By Yvonne Newman
Reality TV has taken the world by storm, and you can experience it in Las Vegas. See the sets of popular programs and hear what goes on behind the scenes when visiting the entertainment capital of the world.
ACRYLIC TANK MANUFACTURING
Step into the world of the hit Animal Planet series “Tanked” by taking a 70-minute guided tour of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (aka ATM) at 3451 W. Martin Ave., Suite C. This is the 37,000-square-foot facility where brothers-in-law Wayde King and Brett Raymer run the largest custom fish tank manufacturing company in the country. Learn how aquariums are built, see some of the tanks coming up on future episodes and snap a photo while sitting at Brett’s messy desk. Plus, cast members could make an appearance at any time. acrylicaquariums.com
GOLD & SILVER PAWN SHOP
Visit the family-run pawn store at 713 S. Las Vegas Blvd. seen on the History Channel’s beloved series “Pawn Stars,” which is now in its 14th season. Not only can you check out items in the “As Seen on Pawn Stars” section of the shop after each episode airs, but from time to time you might even spot the stars—Richard, Rick and Corey Harrison along with their friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell—signing autographs and taking photos. gspawn.com
Another popular History Channel series is “American Restoration,” which is seen in more than 87 countries. It follows Rick Dale, who’s been restoring objects for over 30 years, and his quirky crew. Visiting Rick’s Restorations at 800 W. Mesquite Ave. is like stepping back in time. You’ll see everything from antique radios to gas pumps. Take the tour to access work areas and the boneyard, as well as get a sneak peek at items being featured on future episodes. ricksrestorations.com
Get into gear at this car customization garage at 3160 S. Highland Dr., Suite D run by Steve Darnell. He’s the man behind the motorized works of art showcased on Discovery Channel’s “Vegas Rat Rods.” Tour the shop where these pimped out, one-of-a-kind vehicles emerge. You can also explore a showroom that features popular builds from the show, along with Darnell’s personal car collection. welderup.com