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Farmington resident will appear on Shark Tank

A Farmington resident has landed a spot on ABC-TV’s popular Shark Tank. Producers of the show decided they really “dig” Randy Stenger, CEO/founder of Hastings-based Extreme Sandbox, and he will face the show’s sharks Tuesday, Jan. 5, in pursuit of the ultimate business deal.

Extreme Sandbox, Stenger’s top-rated local adventure attraction, provides guests with an opportunity to fulfill their childhood dreams of operating construction rigs, including a skid steer, bulldozer and excavator and other big-boy toys. The adventure takes place in a 10-acre “sandbox,” with supervision from expert instructors who help guests master the machines, ensure safety and provide a fun and memorable experience that can include “golfing” with an excavator, crushing a car, completing challenge tasks and more.

“We are absolutely thrilled about the upcoming airing of our Shark Tank appearance,” said Stenger. “But ‘tis the season, right? We are also busy filling orders for Christmas gift certificates. December is a busy time for us as many people want to give the gift of experiences rather than things. Our equipment cabs are climate-controlled so we can operate year-round and guests will always be comfortable. This year’s extended fall weather has been a boon to us — and now we also have the show to help us kick off 2016. Turns out that Santa is giving us our own present with this amazing Shark Tank opportunity. I can hardly wait to watch the show with my staff and family.”

Founded in 2012, Extreme Sandbox has quickly vaulted to a top-rated attraction in the Twin Cities. With a goal to expand the concept nationally, Stenger knew seeking out an investment from the sharks could help to grow the brand quickly. The business launched as a weekend-only operation with two part-time employees, a construction trailer and three pieces of equipment. It now has three full-time and four part-time employees, a 6,000 sq. ft. office/meeting and event center built last year and seven pieces of equipment, including a fire truck. Business has grown dramatically and Stenger is in the process of expanding the concept across the country.

Stenger is constantly exploring ways to expand, innovate, and promote his business, while seeking out partnerships to help the business grow. After adding several additional pieces of construction equipment, he expanded the heavy equipment adventures concept by adding a real working fire truck to his lineup. He hosts many corporate groups that visit the venue for team-building activities, plus birthday parties and other group events. He also works with local high school guidance and career counselors to host heavy equipment camps, where students can learn about job opportunities in heavy equipment operations and diesel mechanics and receive hands-on exposure to these trades. Last month, his business was highlighted in a QuickBooks Facebook video campaign highlighting small business from around the country.

The episode of Shark Tank featuring Extreme Sandbox will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5 on ABC-TV.

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