In preparation for building our own members club in Arizona we recently flew to Chicago to tour one of the first and finest private race tracks in America. It was a great experience I’m happy to share.
We’ve been receiving lots of kudos on the concept and vision behind Attesa, from its multiple tracks, hotel and convention center and entertainment district to the brand center, residential and industrial parks and private air strip.
But it’s the driving club, the 2.8-mile track and member amenities that high performance car enthusiasts seem most excited about.
Our idea for the club, and for everything else we’re planning at Attesa, is based on a belief that it should be completely without compromise. It should offer members and guests more than what they expected in every possible way, including circuit design, clubhouse, paddock area and services.
Thanks to the hospitality of Mark Basso, President and Founder of Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL, we’ve now seen what our vision might look like in reality.
We (Executive VP Lisa Mitchell, President Pat Johnson and me) were given the royal tour by Mark, who spent the better part of a day showing us all around his very impressive facility. We saw the luxury homes, the paddock and garages, the clubhouse — where we had one of the finest meals any of us could remember — and the track.
The similarities between what will be at Attesa, and what already exists are Autobahn, are inspirational.
Take the circuit, for example. Mark originally doodled the layout on a cocktail napkin (which we saw framed on the wall), the same way I did when I first became interested in building Attesa. Then, when things got serious, Mark hired noted track designer Alan Wilson to pen their 3.56-mile track.
Like ours will be, the Autobahn track can be split into two different, separate circuits to allow simultaneous driving or racing or motorsports events.
Autobahn features a driving school and various dedicated skill programs, just as we have planned for Attesa. Teenagers, law enforcement officers, fleet drivers and even private security personnel can benefit from professional training on a closed course with state-of-the-art safety features.
Our visit to Autobahn was an extremely wise investment. Like Attesa, this facility was conceived and designed to be a member’s club, like an exclusive golf club, but intended for racers and vehicle owners with fast cars and motorcycles but no place to open them up. It’s family-friendly with individual and corporate membership packages to suit just about any budget.
Autobahn Country Club is about 40 minutes from Chicago, about the same distance Attesa will be from metro Phoenix. We really enjoyed a brief respite from our triple-digit high temperatures (it was about 72 when we were there) and while the green grass and lush foliage was pretty, it does come with a cost. Autobahn has to shut down every winter due to snow and inclement weather; they’re only open seven months per year.
Attesa will be open all year ’round. Yes, Arizona is hot in the summer but cars and homes and hotels have air conditioning. And from October through April our weather simply can’t be beat.
I want to thank Mark Basso for treating us like friends, not competitors, and sharing what he’s learned in the 13 years since he opened Autobahn Country Club. Can’t wait to get he and his team to Attesa in a few years to show him our take on the ultimate club for passionate motor enthusiasts. I urge every automotive enthusiast to take a look at his club and visit if you can. They can be found online at: http://www.autobahncc.com