If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by work, school, or just life in general, a new storefront in the Nittany Mall has just the solution for you.
The sound of a washing machine being hit with a baseball bat fills a room that is sectioned off by spray-painted drywall and filled with objects ranging from old appliances to empty bottles of wine. For a fee that ranges from $20 for a 10-minute session to $65 for what the company calls an “All Out Rager,” participants don what looks like hazmat gear, grab a baseball bat or crowbar, and start smashing.
Rampage Room co-owner Erik Wine says the space exists to help people take out their frustrations in a healthy way.
“The daily stressors of life take a toll on people, so we want to give people a safe, fun environment to come and destress and relieve all that tension you might have from a breakup or final exams or a divorce, even," Wine said.
By day, Wine is a residential counselor at Strawberry Fields, a State College-based organization that provides services to people with mental and intellectual disabilities. In fact, most Rampage Room employees have a background in the mental health field.
Ryan Snyder is a full-time mental health crisis worker in Lycoming and Clinton Counties. In his spare time, he serves as the business relations officer for Rampage Room, reaching out to local companies to find things for people to, well, break.
“A lot of people seem to benefit by smashing stuff, and it’s a little bit nicer when you don’t have to clean it up. You’re not breaking any of your own stuff," Snyder said.
Rampage Room Chief of Operations Nicole Snyder has been a psychiatric and emergency nurse for 18 years. Her job, combined with her personal life, means she has experience dealing with stress, anxiety and similar issues.
“My husband is a 100% disabled vet. I’m his caregiver, so I deal with mental health every day," Snyder said.
But, like other Rampage Room employees, Snyder says breaking things isn’t something she takes too seriously.
“It’s definitely a rush to get your adrenaline, and sometimes take out your anger in a safe way," Snyder said. "And it’s just fun. It’s fun and it’s a heck of a workout. Fifteen minutes in there will wear you out."
In addition to the rampage rooms, the storefront also offers single and multiplayer virtual reality games and escape rooms. These other activities aim to make the business more family friendly, since only those 18 years or older are able to smash things. Wine says he hopes all of these activities are enough to bring in customers to the location at the Nittany Mall.
“Malls are kind of a dying thing," Wine said. "Online shopping has kind of hit hard and a lot of storefronts are closing.”
For now, Ryan Snyder and his coworkers at the Rampage Room say their immediate focus is on offering a stress relieving and destructive experience for customers.
“I really like the sound of breaking glass, to be honest with you," Wine said. "It’s music to my ears.”