X1 Boston: A High Speed Activity For Competitive Teams

Grab your keys because we are going racing with X1 Boston. Race go karts on an indoor track with your coworkers and these are not your average go karts. Inspired by the kart race lovin’ Europeans, these karts are brought over from Germany and built to give the driver the best experience.

Even more than that, X1 Boston has conference rooms to host meetings with your employees, a restaurant and bar for relaxing after races, billiards for some down time, and so much more. Compete against one another to see who can get the best time on and off the track…off the track? Yep! Try out their Pit Stop Tire Change Challenge working on an actual NASCAR racecar! In record time, remove and replace 4 NASCAR tires. Strategize on how to get the quickest time. If done well, you may get your company placed on their Top 10 Times Leaderboard. How is that for team building?

X1 Boston Highlights

X1 Boston has much to offer at their large facility. It is a corporate playground with everything you need to create adrenalin filled team building activities to last the whole day. Looking for a fun activity to break up a work day? Not a problem, F1 has the facilities to help you be productive in the office then take a break on the track.

  • While X1 Boston was founded just outside Boston in nearby Braintree, it was inspired by the go-kart tracks in Europe. All the race karts are manufactured and brought over from Germany. Das Auto.
  • One less thing to worry about when planning an event. X1 Boston has an onsite restaurant and full bar, the Ascari Bar & Grille.
  • If you are looking to have your event catered, they can provide you a wide range of food options. From fancier feasts to more casual options.
  • These hot rods can go up to 35 to 40 miles an hour. While that may seem slow compared to your sweet mini van, you actually get a real sense of speed when racing indoors only 2 inches above the ground.
  • Boston can get cold – like you needed to be told that – so their indoor facility with two tracks allows for racing conditions year round.
  • A race is not complete without some flashy gear. Stop by their store to have your logo printed on various merchandise. Gift items to your employees or clients you are looking to impress. Want to make the evening especially competitive? Reward the fastest time with a trophy from their store!
  • Events can range from 10 to 800 people. The more participants the longer the event!

Team Building Options Available at X1 Boston

X1 Boston is more than just go-karting at your local track. At X1 Boston you are equipped with the resources to give your employees an excellent team building experience.

  • Pit Stop Tire Change – Even if you have never watched NASCAR you are probably familiar with the quick strategy that goes into changing a tires during a NASCAR race. Gather your team and create your own strategy for how to remove and replace four tires from a car in record time! Compete against other groups to see who has perfected the art of teamwork.
  • Time record – After the races, receive a print out of your scores. Discover who had the fastest lap or overall race. Return for a rematch!
  • Conference rooms & private lounge – Don’t worry boss, it won’t be all fun and games. Spend the day at X1 Boston racing karts and enjoying their restaurant and bar. If necessary, take a break from the fun with a meeting in one of their well appointed conference rooms.

Safety Tips When Visiting X1 Boston

Safety is paramount at X1 Boston. They have taken all necessary precautions to make sure your drive is just as safe as it is enjoyable.

  • All drivers must go through a safety briefing before they are allowed to race.
  • All drivers must sign a safety waiver.
  • Drivers must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Racing suits are provided and go up to a 4XL.
  • Included in the racing suits, is a balaclava, neck brace, and helmet.
  • Wear shoes that you would be comfortable driving in – just not open toe shoes.

Interview With Karen, General Manager of X1 Boston

Listen to my interview with general manager Karen and Jeff from their marketing team. In the interview we discuss what inspired X1 Boston, safety, and the various customization options available.

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Interview Transcript

Kristen: Hi I am Kristen from Team Building Hero and I am here with X1 Boston. We have Jeff from marketing and Karen who is the general manager. Thank you guys so much for joining me.Karen: Thanks for having us.

Jeff: Thank you.

Kristen: So just to begin can you tell us how X1 Boston got started?

Karen: Well we started the concept X1 Boston, we have been open going on 18 years now. The concept of indoor go karting is a very big concept over in Europe. There are several countries over there…this has been an industry that has survived over there for quite some time and it is actually very popular. We saw some of the indoor karting facilities over in Europe and over in Germany in particular. We thought this would be a great concept to bring back over to the United States. Specifically for the idea of creating an outlet for corporations to utilize this type of activity as a team building event. We would focus our market primarily on corporate meeting business, primarily on the racing.

Kristen: Ok, so what is a typical corporate team building event with F1?

Karen: You know I don’t know if any of them are actually typical. It completely depends, we have got a number of conference rooms and private lounges here. A lot of times we will have companies come in and they may have their own agenda that they need to cover in maybe a sales meeting or they may be doing a kick off meeting or a new product launch. They will start their day maybe with a breakfast and they will start it in one of our meeting rooms. Then cover whatever they need to cover for business purposes. Then we will take a break and serve lunch to them. At some point during their agenda of their meeting they are going to participate in the racing activity. Whether at the end of their meetings…they do it for kind of a stress release and just a fun activity at the end of their meeting. Sometimes it is incorporated into their day if it is a true team building event. Where we start working with the companies and the individuals earlier during the day. We start incorporating the racing with the individual teams they put in place and they carry that into the conference room and build on that on the track with the teams.

