04 August 2008

Living out a childhood fantasy

The Wall Street Journal reports on Dig This, a so-called "heavy equipment playground". It's a 10-acre lot with an excavator, a bulldozer, and other machinery that you can pay to play with.

Hoisting, digging and razing costs $280 to $650, depending on the machine and the number of hours spent aboard. Even at those prices, Mr. Mumm doesn't expect to turn a profit for at least another year — he's had about 90 paying customers so far. But he feels confident that he's tapped into an underserved corner of the American psyche.

His customers have ranged from corporate chief executives to an 84-year-old woman. Many find it tough to say why it's such a thrill to play with rocks. "I'm giggly when you ask about it," says Hank Edwards, a recent customer.

Their instructors will train you to use the equipment and give you hints via a two-way radio. And the following sounds like an awesome idea:

He's even dreaming about creating a save-your-marriage course, with a licensed counselor coaching couples through exercises that require good communication.

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