By Hayley Estrada and Steven DeAnda / NM News Port
Stressed-out locals can now arm themselves with a pipe, a crowbar or a mallet to release their anger on old furniture and dining room dishes at the Albuquerque Rage Room. The Rage Room opened its doors in late August to provide a controlled environment where people pay for the pleasure of smashing stuff.
Located near Broadbent Business Park, the office space has been transformed and divided into three separate “destruction rooms” lined with plywood. Customers are encouraged to spend as much time capturing photos and videos of their most satisfying hits.
This unusual experience originated in Japan, where customers would pay to throw plates and cups at a concrete wall in the back of a van. The concept can now be found in major cities around the globe.
The business was started after real estate agent Alexis Hassley and her fiancé, Rafael Tigay saw a similar rage room featured during an episode of one of their favorite television shows.
“Once we saw it on Law & Order, it was eight weeks, to the day, that we opened,” said Hassley. “It’s one of the perks of working for yourself, we can drop everything and do it.”
Only two people are allowed in a room at a time and are required to wear safety gear, such as a protective hard hats, work gloves, and coveralls.
“I have always considered myself to be calm and quiet, so when I got into the Rage Room and started taking anger out on these objects, I was very surprised,” said first time customer, Olivia Dixson. “It is something that I wouldn’t expect to enjoy, but I did!”
Greeted by what looks like a restaurant menu, customers order packages, starting at $29 for the “slightly angry,” entry level experience. Pricing levels go up based on how many and what size items you desire to break during your visit. Glass bottles, dressers, computer monitors, and couches are just some of the object on the menu.
The collection of glass bottles, cups and ceramic dishes are donations from the Heritage Hotels and Vernon’s Speakeasy, Hassley explained.
The owners are on the lookout for slightly damaged furniture and electronics to replenish the rage rooms.
“We have reached out to glass blowers and different artists anyone that wants to come in and harvest glass,” said co-owner Jerrad Manning. “If people want to use this to make something beautiful out of somebody’s rage, that’s awesome.”
Research on whether rage rooms are beneficial in lowering stress levels is unclear. According to an article by Verywell Mind, several research studies have found that taking anger out on inanimate objects, like hitting nails with a hammer or punching a punching bag are less effective forms of stress management.
A unique thing that Rage Room co-owner Alexis Hassley has noticed is that people are coming to enjoy the experience rather than unleash their anger.
“It is exhilarating to throw a plate against the wall and watch it smash,” said Hassley. “People come in happy and they leave happier.”
Hayley Estrada is a reporter for the New Mexico News Port. She can be reached on Twitter at Est3Hayley or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven DeAnda is a reporter for the New Mexico News Port. He can be reached on Twitter at stevendeanda15 or at email@example.com.