It’s our childhood dream come true: We’ve been given full reign to completely trash the room we’re occupying. But even with weapons in hand, the three of us just look at one another, hesitant. After a minute or so, Ryan raises his golf club and starts whacking at an old printer, its exterior pieces going in every direction. Rei takes aim at some beer bottles in the corner. And I finally reach for an empty bottle of Fireball Whiskey—which I despise—assume the slugger’s stance and bash it into hundreds of pieces. It feels good.
“You were a little slow to start, but most people are because it’s so different,” Wreck Room owner Corey Holtam evaluates 30 minutes later. “By the end, you guys were going crazy smashing things to pieces.”
It’s grand opening day at Wreck Room, which rents out so-called smash rooms where one or more adults can partake in destruction therapy, a 15-year-old Spanish invention meant to bring about stress relief in a controlled and supervised environment. While its psychological value remains uncomfirmed, its entrepreneurial appeal is obvious, falling in line with escape rooms, ax-throwing and other unconventional activities.
It certainly called to Holtam, a former construction worker who witnessed a video from a smash room elsewhere in the country on his Facebook feed. “I was like, wow, they don’t have one in Vegas; that’s crazy. So I made one.”
Patrons at Wreck Room can choose between various 30-minute packages, ranging from a single-person, 20-item option at $35 to the Road Rage package, which allows buyers to annihilate a car for $1,000. After signing a waiver and going over some rules, the group dons head-to-toe protective garb, picks its bashing tools—there are crowbars, bowling pins, hockey sticks and even frying pans—and enters an aluminum-covered room full of breakables, which Holtam has scored from people he knows.
Back in our rage cage, Ryan manages to hammer his printer into hundreds of pieces. Rei starts taking beer bottles and breaking them on the edge of the center table, like he’s in a movie bar brawl. Ryan then dismantles a chair; I take a hearty swing at a lamp base and send its shade flying. Soon, we’re pitching bottles to one another, each batter aiming for imaginary bleachers. After 20 minutes, our room is absolutely covered in broken glass, porcelain and office machinery, which the Wreck Room staff will later sweep up and divide into recyclables and trash.
It all goes by too quickly, but time—and shrapnel—flies when you’re having that much fun. Our session ends in sweat, laughs, Instagram snaps and an odd sense of release. Wreck Vegas is a potential hit, so to speak, that certainly fits in with the wild assortment of experiences on offer throughout the Valley.
“Vegas is full of crazy ideas, and they work here,” Holtam says. “People come here looking for stuff to do, and this is one more of those things.”
Wreck Room Daily 2-10 p.m. 4090 Schiff Drive, 702-405-6407, wreckvegas.com.