Utah Valley Pinewood Derby is no longer accepting reservations.
When Aaron and I built the track in 2016, it was because of an immediate need to run a pinewood derby for our own Cub Scout packs, for which we were both committee chairs. It was also an opportunity to apply our engineering backgrounds to a fun side project. We set out to create the most fun, exciting, and efficient pinewood derby ever. I made a little website where people could sign up to rent the track.
What we didn't expect is just how popular this would become, despite having never advertised or solicited for business. After running two derbies in 2016 (where we transported the track in pieces in the back of my Corolla), we ran seventeen derbies in 2017, thirty-six in 2018, and fifty-three in 2019. Aaron was always busier than me, which meant I was running nearly all of these derbies myself. When the pandemic hit and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stopped doing Cub Scouts, the number of derbies dropped off significantly, but began to pick back up again in 2021.
Six years after we built the track, my kids are older and the amount of time I can spend on side projects like this is disappearing. I've had to plan family events around these derbies (or miss them), and the cost has become too great. The location and timing of many of the derbies means I can't always bring my kids with me, which I would need to do in order to consider this a justifiable use of my time away from home.
I have loved making folks smile, watching their faces light up as they race, win, and (sometimes) lose. Experience has proven the highlight of a pinewood derby for the kids is not the competition, but in racing their cars down the track as many times as they can. Adding the Lego building was a big hit and made the derby more accessible to groups of all ages and circumstances.
I will keep the website up, but the track is going into storage for the foreseeable future. If there is enough interest, I will consider making the software and build plans freely available.