Updated September 18, 2020 - 12:58 pm
Gunshots rumble like thunder throughout the box canyon.
Adrenaline Mountain is only a few miles from the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, but it’s hard to imagine it being any more isolated.
The collection of extreme activities is situated on close to 400 privately owned acres, past some disinterested wild horses, at the end of 3½ miles of gravel. The road is so bouncy, it could serve as an attraction unto itself, alongside the shooting range, car-crushing machinery, off-road vehicles, ax-throwing, archery and what’s billed as the world’s longest monster truck.
There’s also a wedding chapel.
Something to behold
“We tried a couple of different names. I suggested Adrenaline Mountain,” founder and CEO Eric Brashear says, “and my friends were just like, ‘Nah. Adrenaline’s too hard to spell.’ ”
Action Ranch was the front-runner for a while, he says, but it wasn’t a good fit. “It seemed so ’70s to me, and it didn’t nail everything that we did.”
That name also evoked memories of Action Park, the legendarily dangerous New Jersey attraction. And, honestly, Action Ranch sounds more like the sort of establishment you’d expect to frequent in Pahrump.
Whatever you call it, the result is something to behold.
The shipping containers, burned-out cars and arsenal of heavy weapons resemble a Hollywood executive’s idea of a terrorist training camp.
The collected equipment looks as though someone gave a 12-year-old too much sugar and a blank check.
Throw in the add-on that lets guests blow up a car with a sniper rifle, and it’s the closest thing you could get to spending a couple of hours inside Michael Bay’s id.
Range’s guns tied to films
On Jan. 1, 2012, Brashear says a group of his friends convinced him to go to a desert shooting range, even though he really wasn’t “a gun guy.”
“I’m shooting all this really cool stuff I’d seen in the movies, but I’ve never shot before,” he recalls. “I ended up driving home thinking about how reluctant I was to go and what a great time I had, and I’m like, ‘There’s a business here.’ ”
Brashear opened Shoot Las Vegas on a hundred acres later that year.
Each of the more than 80 guns in the climate-controlled firing lines has its own poster, tying it to some of the movies in which it was featured.
“This really helps people decide what gun they want to shoot. … So you wanna shoot the shotgun from ‘Terminator’? You can do that,” he says. “And people love that stuff. That really helps them pick guns, because they love being able to sort of emulate their favorite stars.”
Shotguns are a big draw, with the double-barrel model from “Unforgiven” and the Kel-Tec KSG from the “John Wick” franchise among the more popular. But Brashear says the range’s sniper rifles — which you can shoot at exploding targets or, for an extra $2,000, can use to blow up a car — are coming on strong.
Regrouping amid pandemic
Over the years, Brashear says he noticed a lot of his Shoot Las Vegas customers had been visiting other local extreme attractions, specifically off-roading, during their trips.
He and his team began carving trails and acquired some 2020 Honda Talon four-seater utility vehicles. Then COVID-19 shut everything down, two days before what would have been the first tour.
Brashear acquired the neighboring 275-acre parcel a few months back and spent the early part of the pandemic adding attractions and redeveloping Shoot Las Vegas as Adrenaline Mountain.
“How cool would it be if we could create something that has all the most popular adrenaline attractions in town and put them in the one location,” he says of his mindset at the time. “I think the one-stop aspect is really going to catch on.”
So what kinds of things can you learn from a day at Adrenaline Mountain?
The Desert Eagle .50-caliber AE is a lot of handgun. You can smell the gunpowder after a few bursts from the M249 SAW. And the staff is both knowledgeable and very quick to react when whatever gun you’re holding isn’t pointed downrange. (Sorry.)
Crossbows shoot bolts, not arrows, and it takes shockingly little effort to release a compound bow.
When it comes to throwing an ax, the key is keeping your wrist straight. Flick it or snap it, and there’s too much rotation.
It’s far easier to operate a Caterpillar 320 excavator than a monster truck. The Cat, which guests can use to dig in the earth or destroy a car, operates via two intuitive levers. The 35½-foot-long truck, nicknamed Big Guns, has a toggle switch next to the steering wheel that controls the rear wheels, and both must be maneuvered simultaneously.
Big Guns is a lumbering beast, but it’s still possible to drive it faster than Brashear prefers. “Whatever speed you’re comfortable at,” he instructs from the passenger seat before a series of doughnuts. “OK, that’s about max,” he interrupts, three seconds later. “Make that whatever speed I’m comfortable at.” (Sorry. Again.)
Bigger things to come
That monster truck is bouncy and intimidating, not unlike the mechanical bulls that Brashear rented out during his 25-year career in corporate events that ended when he sold his company in 2014.
Before that, he made a living designing basketball toss games, air hockey tables and portable pool tables.
Now, he’s turned his creativity to bigger things. Even bigger than blowing up cars.
Brashear is planning to replace the RVs that visitors can use for glamping with cabins along a scenic ridge. A VIP lounge is in the works. A $2.5 million zip line is targeted for next year, as is an experience where guests can shoot guns from a helicopter.
“We definitely went all-in, you know? I have faith” in Las Vegas, he says. “I have faith it’s all going to be back. Just ‘when’ is sort of the question.”
If you go
Adrenaline Mountain is located in Sloan. Free transportation is available from hotels on the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas, as well as the nearby Pioneer Saloon. Off-road tours start at $225 for one person. It’s $250 to drive the monster truck, $550 to crush a car, and ax-throwing and archery add-ons are $45 each. Shooting packages range from $135 to $2,495. See adrenalinemountain.com.