weather icon Clear

‘It was stifling in that place’: Atomic Golf faces complaints over west-facing venue

Updated June 11, 2024 - 9:00 am

Jonathan Garcia and his girlfriend decided to visit the newly opened Atomic Golf just off the Las Vegas Strip during a recent visit to the city after seeing videos on social media showcasing the venue, but he said his expectations didn’t match the reality.

“We walked in and we were expecting to see a bunch of people inside waiting to golf and at the bar, and it was dead,” Garcia, who visited over Memorial Day weekend, said. “It definitely did not reflect anything that we saw on social media.”

Garcia, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he arrived at Atomic Golf in the middle of the afternoon, the day before Memorial Day, and the first thing he noticed was the heat.

The venue doesn’t have working air conditioning or misting systems at the golfing bays, multiple sources told the Review-Journal.

“We ended up just playing an hour just because it was so hot outside and the way the sun was already starting creeping in towards the bay area,” Garcia said. “By the time we left, we’re like, drenched from playing golf.”

Just a few months after opening in March, Atomic Golf appears to already be facing financial issues as the venue has laid off 250 of its 800 workers and is closed during the day on weekdays. It’s also getting mixed online reviews.

Dozens of negative reviews complain about Atomic Golf’s location and the heat as well as the technology not working properly and the service being slow. On Monday, though, the facility had mostly positive reviews online about the food, employees and atmosphere, with a 4 out of 5-star rating on 136 Google reviews and a 3.4 out of 5 stars on 65 Yelp reviews.

“It would have been more fun if it wasn’t over 100 degrees with no fans or any sort of air circulation. It was stifling in that place,” said a three-star Google review from Alex M.

Yelp user Hernandez A. gave Atomic Golf a two-star review saying: “Who thought it was a great idea to build a driving range in the desert facing west? The service was good, but you couldn’t enjoy playing because the sun was in your face the entire time.”

250 workers laid off

According to an internal email obtained by the Review-Journal notifying employees of the layoffs, the company blamed the elimination of positions on a worsening economy.

“Over the last several months, the economy has continued to worsen with the increased cost of goods,” the email stated. “We have explored many options to reducing cost but unfortunately, we have found we must reduce our workforce to ensure we are able to navigate the ever changing economy.”

Atomic Golf didn’t respond to requests for comment regarding the design of the facility and the layoffs.

In response to complaints about the heat, Atomic Golf said it prioritizes the health of its guests and employees but there have been issues with cooling systems at the property and some air conditioning is not present in certain areas.

“Our outdoor guest areas are subject to energy code restrictions that prevent the installation of air conditioning. Instead, we utilize a misting system to cool the area for guest and employee comfort,” Atomic Golf said in an emailed statement to the Review-Journal on June 7. “Following a pump failure 10 days ago, our contractors have been diligently working to restore the misting system. We have been informed that it will be operational by Wednesday, if not sooner. Additionally, we are exploring alternative solutions to ensure the comfort of our guests and employees should the misting system not be ready as planned.”

Atomic Golf developer Flite Golf and Entertainment calls the Vegas location its flagship on its website. The company, which is based in Dallas, develops golf entertainment concepts with operations in other cities such as London, Milwaukee and New Orleans.

Heat isn’t the only issue facing Atomic Golf.

“We were super-staffed for the first few months,” a current Atomic Golf employee, who spoke to the Review-Journal on the condition of anonymity, said. “Everyone was sitting there doing nothing.”

Employees said Atomic Golf formerly operated day shifts every day of the week, but now they’re only on weekends. Currently, Atomic Golf’s website shows it’s only open before 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Garcia said when he visited he noticed very few employees working and it took a long time to place an order.

“It just seemed kind of like a ghost town in there, pretty dead from a Sunday on Memorial Day weekend,” Garcia said.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.