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Rush of fun

Amusement center transforms from Zoomers to Fast Trax

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Jul 15, 2021

Tyler Rohrman and son Camdyn of Alva unleash their water gun while enjoying a sneak preview of the blaster and bumper boats at Fast Trax recently. The amusement park, formerly known as Zoomers, includes a go-kart track and arcade. Located off of Summerlin Road, the park is scheduled to open soon after a year-long renovation. NATHAN MAYBERG

Every beach town needs an amusement park. For more than a year, Fort Myers Beach was without one. Zoomers, off island on Summerlin Road near the exit into town from Fort Myers, was long the familiar place where the rides were visible from the road.

Pat Ciniello, who bought the property last year during the pandemic, has changed the name to Fast Trax and has made a substantial investment in overhauling the property with new rides, new games, an expanded go-kart track and new food selections. The new games are highlighted by duckpin bowling.

Ciniello was hoping to have the place ready for business earlier this year as the pandemic began to subside but he will settle for an opening this week if he gets final structural inspection approval from the county. “We’re hoping to get open by Thursday,” he said. “We hope this weekend.”

Fast Trax hosted a private party preview this past week for special guests and media members to see the updates to the facility and enjoy the new features.

The food menu includes jumbo wings, chicken tenders, reuben sandwiches, roast beef, pierogies, Cuban sandwiches and brisket burgers. There are two bars — one upstairs and one outside.

The new electric go-karts at Fast Trax can reportedly go up to 45 mph. NATHAN MAYBERG

The response from the guests was positive for the food selections as well as the games and rides.

Ciniello also owns HeadPinz in Cape Coral and HeadPinz in Fort Myers. Initially, he was planning to build a new amusement center next to HeadPinz until Zoomers became available last year.

“It’s a great fit,” he said. A lot of work was done on the place. “The pandemic slowed a lot of things,” he said.

There are two floors inside, with the bottom floor featuring an array of arcade games as well as other games associated with carnivals and county fairs. Fast Trax has many of the newest, high tech games with several virtual games and what should be everybody’s favorite — Mario Kart. For those longing for the old days of arcade games, there is a new offering of Space Invaders, which was first released in the 1970s. This challenging version features a big screen with two large gunners.

Upstairs is duckpin bowling, a smaller version of normal bowling — with a smaller ball and smaller pins which makes it tougher. Those who were playing it this past Thursday clearly enjoyed the challenge.

John Pfister, of Cape Coral, played the duckpin bowling for the first time. “So far it’s good,” he said. “It’s more difficult.”

He said he was still learning how spares were counted.

Jason Paulinko said “it’s hard. I’m a good bowler and it’s hard — 9 out of 10 hard.”

Bob Aversa, of New Jersey, who has been bowling for decades, was a quick learner — knocking out the last three pins with a slick hook shot. “I’ve never played duckpins before,” he said. He said it was “totally different” than bowling. “It’s nothing like it,” he said. “It’s hard but it’s more fun.”

The go-kart track has expanded, with more room down the lane for passing. There are actually two tracks, with one for children. The two tracks can be combined. The go-karts have been changed from gas-powered to electric-powered, making them faster and cleaner for the environment. The new go-karts have been imported from Italy and can go up to 45 mph though the speed will not be as fast for kids. There are two tracks — one is 700-feet long and the other is 330-feet long. There are three types — the fastest ones for adults, a slower one for juniors and another duo cart for adults to ride with kids.

The go-karts drew positive reviews from Lindsay Schnyder, who said they were in “another league.”

Those who took out the go-karts for a spin had 10 minutes to see who could cover the most ground in that timeframe.

Zoe McCurry, of Fort Myers, enjoyed the thrill of the Z-Force ride. “It was a lot of fun,” she said. “I was scared half to death but I was excited.”