When I first interviewed Quebec race car driver Alex Tagliani last December about his planned TAG E-Karting and Amusement Center near Laval, I promised myself to make a visit when the $18 million complex opened. I did just that last week and wow!
Located at Plaza St. Thérèse, the Centre features nine activities including a combination of multi-level layout of three electric karting tracks, a laser tag game arena, six axe-throwing lanes, six bowling lanes, a Triotech 7D interactive cinema, a multi-sensory virtual reality experience, numerous modern arcades, and an interactive children’s floor—all under one roof. And it was all founded by Tagliani, the owner of TAG Autosport and a large partnership with a number of entrepreneurs well-known in the business sphere.
“After years of planning and preparations with challenges due to the pandemic, there is nothing more satisfying for our team than opening these doors for good,” said Tagliani. “I am so excited to bring not only a variety of activities to families and adrenaline rush enthusiasts in the region, but the passion and love of racing I have.”
Easily accessible via Highway 15, the TAG E-karting & Amusement Centre occupies 65,000 square feet in a brand-new building.
The project is being led by General Manager Eric Bourbonnais, whom I first met just before the pandemic when he was running Taverne 1909 signé St-Hubert at Place Bell. I was so pleased to be able to sit down for dinner with Tagliani at the very impressive and high-end Tag Resto Bar. Bourbonnais was able to hire executive chef Pinou Thong, previously from Restaurant Antonio Park. The Beef Bavette, served with mashed sweet potato, was out of this world.
“It is with pride to offer such a high level of quality, whether it be in our activities state-of-the-art activities or the exceptional gastronomical experience in our restaurant area,” added Tagliani. “I can assure you that we did as many trials with the culinary options as we did with the karting track we built!”
Tagliani has been involved in motorsports for several decades, evolving from karting to Formula Atlantic, Champ Car, IndyCar, and now, NASCAR. In 2015, he was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame. Now 47 years young, he says that retirement from driving is not on his mind. “As long as I can remain competitive and my sponsors support me I will continue on.”
Make no mistake about it – this is indeed the place Tagliani built. He showed so much pride in the facility, stopped to talk to most customers and staff and made it clear how carefully he is following all of the COVID-19 protocols.
I must say how honoured I was to have Tagliani spend so much time with me and personally conduct such a comprehensive tour. I did not take any test drives, but I was impressed with what I saw of the karts and the track. Please see my video interview with Tagliani where he provides answers to some interesting questions.
One thing I also noticed is that this place is indeed for people of all ages. The restaurant is already attracting a crowd that wants a nice dinner. This is expected to become a hopping spot to watch live sporting events on the many screens. It is so conveniently situated, especially for those people who go back and forth to the Laurentians. What a great pit stop!