Written and photographed by Rick Nelson
Purchasing a Land Rover creates excitement in driving. A Wheels Event is an event hosted by Land Rover dealerships, which includes Land Rover Las Vegas. At the event, professionals guide customers in their own vehicles through an outdoor off-road terrain with challenging conditions.
The staff of Land Rover Las Vegas implements an entire customer-centric event, where all levels of off-road driving experience are welcomed. Let’s face it, any vehicle can be demonstrated on the road just outside of the showroom. But how many SUVs can be put to the test and driven on a 45-degree slant without the slightest bit of slippage or tipping? Land Rovers can because the vehicle is designed to be extremely centered and bottom heavy.
Land Rover professionals find an unusual, eccentric area where most customers probably have never been or knew existed. Nevada has a plethora of open land with many possibilities.
A location might feature heightened technicality-based terrain, or more popular venues might be selected that are typically less challenging for customers. These events are great for new Land Rover employees to see the other side of the vehicle and for first-time clients to test the waters of their Land Rover. In the past, some event venues included historically significant sights, ghost towns and mining camps.
Technical events are usually higher on a difficulty scale, with 10 being the most difficult. Employees are extremely experienced and help customers through areas that require spotting. Regardless of the difficulty of any event, Land Rover-trained technicians are part of the crew for any mechanical difficulties that may occur during complex driving.
Once a venue location has been chosen, a Land Rover off-road specialist will do a pre-run of the course approximately 10 days before the event date. The pre-run is done to trim any brush that might scratch a vehicle and to also ensure that all of the vehicle models will safely pass through each obstacle. The pre-run is necessary because the desert in Nevada is very unpredictable. Flash flooding can alter a trail dramatically overnight. Customers are informed of the risks involved in these trips. Land Rover also suggests they take off the front air dam and running boards (if equipped) and have their vehicle pre-inspected by a Land Rover professional, so that there are no surprises in the middle of the desert.
The average Wheels Event hosts 15 to 20 customer vehicles, depending on the trail’s difficulty. Land Rover Las Vegas normally has three support vehicles at each event. These vehicles are equipped with a winch, recovery items, first aid kits and water. Each vehicle is numbered with a sticker and two-way radios are provided for communication.
Lunch is arranged and paid for by Land Rover Las Vegas. The event coordinator sometimes picks up sandwiches in the morning and passes them out to participants. On other occasions, a caterer will drive out to the event’s lunch site. Cow Camp Catering catered a previous event, at which Chef Jim made amazing fried chicken, tri tip and delicious peach cobbler. Plenty of water and snacks also are provided throughout the day.
A typical Wheels Event takes place on a Sunday. Customers arrive at the showroom and enjoy breakfast usually bagels, juice and coffee. A brief description is then given regarding the adventure and exploration, agendas are handed out, and it’s off to an amazing time in a Land Rover.
Land Rover Las Vegas
5255 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89146