Kristen: Can you tell me more about the cars people are going to be racing with? This sounds like a really exciting kind of adrenaline filled event. What sort of cars would they be expecting to race in?

Karen: Well they are European style go-karts. They are much different from what you would take your kids to. In order to race at X1 Boston you have to be 18 or older with a valid driver’s license. These karts do move pretty quick. So you definitely have to have some familiarity with driving. You do need to be able to handle a vehicle and accelerate and break appropriately. It is definitely not your little kids go kart ride. But at the same time it is a very safe vehicle, there is no way for the vehicle to overturn. So there is a surround wrap on the vehicle. There are barriers around the track. So we keep it as a non-contact sport. So it is definitely strategy, definitely needing to stay very calm and focused. The cleaner that you race the faster the lap times are, the better you do in a race scenario.

Kristen: You talked about a little bit about how fast the cars go. Do you know approximately how fast they will be racing?

Karen: Yea, depending on the weight of the driver the karts go top speeds between 35-40 miles an hour. Seeing that the track is a layout inside a building, you certainly feel like you are going a lot faster than that.

Kristen: O, yea definitely.

Karen: You are two inches off the ground so there is definitely a good sensation of speed in these karts and these karts are manufactured over in Germany. They are all German manufactured vehicles.

Kristen: O wow, that is so cool. A little bit about safety, so you mentioned a little bit about safety, you touched on it just a bit. Is there a waiver that people need to sign? Is there a dress code certain people should know going in?

Karen: Yea, everyone will sign a waiver of release when they start event. You dress comfortably. You would want comfortable shoes, you definitely don’t want to be racing in high heeled shoes. We provide all of the equipment, we provide a race suit, a neck brace. The helmets which are full face helmets. We provide a balaclava to wear under the helmet. So all of the safety gear we provide, as well of course the karts.

Kristen: You mentioned the track is inside, can you tell me a little bit more about what the facility is like?

Karen: Well, the entire facility is about 106,000 square feet. So there is two tracks in doors. Then we also have, as I mentioned, a number of conference rooms. We have some private lounge areas, we have a full restaurant and a bar area overlooking the track. We provide full catering for all of our conference areas and the lounge areas. We provide catering for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The scale of food is whatever level you are looking for. We do everything from lobster clambakes to more casual menus for bachelor parties. We do quite a few more casual dinners as well.

Kristen: Well you guys sound like a pretty large facility. What is the minimum and the maximum that you are willing to do for a corporate event?

Karen: Our corporate events typically range between 10 people to as many as 500 to 800. Depending on the type of event and what it is that you are doing or what the goal is. The larger events have a good traffic flow to provide a constant flow of activity so people are doing things. Because we have multiple activities, we have groups racing, we have a great billiards room, people will be eating. We got another activity, a tire change, a simulated nascar tire change activity that we also use as a team building activity. Which is very team driven, so we have multiple activities so we can certainly manage groups in hundreds of people and do that effectively without people waiting around and keeping people moving throughout the facility.

Kristen: How many people can race at one time?

Karen: Well in one individual race the most people on track in one race at one time is 12. But people are rotating so say you have a group of say 50 people. Those 50 people will stay suited and will be down on track for the entire extent of the racing. So once they are seated in a kart they will start a race, once their race ends, the next group will already be seated in a kart and the next race will be going out. So it is a constant cycle, if you have a group of 50 people going out, just because there can be only 12 in a group racing at one time. Doesn’t mean the rest of the group is just sitting. So they will be going out and we will be rotating drivers in and out of the kart every 10 minutes.

Kristen: Yea, definitely. You talked a little bit about the Nascar tire change team building activity, can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Karen: Yea that is a great activity and anyone who has ever watched a nascar race watches cars come into the pits when the driver pulls off the track. The pit crew has got to put 4 new tires on the kart, they have got to fuel the kart, and they have got to get the kart repaired and back on the track as quickly as possible. We basically do a simulated pit stop. Similar to what nascar drivers experience. The teams have to work together. There is multiple tasks that need to be done. Someone needs to be on the jack, someone is using an impact wrench to take the lugnuts off. Someone is pulling a tire, someone is putting a tire on. So there has got to be a lot of communication amongst the team members. We typically run those in teams of 6 people. 5-6-7 people on a team. The better their communication during the event, the faster they will be able to pull 4 tires off the kart and put 4 new tires back on the kart and do that effectively.

Kristen: That is such an interesting team building activity. You constantly work with your co-workers everyday but you don’t get to test those skills necessarily.

