Bad Fast Hobbies: How It All Started
I grew up in Sloan, Iowa and first got started racing radio controlled cars at 16. I purchased my first hobby-grade RC car from Kay Bee Toys at the Southern Hills Mall. It was a Tamiya Grasshopper, and it came pre-built, which was pretty rare in those days. A year later, I purchased and built my first kit car, a Team Associated RC10. In early years cars were simpler; they were controlled by a mechanical speed controller and a stick radio. I enjoyed racing both my Grasshopper and RC10 in Omaha and Lincoln, NE. I raced there on a weekly basis, and I placed well in many of the races. I first started thinking about the Bad Fast Hobbies concept in 1988.
Building a Dynasty in Amarillo, TX with Outback HobbiesAfter graduating from High School, my family moved to Amarillo, Texas. I missed racing during my free time like I did back in Iowa, and Amarillo lacked a place to race RC cars. To solve my desire to race, I started looking for an empty building to build a hobby store and a track. While looking at a building in Amarillo, the original name of the shop Outback Hobbies came to me. Conferring with a friend of mine about the building, we thought the track could be placed “out back.” At that time though, I was a college student and did not have the funding to open a store and track. I reached out to the local banks to get a loan, but banks couldn’t see my vision for a store and track, and unfortunately did not give me a loan. Without that needed funding, I temporally tabled this great dream of opening a hobby store and track, but never let the dream die. During the time in Amarillo, I continued to be involved in racing and was even sponsored by Traxxas, racing their TRX1 and TRX3 completion off-road buggy and Blue Eagle off-road truck.
Moving Back to Sloan, IA with Outback HobbiesIn 1994, I moved back to Sloan, Iowa. At that time there was not much RC racing going on. I knew of a few races in Le Mars, Iowa at the fairgrounds, as well as the old Aksarben horse track in Omaha, Nebraska. Unfortunately, my racing adventures did not last very long, and I sold most of my racing collection.
Skipping ahead about ten years, I worked for a computer company in North Sioux City, and an opportunity to open a small hobby store inside another retail store in Sioux City, Iowa presented itself. I had the resources and knowledge, so I made a deal with the store owner to open inside his store. Harkening back to my time in Amarillo, I wanted to call it Outback Hobbies. It had a small carpet track in the back of the store, and I become the Track Director and held weekly Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon races. Outback Hobbies was open every night after I got off work from the computer job, as well as Saturdays. The business was growing, and things were looking good. Unfortunately, the owner of the store I was in didn’t see a return on his investment of having Outback Hobbies share space inside his retail store – I was asked to vacate the property.
Outback Hobbies at KD Station in Sioux City, IAI needed to look for a new location for a store in Sioux City. After searching for the perfect space, a new location inside the KD Station in Sioux City, Iowa presented itself. It was just an empty space though; there was lots of work to be done. Walls needed to be built, a subfloor for the carpet track needed to be done, and supplies needed to be purchased. I labored many long days and weekends to get the place ready to open. During the renovation, the KD Station had a transformer fire, and part of the building lost electricity, including the part that Outback Hobbies was to be located in! I worked diligently with the owner of the KD Station, and partial power was finally turned back on. We continued to renovate the location, but I began to get concerned that the property may never recover from the transformer fire.
Another Set Back at the KD StationAbout this time, most of the area I was renovating received a lot of water damage from a leaky roof. The property owners of the KD Station worked with me and assured me that they would have it all rectified and all problems would be resolved. I discussed my concerns about the building being possibly red-tagged by the city for code violations. The property owners assure me that this is not going to happen, so I continued to renovate the area. On July 1, 2004, Grand opening day finally came, and Outback Hobbies opened its doors at the new location! I was so excited – I was finally going to own the hobby store I wanted since 1988.
Not so fast…. The property owners call a meeting that morning and inform the rest of the tenants and me that the city had red-tagged the building and everyone had to vacate the premises within 30 days. Devastated wasn’t even enough to describe how I felt.
Bad Fast Hobbies in Sloan, IADuring the summer of 2006, I finally decided to finalize my dream of opening an RC store. Growing up in Sloan IA, I knew the area, so I began to renovate a building in downtown Sloan located at 410 Evans St. This turned out to be a very long tedious process. I had to gut the entire inside of the space, put a new roof on the building, and remove concrete from the rear of the building. I added a new concrete floor and framed interior walls. I also added a new front picture window to allow my space to be seen from the street. After a few long years of building, finally in 2012, electric was installed! Fast forward to 2015; I installed the heating and cooling, light fixtures and the finishing touches.
Finally, on 02/15/2015 Bad Fast Hobbies opened its doors! To get a refresh from my previous attempts, I decided it was time for a name change. My favorite saying is “Bad Fast,” so I took that saying and added hobbies to the end.
BAD FAST HOBBIES is born!