Go-kart hubbub

Editor, The Commercial:

Wow! A go-kart track and entertainment park. Sounds great, doesn't it? Maybe!

Before we put ourselves in a position where we need a new tax to pay for things bought with the previous tax dollars, maybe a deep dive into the proposed park is a prudent first step. As many economists now speculate, the U.S. economy is heading into an inflation generated recession.

First, some good Pine Bluff economic news. In the past 12 months, our unemployment peaked at 5.7% in October 2022, and steadily declined to 3.6% in March 2023, which equates to an improvement of 665 people now working. Fantastic!

Now, back to the entertainment park. The cost being kicked around for the entertainment park, which includes a go-kart track, is something north of $3 million dollars. Are we expecting this to be a financially self-sustaining project, or is it to be something our grandkids kids will be paying for?

Has Go Forward Pine Bluff leadership, or our city council members, shared a financial pro-forma on the entertainment park? Before commitments are made and major money ($1 or $2,000) allocated for this project, is the financial viability of the park something of importance to be shared?

As far as financial viability is concerned, does the requirement of over 200 guests per day, each and every day of a five-month entertainment season, at over $20 a pop, sound like a reasonable goal for the entertainment park to attain?

If not attainable the first year, when would be your best case scenario as the U.S. economy struggles to avoid a recession? Are we blindly trying to hit a home run, when maybe, right now, an RBI base hit would get us the lead?

Go Forward Pine Bluff has waited six years to initiate the entertainment park project. Should we wait a while longer and pull in the reins before we spend our last penny on what appears to be a project with a less than desirable outcome?

As mentioned above, we have some good momentum, let's not blow it. If we work together as one, we will win! If we refine and execute a good, sound game plan, we will win! We can have all-stars but if they decide they are more important than the team (Pine Bluff), chalk one up in the lost column.

Let's play smart as a team. Every team member is as important as the one they are working next to. We must all contribute for the same cause -- to see that the worth of every citizen of Pine Bluff has the opportunity to grow!

Mike Lankford,

Pine Bluff

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