Off-road adventure business brought to town by local casino

With winter over and warmer weather shining on the valley, locals and tourists alike will be out to take advantage of the spring weather conditions.

One avenue many thrill seekers can choose is to go off the grid and go off-roading in the desert mountains in the outskirts of town.

If that is your thing, then TM Torn off-road rentals and adventures has everything you need for a fun, safe nature-filled trip.

Co-owned by lifelong friends, Paul Zabel and Curt Caruso, the adventure tour company opened in town a couple of weeks ago. It originally started after Caruso got involved in a similar operation during the tail end of his military career.

“This is kind of a branch off a business that we do for the military. I’m retired military, I spent 24 years serving, then retired,” Caruso said. “I did this type of stuff toward the last part of my years, training military special operations and the use of these types of vehicles.”

The company began in Elko County in the northern part of the state, and migrated down to Pahrump after a friend mentioned that a local casino was looking for a business to attract tourists and to deal with harsh winter conditions up north.

“The Nugget was looking for another thing to bring people into Pahrump,” Caruso said. “So side-by-side is a good thing to bring a lot of clientele in here and allow people to really see how beautiful it is in the mountains up here.”

TM Torn offers dirt bike and side-by-side rentals, which are two-to-four seat vehicles, that have roll a bar for safety measures, that will have you tearing through the mountainous terrain with ease. All riders will also be provided with the necessary safety equipment for their particular adventure.

Tours last four hours each and all are accompanied by an employee, but they don’t dictate where the riders travel, as a typical tour guide would and offers a peace of mind to the renters.

“We are rental, but we’re service-assisted rentals,” Caruso said. “Anytime someone rents our vehicles someone from the company will go with them. What that does is it provides extra fuel, water, tools, spare tires, satellite communication, because when you’re up in the mountains you lose cell service.

“So if anything happens we would be able to get a message out, so it’s pretty much a security blanket for anyone that rents.”

In addition, the employee who rides along with the group can shoot photos or video of the group and ensure the group doesn’t get lost while riding the trails.

“We’re not doing tours, so we’re not pigeon-holing them saying, ‘Hey, you have to go here and follow me,’” Caruso said. “They can lead the entire thing and if they have confusion through sections they can ask and we can help them.”

Rates start from $125 for dirt bike rentals and at $295 for a two-seater side-by-side rental and go all the way up to $495 for a four-seater side-by-side rental. TM also has a locals only discount running for an undetermined amount of time that will save Nye County residents 20 percent off their rental price.

TM Torn Adventues are located at 801 S. Highway 160, in the log cabin next to Gold Town Casino, and can be reached by phone at (775) 574-8676.

Caruso expects the business to be mostly tourist based, but they are happy to accommodate anyone who walks through their doors in search for an adventure.

“A lot of the locals in Pahrump have their off-road vehicles, but we’re getting a lot of locals that get family members in,” he said. “So what we could provide for them is, instead of them having a garage full of vehicles… their family can come in and rent these vehicles so they can go with them and we have no problem.”

In addition to the rentals, TM Torn also offers classes on how to safely operate their vehicles and are accredited by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and the the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Dirt Bike School.

The company has a deal in place to keep them here until June, when the weather will be at scorching levels, so they will play it by ear and see what the response is before making any further plans in the area.

“(So far it’s) slow, like any new business it’s slow, but it’s going.” Caruso said. “We got a lot of good response, we get a lot of people coming in. But what we need to do is get more involvement from a lot of people out of Vegas.”

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