First off, what is the Wheels Event?
By: Rick Nelson
The Wheels Event is an event hosted by all Land Rover dealerships where Land Rover professionals guide customers in their own vehicles through an outdoor “off-road terrain” with challenging and technical plains. These events show customers how to use their Land Rovers in rough and challenging conditions. They are held quarterly events. Check with your local dealer for the next event date.
At Land Rover Las Vegas, we implement an entire customer-centric event where all levels of off-road driving experiences are welcomed. Let’s face it, any vehicle can be demonstrated on the road just outside of the showroom. How many SUVs can be put to the test and driven on a 45° slant without the slightest bit of slippage or tipping? Only Land Rovers can because they are 100% centered and bottom heavy while other SUVs are top heavy and unstable.
How are the Event locations chosen?
First, a Land Rover professional will go out and scout an interesting spot. We try to find an urban, eccentric area where most customers probably have never been or have never heard of. Since Nevada has a plethora of open land, we are very fortunate to have several admirable venues to choose from.
We typically host our events based on two factors:
- Destination: We like to choose a location that has a heightened technicality-based terrain. On occasion, we choose more popular venues that are typically less challenging for our customers. The venues that are more location based are normally a 3 on a 1 to 10 difficulty scale (1 being the easiest to 10 being the most challenging). These events are great for new Land Rover clients and employees to see the “other side” of the vehicle. They usually garner more participants than the technical events because it is a good opportunity for our first-time clients to “test the waters “of their Land Rover. In the past, some of our event venues included historically significant sights, ghost towns, mining camps and areas of that sort. Research is always done before each event by a Land Rover professional and customers are given a handout with the GPS coordinates and the stories behind each point of interest that will be driven through.
- Technicality: Our technical events are usually about a 5 based on a 1 to 10 difficulty scale. Our employees are extremely experienced and help customers through areas that require spotting and are more abstruse. Regardless of the difficulty of any event we do, we bring Land Rover trained technicians in case of any mechanical difficulties that may occur during complex driving.
Once our venue location has been chosen, a Land Rover off-road specialist will do a pre-run of the course approximately ten 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 our vehicle models will safely pass through each obstacle. The pre-run is done ten days in advance because the desert in Nevada is very unpredictable. Flash flooding can alter a trail dramatically overnight. We also do this to time the day from start to finish so that we are able to give our customers an accurate agenda on the day of the event. We make all necessary notes and get the GPS coordinates as well. We always warn our customers of the risk involved in these trips and suggest to take off the front air dam and running boards (if equipped), and also suggest having your vehicle pre-inspected by a Land Rover professional so that there are no surprises in the middle of the desert.
How do we find out about Event dates and what should we expect during our first Wheels Event?
We use social media sites such as Facebook and direct email to invite our customers around 30 days prior to the event. Our average Wheels Event hosts 15 to 20 customer vehicles, depending on the trail’s difficulty (first come, first serve. We hold RSVPs). We have such a small group of vehicles because we don’t want anyone waiting for 30 minutes to get through a narrow pass.
There are normally three support vehicles at each event. These vehicles are equipped with a winch, recovery items and/or first aid kits and water. We number each vehicle with a sticker and provide two-way radios for communication in each vehicle. A typical Wheels Event takes place on a Sunday. Our customers arrive at the showroom; we will have breakfast, juice, and coffee. We then give a brief description regarding the adventure we are about to explore, hand out an agenda and off we go!
Lunch is arranged and paid for by Land Rover Las Vegas. The event coordinator will pick up sandwiches in the morning and pass them out to everyone. On many occasions, we have a caterer drive out to our event’s lunch site. In the past we have had Cow Camp Catering cater an event with Chef Jim making amazing fried chicken, tri tip and delicious peach cobbler. If we are doing a destination event, we will eat there. We always provide plenty of water and snacks throughout the day.
Land Rover Las Vegas