Tosa Park will offer fun for kids

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Covington County youth will soon have one more place to the pass the time with the upcoming opening of Tosa Park in Andalusia.

Tony and Sandra Cardenas, originally from Pittsburgh, retired to Covington County two years ago and Tony soon realized he wanted to contribute something more to the community.

“It will be a nice place for the kids to come,” he said. “There are not many things here for the kids. The little ones can come and have fun as long as they act safely.”

Concrete & Asphalt Construction of Andalusia is currently cutting the track and asphalt will be poured soon to complete the groundwork for Tosa Park. The park will be located approximately 2.5 miles down Airport Road in Andalusia and Tony hopes to open the track before the new year.

“We hope to open the track in three to four weeks,” he said. “We should have everything paved and the cars should be in at that time. We plan to do a number of other things in addition to the racing track, but that will not happen until our building is put in place.

“If it develops we would like to put in some batting cages and a miniature golf course,” he added. “We will also, with the building we have on the way, eventually offer soft drinks, popcorn and other items in the form of concessions for the park. It will not be a restaurant, but we will provide some small food items. We are also hoping to do cotton candy.”

Cardenas said adults will pay $5 per ride on the track and children who are too young to operate the go-karts on their own can ride with an adult for free.

“We will have eight go-carts including six single-seat carts and two double-seat carts that parents can use to take their children on rides around the track,” he said. “We really don’t know how it will take. People might not like it.”

Tony said guidelines will be posted at the track with height requirements for riders along with other rules to ensure time spent on the track is not only fun, but as safe as possible.

“We will have rules of course,” he said. “We are in the process of drafting them right now. I have spoken to other people who own similar tracks and have gotten quite a bit of information about how things work. Sometimes the older drivers want to bang into each other on the track and that can cause quite a bit of damage to the cars. If they do that twice, then they will be ejected from track. There will be accidents every now and then, but intentional recklessness will not be tolerated.”

Cardenas added that each kart will be equipped with seat belts to increase safety and only one adult and one child, not two adults, can occupy double-seat karts.

The possibilities in sight for Tosa Park are limitless in Cardenas’s eyes and he hopes to add many more features if the community supports his project.

“We will have party room available when the building is put in place,” he said. “If people want to bring their little ones and have a party at the park, then the room will be available.

“We still have to put lighting up,” he added. “Our hours will all depend on the traffic. If people come, then we will stay up. We are not going to stay open any later than 10 p.m. We are thinking of opening around 11 a.m. now, but probably a little earlier in the summer months. It will be open 365 days a year unless the weather is bad. No one will want to ride a kart in the rain.”