Circuit of the Northwest country-club race track set to open in 2023

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Circuit of the Northwest

There are a number of tracks across the U.S. that feature a country-club type of format, where, in addition to the track, they boast amenities such as trackside condominiums, garages, restaurants, and more. There is Lime Rock in Connecticut; Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida; and M1 Concourse outside Detroit, Michigan, to name a few. The Circuit of the Northwest (CNW) is set to join the ranks sometime in early 2023. And for members of Hagerty Drivers Club, there is a special discount on the initiation fee for the first 200 members.

Brian Nilsen is the owner and founding member of the Circuit of the Northwest and has been working for more than five years on the development of the facility; he has partnered with The Joel Cohen Group for its engineers and background in capital finance. “The Port of Bremerton is expanding, and the FAA is requiring us to move the track,” says Nilsen. “There are 232 acres across from the existing track that are challenging to masterplan due to the topography, but that are perfect for a track precisely because of the topography.”

The track was designed by the world-renowned German Formula One driver and race course designer, Hermann Tilke, and is 2.66 miles long, has 14 turns, and has 80 feet of elevation change from its lowest point to its highest. “The course is FIA Grade 3, so we will be able to host most worldwide sanctioned racing,” says Nilsen. “And with our unique setting and its spectacular mountain views, CNW will be one of the most beautiful road courses in North America.”

CNW track autominiums condo location rendering
Circuit of the Northwest

In addition to car races, the track will offer karting and motocross as well as “autominiums,” which are trackside condos ranging from 1200 to more than 4000 square feet. The Bremerton National Airport across from the CNW has a 6000-foot runway that can accommodate not just private jets but also 737s. “With flights that are less than two hours, this makes us effectively semi-local to the Bay Area and we’re two hours from Burbank,” explains Nilsen. “We estimate that twenty percent of our membership will come from outside Puget Sound.”

Nilsen intends to broaden the appeal of CNW beyond motorsports. “We’ll be able to host drive-in movie nights and Speedway Christmas, where people can drive around the track when it’s decorated with lights,” he says. “We want to make it accessible to everyone. I can envision a future where autonomous driving means that people will come to tracks like CNW for recreation.”

Autominiums condo rendering porch indoor outdoor living
Circuit of the Northwest

For the initial round of founders, the CNW has established the “Race to 200,” where the first 200 can take advantage of preconstruction prices. “The initiation fee for the first two hundred people is sixty-eight thousand dollars,” says Nilsen. “We have special pricing for members of the Hagerty Drivers Club, with a discount of three thousand dollars.” In addition to the initiation fee, the club’s annual fee of $5000 will be frozen for five years. Members of the Circuit of the Northwest will get:

  • 150 track days
  • Access to 28,000-square-foot clubhouse
  • Wellness center
    Restaurant, bar and lounge
  • Racing-simulator room
  • Massive outdoor patio overlooking mountains

There is a redemption feature for founders that allows them to get most of their initiation fee back. “If they are in good standing for thirty-six months and move on to other things, we will refund a significant percentage of their fee,” explains Nilsen. “No other club does this. It’s our way of giving a real big thank you to our early founders.”

Wrapping up the story, Nilsen puts it this way: “Our main goal with the Circuit of the Northwest is that we want to help grow motorsports,” he says. “This course will be a playground like no other.”

Looking for other country-club tracks in the country? There are almost 100 such facilities across the nation. Check out this short list:

Atlanta Motorsports

The location: Dawsonville, Georgia, an hour from Atlanta

The track: 1.8 miles, with various configurations

Members: 450

Fees and details: $37,500 initiation, $1800 annual fees, for as many as 140 days of driving

Autobahn Country Club

The location: Joliet, Illinois, about 46 miles from Chicago

The track: 3.56 miles, with three circuit configurations: 1.5-mi, 2.2-mi, 3.56-mi

Members: 510 member families

Fees and details: $40,000 initiation, $5250 annual fees, for as many as 180 days of driving

Website: autobahncc.com

Phone: 815-722-2223

Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park

The location: Starke, Florida, about an hour southwest of Jacksonville

The track: 1.6 miles, depending on configurations. Nine to 13 turns, depending on configuration

Fees and details: For $1500 annual fee, any scheduled track day Friday or Sunday for roughly 75 track days per year. For $2000 annual fee, every Fri, Sat, Sun. for up to 150 days

Website: gorally.com

Phone: 352-473-2999

M1 Concourse

The location: Pontiac, Michigan, about 31 miles north of Detroit

The track: 1.5 miles, with 11 turns

Members: More than 150

Fees and details: $20,000 initiation, $3950 annual fees, seven hours of driving guaranteed, but often exceeds 10-12 hours

Website: m1concourse.com

Phone: 866-618-7225

New Jersey Motorsports Park

The location: Millville, New Jersey, about one hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City

The track: Thunderbolt Raceway 2.25 miles, 12 turns, and 0.5 mile straight; Lightning Raceway, 1.9 miles with 10 turns

Members: 250 in Driver’s Club; 250 in Rider’s Club

Fees and details: Driver’s Club ranges from $8500 to $30,000 for initiation fees; Rider’s Club annual fees range from $2400 to $4800, both clubs offer a minimum of 35 days of driving

Website: njmp.com

Phone: 856-327-8000

Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club

The location: Pahrump, Nevada, about 62 miles from Las Vegas

The track: 6.6 miles with more than 50 configurations, including 0.5 mile straight

Members: 325

Fees and details: Two levels: Charter and Corporate. Charter is $60,000 for initiation fees and $6000 for annual fees. Corporate is $140,000 for initiation fees and $20,000 for annual fees. Sixteen days guaranteed every month.

Website: racespringmountain.com

Phone: 800-391-6891

The Thermal Club

The location: Thermal, California, about 136 miles from Los Angeles and about 260 miles from Las Vegas

The track: Three tracks that add up to a 5.1-mile circuit; when combined, 28 turns. Multiple configurations. Also offers autocross, skidpad, and karting

Members: 100+

Fees and details: Standard Membership is $85,000 for initiation fees. Corporate Membership is $200,000 for initiation fees. Annual fees not disclosed. Track is open five days a week, Wednesday through Saturday.

Website: thethermalclub.com

Phone: 760-674-0088

If you’re just looking for racetracks in general, check out the website National Speedway Directory at speedwaysonline.com. There you can search on track type, track length, track surface, by race day or even do your own custom search.

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