Extreme Sandbox Brings Popular Outdoor Experience Indoors
Top-rated adventure company bringing “Edutainment” to Rosedale Center
HASTINGS, Minn. (Sept. 19, 2017) – Extreme Sandbox is gearing up to bring a version of its popular outdoor experience indoors to Rosedale Center in Roseville, Minn.
Projected to open early November, Extreme Sandbox Mini will offer a fully interactive construction experience to complement the adventure company’s existing sites. The 5,700 sq. ft. space will be equipped with smaller electric mini-excavators and new, state-of-the-art, full motion, surround screen simulators developed by CM Labs Simulations, Inc. Located in a high traffic area, the experiential retail location will also offer meeting and training space.
“Our vision is ‘Edutainment’ — combining education and entertainment,” says Randy Stenger, CEO/founder, Extreme Sandbox. “We know there’s tremendous value in using ‘fun’ to fuel people. Whether its students participating in vocational training or friends driving excavators, we use real-life tools and equipment to educate and inspire people, with the focus on being a kid at heart.”
CM Labs leads the construction industry in simulator training solutions, and has long focused on creating engaging learning experiences.
“Our focus is on making it simple for users to benefit from simulation technology,” says Arnold Free, Chief Commercial Officer, CM Labs. “We partnered with Extreme Sandbox because we believe in their mission to prepare and excite skilled construction operators, while providing loads of fun to the general public.”
During weekly, daytime hours, the space will primarily be used for educational outreach, meetings, and vocational training (i.e. student field trips, training, industry operator instruction, corporate team building events), while the general public will engage the space for entertainment purposes evenings and weekends (i.e. kid birthdays, family/friend outings, special events).
Extreme Sandbox Mini demonstrates the growth of a successful brand, as well as a response to a shifting retail climate. According to Fortune, shoppers are heading to the web for most of their purchases — for the first time ever. A major wakeup call for retailers, the article says. An opportunity to get creative, states Stenger.
“The brick-and-mortar retail marketplace has to adapt,” Stenger says. “There’s huge potential to bring entertainment options — something you can’t find anywhere else — to the local mall. You can buy a pair of pants online but you can’t buy an experience.”
Easily scalable across the country at 3,000-6,000 sq. ft., Extreme Sandbox Mini is unique with its educational component, which will produce off-peak, day traffic, Monday thru Friday, in addition to adding entertainment value during the typical mall rush.
“Extreme Sandbox Mini will be a welcome addition to Rosedale Center,” says Scott Michaelis, VP, General Manager Rosedale Center. “It’s a concept that brings fun, all-age entertainment — and education — to the mall, all day long. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Stenger is no stranger to adapting a product to fill a need. In 2014, recognizing the lack of trained workers in the construction industry, Extreme Sandbox began offering Heavy Equipment Camps for students who may not otherwise have access to hands-on vocational training. Extreme Sandbox Mini will augment that effort, a move that has the full support of Komatsu America Corp., Extreme Sandbox’s official equipment sponsor. Komatsu, a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, partnered with Extreme Sandbox in 2016 after seeing Stenger’s appearance on ABC’s hit reality show, Shark Tank.
“One of our main reasons for partnering with Extreme Sandbox was a shared goal to address the enormous skills’ gap and lack of trained workers in the trade industry,” says Mike Hayes, director, distributor development, Komatsu America Corp. “We’re introducing a new generation of men and women, especially those who aspire to work with their hands, to the construction industry and the world of heavy machinery,” Hayes continues. “These are great careers. Experienced heavy equipment operators and technicians can make a six-figure income.”
And it appears no one else is doing it. Last year, 40 high school students from Warren County High School in Warrenton, NC, took a 20-plus hour bus trip to Extreme Sandbox to learn how to operate Komatsu equipment and hear about job prospects. “These kids received a grant to ride across the country to get hands-on exposure to construction trades,” says Stenger. “That’s how desperate schools are for experiential learning. Coupled with our outdoor locations, our goal is to scale this prototype and help fill the pipeline of talent with new operators across the country.”
Stenger’s drive for Extreme Sandbox to provide “a five-star experience” is also working. His original 10-acre site in Hastings is consistently rated as a top Minnesota attraction. Founded in 2012, the company provides guests with the unique opportunity to fulfill those childhood dreams of operating heavy machinery and construction rigs, such as excavators and other “sandbox toys.” The site also includes a 6,300 sq. ft. four-season facility for hosting social gatherings and corporate team building events for groups of five to over 100. Stenger opened a second site just north of Dallas, TX in 2016 and plans to open additional sites around the country in the next three to five years.
Extreme Sandbox’s Hastings location is a top-rated Minnesota adventure attraction that provides guests with a truly unique opportunity to fulfill their childhood dreams of operating construction rigs, including a wheel loader, bulldozer, excavator and other “toys.” The adventure takes place in a 10-acre “sandbox,” with supervision from highly trained expert instructors who help guests learn and master the machines, ensure safety and provide a fun and memorable experience that can include “golfing” with an excavator, crushing a car, completing challenge tasks, and more. Extreme Sandbox–Texas is located at the Tanglewood Resort and Conference Center in Pottsboro. For more information, visit https://extremesandbox.com/.
Media Contact: Gina Swanson, 612-298-2631, [email protected]