A Las Vegas recreational business that makes money from customers operating construction equipment and sculpting earth for fun is expanding to the Orlando, Fla., and Atlanta markets.
Dig This, which runs its construction equipment theme park at the former Scandia Amusement Park on South Rancho Drive, is drawing franchise requests and hopes to finalize franchisee deals by the beginning of June, said Ed Mumm of Steamboat Springs, Colo., the chief executive who founded the business as a pilot in 2008.
“It’s a great way to grow our business,” said the New Zealand-born Mumm. “We can expand our business that way.”
To open a Dig This franchise, it will cost a franchise fee of $50,000 to $75,000 and start-up costs of $250,000 to $350,000, Mumm said.
The first franchises are expected to be in operation by the end of the year, he said.
Dig This also has drawn international franchise information requests from business people in New Delhi, Sydney, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Mumm said.
Mumm estimated that franchisee revenues will range from $1 million to $4 million.
He said he has been working with consultants to draft the franchise agreements, investing about $25,000 for the costs of each agreement.
Mumm said each franchise needs 10 employees per site.
By running Dig This in Las Vegas, Mumm was able to fine-tune the business model for a template that can be used for franchisees. Dig This opened about two years ago.
The amateur excavators pay a minimum of $249 for a session to operate a Caterpillar D5G Track-Type Bulldozer or a Caterpillar 3I5CL Hydraulic Excavator.
Customers first undergo a Breathalyzer test and safety orientation. In-cabin orientation and warm-up exercises are held before customers take the controls.
For $249, the customer can operate the 15-ton bulldozer or the excavator for three hours.
For $449, the customer can operate both the bulldozer and the excavator for two “full big digs.”
Both deals are held in three daily sessions.
There’s even a group dig that starts at $1,100 for as many as 10 people that includes two bulldozers and three excavators.
Business people have been interested in buying into the Dig This concept, but they wanted to see how it played out in Las Vegas, Mumm said.
“They have been sitting back and gauging how we’re doing. Now that we have a successful business model, they’re willing to engage,” he said. “We’re pretty excited.”
Contact reporter Alan Snel at email@example.com or 702-387-5273.