You all seemed quite interested in this Zombie Apocalypse Store that sprung up recently in Las Vegas, Nevada. So while I’m stuck here for one more day I figured I should check it out and report back.
The store is located a good ways off the strip. You can’t walk there — I tried walking there from my hotel but I couldn’t find any foot paths over the freeway — and a taxi ride cost me about $10 each way. Once you’re there the nearest taxi stand is probably at the Rio hotel and casino about a mile away, unless you want to wait for someone else to arrive in a taxi and steal theirs for the trip back.
Once inside, the place is still a bit messy. The store is still in its infancy and it shows, as a large section of the space is more or less unlit and has boxes and packaging strewn about. There’s a section carpeted in Astroturf in the back with some wicker love seats and a projector where they apparently screen zombie movies. That’s a feature I really like — too many stores just want you to spend money and leave, but this one seems to want to keep you around.
The front of the store has a rather long table chock full of almost everything you’d need to survive “off the grid” indefinitely. There are bags and backpacks galore, portable camping stoves, Hornaday TAP Zombie ammunition and some interesting 3-day survival backpacks. But the thing that takes up the most space are the strange looking large coffee tins. Like these:
While the store does devote a large portion of its floor space to emergency preparedness and emergency survival prep, the clerk told me that their largest-selling items aren’t survival related at all. They’re these:
The store prints their own zombie themed targets, which the clerks say sell like hotcakes. That isn’t surprising considering that there are more than three gun ranges in the city, three more in the surrounding county and gobs of open space for shooting in the desert. In addition to their paper targets, the store also sells a frightening amount of Tannerite, that stuff that explodes when you hit it too hard. They had two full display cases worth of the stuff.
The Zombie Apocalypse Store also makes their own zombie related T-shirts which they say are their other top sellers right behind the targets. Then there are the knives, of which they have a few to choose from.
Also, notice how none of them have neon green handles? Just saying.
The other large selling item are zombie related media, such as books and movies. Predictably the top book is Max Brooks’ World War Z (which, by the way, is great) and the author even stopped by at one point recently to do a book signing.
So how’s business? According to the clerk, a couple hundred people cycle through the store on a daily basis to check it out despite the lack of convenient transportation. People really seem to be interested in seeing what the store has to offer. And while their inventory isn’t exactly encyclopedic or comprehensive, it’s enough to outfit a standard bomb shelter. Which, statistically speaking, is more than you’ll ever need.
The Zombie Apocalypse Store is an interesting curiosity in a city full of interesting curiosities. If zombies are your thing, checking it out should definitely be on your Las Vegas must-do list. But if you don’t salivate over every new zombie movie and sleep with WWZ under your pillow, you won’t miss much by skipping it. Except the $20 cab bill.