Welcome to Small Business Saturday! An opportunity where we get to share local small businesses with Greater Lansing Area Moms! This week we sped over to High Caliber Karting located at 1982 Grand River avenue in Okemos.
We chatted with Julissa Munsters, Brand Sales Manager at High Caliber Karting. She revealed so much about how they beat boredom and actually, “punch boredom in the face!” at Michigan’s #1 Indoor Action Park!
Learn more about High Caliber Karting and Entertainment – including the numerous things they offer when you visit, their experience as a small business owner during COVID and some fun things planned for 2021 and cruising into 2022!
Welcome to High Caliber Karting and Entertainment…
Tell us about High Caliber Karting!
We are an indoor action park located in the Meridian Mall in Okemos.
We celebrated our Grand Opening on September 20th of 2019. Our activities are geared towards teenagers and adults, but we do have some stuff for kids too!
Our primary feature is go-karting. We have two indoor go-kart tracks to choose from where you can operate electric race karts that were imported from Italy. They can reach speeds of up to 50mph!
A few times each year, we connect the two kart tracks together into one MEGA Track. We will be doing that again during the week of August 9th!
Another popular offering here is Axe Throwing. You can get a drink at the High Caliber Bar and take it right into the Axe Throwing room with you! The bar offers wine, liquor, bottled and draft beer from our BottomsUp Beer dispensers and energy drinks. We also have a bistro that offers pizza, wings, loaded tots and other great appetizers to keep you fueled during your day of fun.
It doesn’t end there! We also have a modern arcade (with new arcade games on the way) and Pocket Soccer. Pocket Soccer is a large pool table that you take off your shoes and stand on and you play billiards with soccer balls and your feet. There is a white ball that acts as your cue ball and you kick it into the others to get them into the pockets. You can play all of your favorite billiards games in a whole new way!
Lastly, we converted our rentable conference room into two, individual Rage Rooms during the COViD closure. We outfit you with a pair of safety gloves, a paintball mask, and a leather jacket for protection. You get to play whatever music you want during your session of destruction! Our “smashables” change every week, so you never know what you’re going to come across. You can break recyclables, flat screen TVs, computer printers, microwaves, radios, DVD/VHS players and more!
High Caliber’s story can be a bit of a long one to get into. In short, it was developed by a guy with an insatiable love for fun. Jordan Munsters has always enjoyed getting people together to step outside of their comfort zone and bond over a shared experience. High Caliber Karting was founded and has evolved to be a venue that facilitates exactly that!
What’s your background? What made you go into what you’re doing now?
Jordan has received degrees from both the University of Northwestern Ohio as well as Michigan State University.
He is what some would call a “Gear Head” through and through. He loves automotive high performance. His current project is a cross-kart that he has built from the ground up using a turbo-charged Hayabusa engine.
He truly believes that “everything is figureoutable”.
He worked for Bridgestone Firestone Corp. for over ten years. He began as an automotive technician and moved through the roles of Service Manager, Store Manager, Managing Partner, Assistant District Manager, Area Manager, and then Commercial Sales Manager before leaving for his own venture.
What do you love about having a business in the Greater Lansing area?
The community. We have had the fortune to meet a number of supporters, mentors, companions, friends, etc. throughout this journey. They are what kept us going during the hard times that we experienced over the past year.
What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
COViD brought many challenges to our business. A significant challenge that hit us emotionally was not being able to deliver joy to our visiting guests. That is the entire reason that we are here; to set the stage for happy memories for individuals and the people that they enjoy sharing those memories with.
For us, having to close our doors only six months after we celebrated our Grand Opening was brutal. We knew that the morale of the community was low and mental health was in crisis. There was so much uncertainty! So, we thought outside of the box we did our best to overcome the inability to deliver joy in a few unique ways.
The first was a Community Art Project that we organized. We delivered large, wood platforms to over 40 local Artists who then crafted them into works of art and the community voted on their favorites to win cash prizes. We still can’t believe how much artistic talent is right here in this community! This Fall, we will host a “Meet the Artist’s Night” for all of the Artists who were involved in the project.
We also organized a Willy Wonka-inspired Golden Ticket search to highlight local, family-owned businesses. We know how important brand awareness has been for us and we wanted to help other independent businesses who were also struggling due to the closure. We hid twenty “Golden Tickets” for our MEGA Track at twenty different businesses and we posted daily clues, which included facts about those businesses along with photo hints on our social media pages. Our followers then visited these locations to inquire if there was a Golden Ticket there or not. It was really cool to learn about the great offerings in this area and to see the tickets getting swooped up every day.
