WEST OCEAN CITY – A business that gives people the chance to play with construction equipment could soon be coming to West Ocean City.
Heavy Metal Playground, a Boonsboro establishment where patrons dig in the dirt, stack tires and smash cars with heavy equipment, aims to open a second location in West Ocean City.
“Everything is lining up,” Heavy Metal Playground’s Mark Stevanus said. “We’re just waiting on approval from the county.”
Stevanus initially approached Berlin officials in February regarding plans to bring a second location of Heavy Metal Playground to the area. While Berlin Planning Commission members liked the concept, they said it would be too loud for a relatively residential area. As a result, Stevanus began looking for property outside town limits. He believes he found the perfect location at 12325 Old Bridge Road in West Ocean City. The property is near the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
“There’s an empty lot there,” Stevanus said, adding that it was in close proximity to a go cart track so he didn’t think noise would be an issue. “Go carts are going to be a lot louder than our machines. You probably won’t hear us at all.”
At Heavy Metal Playground, customers are able to use the Bobcat E35 to “dig holes, move dirt, smash, drop and bury things,” according to the company website. Stevanus told Berlin officials there were only a few companies like it in the United States and that he’d hosted corporate events for organizations such as Google, Amazon, Volvo and Cisco at his location near Frederick.
He said he had been looking for land in the Ocean City area ever since he’d done a speaking gig in the resort and realized how well his business would fit in. He says Heavy Metal Playground would be the perfect addition to the area because it’s a tourist attraction but is also involved in workforce development. When the machines aren’t being used by visitors, they’re used to train individuals to operate heavy equipment.
“That demand is there,” he said.
At the West Ocean City location, Stevanus said he’s start with four Bobcats and build to as many as 10 machines.
The Worcester County Technical Review Committee is set to review the Heavy Metal Playground proposal next week. From there, it would go to the Worcester County Planning Commission. Though Stevanus had hoped to have the operation up and running by summer, he said progress would depend on how long the current health crisis lasted.