Karen: Yea, and you are under pressure to create a fast time. It is interesting watching the teams and you get some coaching going on, you get some yelling going on. You watch the teams do what they need to do to be able to pull off a tire change as quick as they can. We have a top 10 leader board that we keep posted. We have the top fastest companies that have competed in this event. We have got some great companies that make that top 10 leader board.

Jeff: It is a really high energy experience, just to be out there doing what they are doing. A lot of times there will be multiple teams doing tire changes so they are competing against each other. So they are competing with co workers or with and against people in their larger group.

Kristen: Yea you get a little, a little bit of that competitiveness in there that you may not have had on the track…well no I guess you could actually time wise. Yea, that sounds like lots of fun. I did actually want to go back to the safety real quick. Are there any sort of physical requirements that you would suggest for people? Like a weight limit or a height limit? Are there sort of physical barriers.

Karen: Well you know, everyone will not fit in the karts. But that tends to be very rare that someone doesn’t fit. We do have suit sizes that go up to a 4XL. So typically if you can fit into the race suits you can fit comfortably into the go-kart. But there is no specific height requirement. We do have pedal extensions for people that are vertically challenged. We have seat inserts if they need it. It is not like an amusement park ride where you have to be 48 inches or taller. You have to be 18 years of age or older with a valid driver’s license. That category usually eliminates the height challenge. I would say, we don’t have a specific weight limit or height restriction, like I said not everyone will fit into the karts but the vast vast majority of people can participate without a problem.

Jeff: Before the racing takes place the drivers go through a safety briefing which they learn about how to interpret the different color flags during the race. You know, green means go and yellow is a warning. They go through a safety briefing so they know what to expect when they are out on the track and prepared to run the race.

Karen: Yea, any company that is doing an event with us they would have a live briefing with one of our track managers. They would go through all of the safety regulations. Any of the risks and they go through very specifically the best way to handle the kart and all the rules and regulations. There is a question and answer opportunity for people if they do have questions before they get out there. We don’t just throw them out there without a very specific safety briefing that every driver has to go through before getting into a rig.

Kristen: So there really is safety all around, you have a briefing before, there are suits. It sounds like you guys are very well prepared. You talked a lot about how it is customizable, you have plenty of conference rooms, food options, morning, night, two race tracks. But how long should people reserve or expect to save time for an event with you guys? Is it up to them? Or do you have a suggested amount of time?

Karen: It is up to them and it depends on the size of their group. The larger the group the more time they are going to need on the track to get everyone participating. But say you have an average group size of maybe 30 people. They come in from beginning to end, it depends. If they want to start their mornings at our facility. Maybe they are starting with meetings depending on their agenda. At some point they are going to break for lunch. We are going to take 45 minutes to an hour for their safety briefing. Then we are going to be out on the track for an hour. So people often do half day events or full day events. But we do get a lot of companies that come in as an after hours or after work where they arrive maybe at 5:00 at night. We brief them, then they go out on the track and have dinner and drinks afterwards. So it is a couple of hours that they are at our facility. It is a nice outing for after work, gathering for companies to come. So we have a lot of companies that do that, they come at the end of their day. Or if they are doing their meetings or doing other things during the day. They may be here from early in the morning till after racing and after dinner till later in the evening. It depends on really what the company’s agenda is.

Kristen: Fantastic, so it can be part day or top off the end of a work day or a full on event. Can you tell me a little bit about the ranges in price? What can people expect going in?

Karen: Well again, it is going to be kind of dependent on what you are doing. You know if it is just the racing that you are participating in or what it is you are doing for food. Are you doing a breakfast and lunch during your meetings. If you are doing a dinner, our dinner catering options are really very wide. We have a very broad catering menu. We have got an excellent chef. He has been with us for years. We get rave reviews on the quality of food that we provide. It is always much better than what they think they are going to get at a go kart facility. We are certainly above that to a greater extent.

Jeff: There is also an on site restaurant. Which is a bar and grill.

Karen: Yea we are not catering. We have a full service restaurant and a bar as well. We have a full liquor license and a full service restaurant. Our restaurant menu is online. I mean anyone can look at it at any time. Our catering menu is online as well. But we are very comparable if you are going to take your company to an offsite meeting at a hotel or renting a conference room elsewhere and catering food. We are in the same ballpark.

Kristen: That is great, when you are planning an event that is one less thing that you need to worry about or one less person that you need to contact. When it comes to taking care of food which everyone is usually going to want.

Karen: Yea, and the staff that we have here. We have full event planners that will take care of all the details if you want to put an event together our staff will put together an event with you. They will put together the menu recommendations. They will put your entire event together to meet the goals of what you are trying to accomplish while you are here. So we do all the event planning services for them as well as the event execution while they are here.

