

Source: Sir Goony's

The good Sir Goony just got a little faster.

Chattanooga's landmark entertainment center -- Sir Goony's Family Fun Center -- has debuted new electric go-karts for the 2014 season, part of a complex-wide remodel that includes an expanded game room, new mini-golf attraction and a never-before-seen thrill ride that'll open later this summer.

The Thundervolt electric go-karts are faster and have more torque than Sir Goony's old gas go-karts, owner Dutch Magrath said. And each shiny new go-kart is equipped with a sound system, so drivers hear the track announcer in their ears as they race.

"It's like playing a video game, but you're also driving a go-kart," Magrath said. "It's an immersive experience."

The electric go-karts are also safer than the old gas go-karts, Magrath said. The system can set the go-karts speed at as low as 6 miles per hour for kids or as high as 35 miles per hour for adults. And if one driver starts to lose control, the system can slow that particular car down until the driver regains control.

"I can give you a faster family ride and not increase your safety risk," Magrath said.

In addition to the go-karts, Magrath added a new water-tower attraction on his mini-golf course and upgraded the greens. It's the first time in 17 years that a new attraction has been added to the course, Magrath said. The 5-acre entertainment center was founded in 1960 and now includes an arcade, bumper boats, spin-zone bumper cars and batting cages, as well as the go-karts and mini-golf course.

And later this summer Magrath will add a brand-new thrill ride called Laser Fury 360. The first-of-its-kind ride will put riders in vehicles that can rotate both horizontally and vertically throughout a game of laser tag.

  • photo
    Dutch Magrath, owner of Sir Goony’s on Brainerd Road, sits in one of the new electric go-karts at the popular entertainment center.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
    enlarge photo

He'll debut a prototype at the Times Free Press' Kidz Expo on Sunday at the Chattanooga Convention Center, although the ride won't be up and running for a couple more months. Adding new attractions is an important part of what's kept Sir Goony's in business over 54 years, marketing director Debbie Magrath said.

"I believe Sir Goony's have been able to thrive and be competitive over 50 years because we are always updating and listening to what our customers are interested in doing," she said. "I cannot wait for our new thrill ride to be introduced."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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