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A sandbox for adults to play in

Remember those halcyon days of breakneck development and nonstop growth? Ever wish you could have been a bulldozer operator during those heady times of quick loans and insta-homes? A new adult sandbox called Dig This! lets you relive that era -- with you in the driver's seat. Or you can just scoop up dirt without having to make that "bbbrrrrm!" sound with your mouth:

Las Vegas just opened up a new playground, but it's not for children. It's called Dig This, and it claims to be the first heavy-equipment playground — as in construction equipment. Before riding, participants attend a safety and equipment orientation. The park is also staffed with instructors like Phil Chavez, a former construction worker. Chavez can communicate with riders over a wireless headset, and just to be extra safe, he has a kill switch in case a machine gets out of control. Employees take no chances at Dig This, which is a good thing — owner Ed Mumm says he has more than $1 million invested here. "Y'know, my original business model was to go with just smaller equipment," Mumm says."And that certainly would've reduced the cost for the experience, but man, Americans love big stuff."

Hear for yourself -- not the brrrmmm!, but the masterminds behind this concept -- on this "KNPR's State of Nevada" segment.

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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.