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Rage room hopes to help people relieve stress

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved plans for a new rage room at 700 E. Houston St.

The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission cleared plans this week for The Wreck Room, a new business that will let customers take out their frustrations by breaking objects inside.

The Wreck Room is an example of what has been called a “rage room,” or an “anger room.” The concept started more than a decade ago in Japan and has since spread across the world, with many similar rooms in the United States.

“The proposed idea is that we are going to put a lot of great items in there and we are going to allow people to book group activities to come in and break these items with sledge hammers, crowbars, baseball and bats,” Wreck Room Owner Charles White said. “It is a great way to get out aggression, tension, tiredness and things like that in a safe environment.”

A traditional rage room might be designed to look like a room one would find in a house with included spaces like a living room or kitchens. Customers are then able to go through the room and destroy objects.

The new business plans to open at 700 E. Houston Street in a building that was previously a repair shop and flea market. Given the nature of the building, the owner said it should only take a week to get it prepared for operation.

White learned about the rage room concept while working with a volunteer fire department in Louisiana. The department had vehicles that they would transport to events and allowed people to smash them as a fundraiser.

The volunteer fire department in Louisiana allowed people to destroy a couple cars as a part of a fundraiser.

“That’s where I got the idea to bring it to Sherman,” White said. “There aren’t a lot of thing to do, so we started putting it all together.”

In addition to the wreck vehicles, White plans to have several other dedicated rooms and space within the building, including a pellet gun range. The lobby itself will not be exempt from some level of destruction as White plans to allow customers to write on the walls with permanent marker.

“One of the things we are going to have is a breakup party,” he said. “It will be when a woman breaks up with her significant other. They can get with me and give up a couple photos of his face and I will print it out and put it on things. They can then run through here and break him up.“

The majority of the items that will be destroyed in the room will come from thrift stores and flea markets.

“I’ve got a deal with the Salvation Army for all the items that get donated and are broken, and they cannot resell,” White said. “They would put it in a dumpster, and it costs them to dump. If I pick up the bulkier items, they don’t have to dump them and it saves them money.”

White said chairs and plates are among the best items to break in part due to the noise they make.

“I think that sound will just be fabulous and it is what everyone is looking for,” White said.

Despite approval from the commission, The Wreck Room did hit a few hurdles Tuesday night.

City codes require that the business feature a pavement or asphalt parking lot. The building currently has a crushed rock parking lot that would require a nearly $50,000 investment to improve, White said.

Since the meeting, White has spoken with city staff and is working on a solution to the concerns. The business will need to come to some resolution on this item before it will be allowed to open.

Other concerns that were raised included noise and trash disposal. White said the business would be limited to customers 12 years or older and would be focused on bookings rather than walk-ins.

“We will be doing bookings, so we are not expecting 3,000 people on a Friday night,” he said. “We are expecting 10, 20 or 30 people on a Friday night for parties.”

With regard to trash, White said he has already spoken to city staff and has worked out a trash pick-up schedule.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.