MELBOURNE, Fla. – Tank America offered adrenaline-packed fun Friday on the eve of its grand opening.
Located on Ellis Road, the attraction will host its first guests this weekend in its 6,000 square-foot tactical laser-tag Afghanistan-themed arena.
Co-owner Scott Benjamin said Tank America is the only place within 1,000 miles where guests can drive a real tank.
One of the tanks was built during the Vietnam era.
"There's nothing like the combination of driving the tank, crushing the car, engaging in tactical military combat, nothing like it in the country," Benjamin said.
Benjamin and his partners' vision of building Tank America was initially met with some resistance.
Some neighbors weren't pleased about the anticipated noise.
A battle was fought at City Hall, where Tank America proved to leaders that it would not exceed noise limits. Sound engineers even conducted testing.
Co-owner Troy Lotane said the opening of the business isn't just about the money.
"It's important for us to be a good neighbor. We want to run a business. We want to make money, but it's important to do the right thing in the world," Lotane said.
A 90-minute session costs $30, and beginning next month, guests can ride tanks for an additional $300. For $200 more, guests can also drive the tanks and crush cars with them.
"We're just really looking forward to serving the community and having a lot of fun for folks locally and coming in from out of town," Benjamin said.