Floor Shows, Gambling and a Gun Range: Las Vegas Offers A New Way to Let Loose
For Vegas die-hards bored with the $750 tasting menu at Guy Savoy, the $250 Elton John tickets at Caesars or the $200,000 baccarat bet at the Bellagio, this city is serving up a new way to find high-priced thrills.
Machine Guns Vegas — an upscale indoor shooting range complete with skimpily dressed gun-toting hostesses — opened last week a half mile from the Strip with an armory of weapons and a promise to fulfill the desires of anyone wanting to fire off an Uzi or a vintage Thompson submachine gun. With its provocative mix of violent fantasy (think blowing holes through an Osama bin Laden target with an AK-47) and sexual allure, it is the latest example of how the extravagances and excesses that have defined Las Vegas are moving beyond the gambling table.
“O.K., the Uzi is down right now — sorry!” Melissa Krause, a hostess dressed in a skin-tight black outfit and black boots, with a fake pistol attached to her hip, told a father and son who had driven three hours from Victorville, Calif. “Is there something else you wanted to choose?”
No matter. Before long, the son, Chris Neveu, 20, was standing between two range masters, a man and a woman, feet planted to the ground, eyes protected by goggles and ears by headphones. Hot shells clattered around his feet as his father, Paul, took pictures.
“They have a lot of weapons you wouldn’t be able to find back where I’m from,” Chris said as he repaired to the V.I.P. lounge, where the walls are adorned with machine guns. “Such as the — well, you can see them all around the room: the M-4, the M-16, the M-249 — a lot of exotic weapons.”
In the main lounge, Barry Burmaster, 54, of Williamsburg, Md., was giddy after he and three friends, in town for a convention, compared a stack of bullet-riddled targets.
“Twenty years ago, I’d spend $400 at the strip clubs,” he said. “Now, I just come here to shoot.”