Las Vegas • Las Vegas has seen its share of heavy construction equipment as it bulldozed its way through one giant casino project after another. But with the recession having gutted the construction industry, excavators and bulldozers near the Strip are being put to use as toys for thrill-seeking visitors.
A business owner has created what amounts to a life-size sandbox for adults who pay up to $750 each to push around dirt, rocks and huge tires with the earth-moving construction equipment. All it takes is a 10-minute classroom lesson and guidance from trainers through headsets.
"I thought it would be much clunkier, and the lighter you are with the controls, the easier it worked," said Mary Fitzsimons, an emergency room doctor from Walnut Creek, Calif., who spent roughly two hours digging a trench, moving tires and using the machine's bucket to scoop basketballs atop cones.