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Swimming with Sharks in the Extreme Sandbox

Swimming with Sharks in the Extreme Sandbox


by TODD STOLARSKI | Jan 12, 2015

It's not advised to go swimming with sharks. Not many live to tell. Randy Stenger is one of the few.

Extreme founder Randy Stenger

Extreme founder Randy Stenger

Remember those innocent days of childhood? The ones where you played in your sandbox with toy trucks and bulldozers? Back when you marveled out the car window at the massive equipment you’d see from the backseat of your family car as you drove past a construction site? Randy Stenger has those vivid memories flash through his mind every day. He’s the founder of Extreme Sandbox, a ten-acre playground where adults now can go “golfing” with a 20-ton excavator, crush a car with a CAT, run an obstacle course with a bulldozer and well, so much more.

Based in Hastings, MN, 20 mi. southeast of St. Paul, Stenger’s sandbox is slightly larger than what you had as a child, but definitely more extreme. Starting the company in 2012, he decided to expand his idea to other metropolitan areas, which brought him to Shark Tank. During the Jan 5th episode, Stenger pitched his extremely playful business idea to a group of five other entrepreneurs as part of the popular reality program dedicated to venture capital investment.

In the end, Stenger persuaded not one, but two of the battling sharks to invest in his grown-up playground! Dallas Mavericks’ brash owner Mark Cuban, and his hard-nosed Canadian counterpart, Kevin O’Leary, co-founder of SoftKey, are now both Extreme Sandbox shareholders. So, with the influx of capital, they're expanding...quickly. The second such facility sandbox will be opening north of Dallas April 15. Designed to be five acres larger than the flagship sandbox, it will be extreme to the max! 

After his appearance, we spoke to Mr. Stenger about developing the brand further. "Our second location is even more important than our first one", Stenger said. "In order for us to expand this around the country, we have to have all of our systems, and processes in place to open this up in Texas. Because whats really important for Extreme Sandbox is to do the next site at least just as successfully as the first site".

One day soon, Stenger envisions an Extreme Sandbox in every big U.S. city. And now he may have the means to make that happen. So, one day soon, don’t be surprised if we’ll all finally be able to live out that dream of driving around a gargantuan machinasaurus and crushing a car...instead of just thinking how cool that might be someday. How therapeutic! 

Read more about the Extreme Sandbox here.

To contact the author, write to or find him on Twitter @toddstolarski.

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