Kristen: So convenient, awesome. So if people are interested in booking an event with F1, how far ahead should they look to book?

Karen: It fluctuates, we really try to accommodate anyone. So if someone does have a last minute request we certainly try to do what we can to accommodate them. But certainly during the holidays you definitely need to book several weeks in advance to try to get space. Cause we do sell out during the month of December and January. We get pretty busy during the spring meeting business and fall meeting times. So during those busy times, the sooner you can at least contact us and we can get you on our calendar and start working on the details, the better. But I would definitely say a couple weeks in advance would be the target.

Kristen: I think that is actually all the questions I had, is there anything else you would like to add about F1?

Jeff: The only thing I can think of that we did not touch upon is the extras you can have for events. Again, depending upon what you want to do. You may want to have trophies for the best performers. There is a store onsite as well.

Karen: Yea, we do have a retail store on site, a number of different trophy options and trophies are a great thing to add. If you are doing any kind of team building or any kind of competitive race with your group and you want to acknowledge your first second and third place winners. We’ve got trophy options to provide people with memorabilia that you can get with your company logo on it. We do custom clothing. Anything that can enhance the quality and level of your event, because we do have a lot of people that entertain their clients with us and do client appreciation events. So if you want to take care of your customers we do have a lot of options to be able to make it…add that special detail, whether it is your employees or it is your customers.

Kristen: Yea, what a great add on to send people home with a little memorabilia of the day.

Jeff: One other thing that I think people really enjoy is, as far as the racing experience, it is a timing system which includes a print out of your performance at the end of the race. To see what your average lap times were, see how fast you were going. You know, a whole data sheet about you racing experience people seem to really enjoy. Comparing it to their coworkers or their clients.

Karen: That is where the competition really comes in. Who had the fastest lap time, who have the best average lap time. How many seconds you were behind the lead driver. But all that is provided in your printout sheets. So we do provide that to everyone that races. That is a good source of conversation when they come back up off the track. Then maybe grabbing a drink or something off the bar, but we provide that for everyone that participates.

Kristen: Awesome, so people can just hang that on their door and just remind everyone later on they did win, the F1 races.

Karen: Yea, the info we provide, I know they definitely exist in a lot of corporate offices around and there is a lot of bragging rights so we do get companies…we are fortunate to get a lot of repeat business. So we have companies that are here on a regular basis. They are here from either different departments within the organization. Then the departments have bragging rights against other departments who performed better. So there is a lot to take back to the office with you other than just the experience.

Kristen: Yea, you got to have rematches to see who could do better.

Karen: Yea and we are lucky we do have a lot of repeat business. We have a lot of companies that do come back year after year after year.

Kristen: Fantastic, well I think that is all I have. Is there anything else that you guys would like to add?

Jeff: Just that it is really a memorable experience. The founder of the track is a professional race car driver and he has several race cars displayed on the facility that he has raced in. There is a lot of memorabilia from racing. Photo sports throughout the building.

Karen: Yea, if you haven’t been to the facility it is definitely worth coming down to look at it. It is a lot more interesting then coming into a hotel room that you have to go attend a seminar or attend a meeting. There is not a lot to look at from place to place, but when you come into X1 Boston, there is a lot to look at. It is exciting. It is high energy it is definitely a high adrenaline and high energy facility.

Kristen: Yea, definitely I was looking at the photos on your website and it looks pretty cool. Even if people don’t have time for a race and they are coming in to have a conference or a meeting, It looks like a fun place to have your picture taken.

Karen: Yea it is a fun place.

Kristne: Awesome, well thank you so much. That was Jeff and Karen from X1 Boston. I am Kristen and you are listening to Team Building Hero. Thanks

X1 Boston Reviews

F1 has had some excellent reviews from people who got to experience the competitive team building first hand.

“Great place to get a team Builder in. Very fun day that turned competitive very quickly. The venue catered the lunch which was a solid selection of sandwiches and staff was friendly.” -Giaabruzzi, Trip Advisor

“My group was around 30 folks that had just spent a grueling day in coaching simulations as part of a leadership program. Frankly- this activity is what we needed to end the day. Our program started with a chance to get a taste of what it feels like to be part of a pit crew. I was a tire changer which meant I got to undo the lug-nuts and change two tires as fast as possible. Pretty damn cool. But that was only a taste- next up was getting into the track to race go-carts that get up to 45mph. When you are only an inch off the ground- 45 is fast. I got to race three times- which was probably around 40 laps around the course. I could spend days doing this- much like video games I could see myself trying different techniques to make each lap faster. Simply awesome.” -Alex K., Trip Advisor

“I went here for a work team building thing. I have three takeaways. First, it was blast. Second, it was a blast. And third, I thought it worked great as a team building event. The friendly competition really fired up the entire team and sparked a ton of goodwill that comes from the experience of true sportsmanship.” -Chris M., Yelp