We also organized and hosted a city-wide game of CandyLand across the Greater Lansing area. This was another attempt to help with awareness for local, family-owned businesses during the holiday season.
Our Graphic Designer, Elijah Peterson, created a custom High Caliber CandyLand board game for us and 19 teams signed up to play. Each color of the board game represented a different category of business. Participants had to physically visit a business from the color category that they landed on during each turn. While at the business, they had to take a team photo there and post it to social media along with a fun fact about that business. We had a blast! The team who reached High Caliber Karting first won unlimited go-karting for a year! All of the teams that arrived after they did won prizes that were donated by the participating businesses.
Lastly, we sought to deliver joy during the COViD pandemic by staying connected with our audience through social media. We posted unique videos that offered humor from our daily shenanigans. A sense of humor can be one of our best survival tools.
What are some exciting plans you have for the business in 2021 and as we move towards 2022?
We are expanding! We currently have 80,000 square feet of fun. We’re adding on an additional 25,000 square feet by pushing deeper into the mall. GLAMoms is actually one of the first to learn our Grand Opening date for the expansion! It will be on Saturday, September 18th! We hope our past and future guests are as excited as we are!
You may be wondering what we are going to do with all of this new space! Well, we will be opening The Double Clutch Bar. This will be our second bar on-site and it will have 32 taps. We will also have ThrowBowling! This is a really fun casual game where you throw a football at bowling pins that are set up on the platforms that local artists created. There will also be 16 lanes of gamified Axe Throwing! Rather than the typical target painted on wood, we will be using projectors so that you can change things up and play more novelty alternatives like tic-tac-toe or you can throw axes at zombie heads around Halloween! Last, but not least, there will be an Assault Arena where you can have a Nerf war or play Archery Tag. Archery tag is a game where you get to shoot your friends with a bow and foam tipped arrow.
We had planned for this expansion prior to COViD. We are grateful that we were not only able to survive the closure, but also continue to grow!
In 2022, we will be adding a large outdoor patio onto the space that we’re expanding into.
What’s your favorite business or two in the Greater Lansing area – other than yours, of course 🙂 ?
Oh boy. It is genuinely difficult to narrow it down to only two businesses!
Considering how we get to work every single day, our method of transportation is pretty darn important. For that reason, Town & Country Auto Service on Mount Hope Highway stands out big time for us! Having an automotive background, we can confidently say they have a very strong team of talented technicians and we never have to second guess their word or their work. They have gone above and beyond in their service for us. We bought winter tires for our management team and they came to our parking lot with a service truck and changed them all out on-site for us! We were so blown away by that. Numerous members of our team are faithful customers of thiers.
We also have to mention a favorite business centered around food. We love good food, especially places with unique offerings that are done well. We order take-out from Good Truckin’ Diner in Reo Town every single week. The Buffalo Tots and the Hillbilly fries are a favorite menu item for sure.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own small business?
We would also add that if you’re doing it for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.
If you pursue a passion, you won’t “work” another day in your life. So many people have said it, we’re not sure who to quote, but it is so true!
(If we had a theme song, it’d be Vacation by Dirty Heads. We often like to play it during the start of our day.)
Anything else you would like to share with GLAMom’s?
Our High Caliber family is growing!
With the expansion nearing, we will be hosting a job fair in late July or early August. We have a team of very accepting, fun-loving people who know how to work together for a common goal. We’re so grateful for every single one of them. Our guest’s environment is attributed to them. They’re Experience Creators! We look forward to the ambitious individuals who will seek to join us on this wild adventure that we’re all enjoying with one another.
Would you like to come in and give High Caliber a try?
During the month of July, mention to us that you saw our GLAMom’s article and you’ll receive a FREE 30-minute Pocket Soccer Session.
*Not valid after 5pm on Friday or Saturday.
Thanks High Caliber Karting and Entertainment 🙂
Want to get in touch with High Caliber or follow them along on these social media platforms? Here is where you can find them:
Photo credit: High Caliber Karting and Julissa Munsters
Small Business Saturday
has been sponsored by Dan Riedel of RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals DeWitt