Mesa's Monsterland to Close Next Weekend
Cue up Chopin's infamous funeral march because it looks like Monsterland in Mesa is headed for the grave.
The proprietors of the East Valley attraction (which functioned as a haunted house, restaurant, bar, and nightclub) announced on both Facebook and Twitter earlier today that it will close on January 19.
The post, which was made just before noon, was fairly brief but upbeat, given the circumstances
Well guys it's been a great ride!! We absolutely love all our fans and appreciate you all supporting us in this AMAZING adventure!! But we regret to inform you all that Monsterland will be closing.
According to folks behind the scenes at Monsterland, the establishment -- like most small businesses that have shook loose the mortal coil in recent years - has fallen victim to a grim reaper in the form of financial problems.
Monsterland, which first debuted in September 2011, had a brief lifespan that may have lasted less than two years but involved plenty of tumultuousness. Less than six months after opening as just a Halloween season attraction, co-owner Kevin Wynn announced plans to convert it into a year-round haunted house, eatery, and nightspot.
Monsterland's nightclub/dance floor.
Courtesy of Monsterland
It was a grand but costly transformation that Monsterland spokesperson Aly Gangemi told Jackalope Ranch may have been the place's undoing.
"The investment in the haunted house initially was a good chunk of money and then we gutted out a lot of the stuff we spent a bunch of money on and turned it into a restaurant and bar," Gangemi says. "And our kickoff date [after the remodel] was fantastic and we had busy nights and busy events all through the summer, and October was amazing, which we expected."
Then came November, she adds, and the post-Halloween doldrums.
For sale to a good home.
"We were not getting anywhere near the amount of people compared to October or May, June, or any month," she says. "We were nowhere near hitting the numbers we needed to hit to sustain this business."
Since its remodel, Monsterland hosted a number of costume parties, geek events (like a recent Doctor Who celebration), and goth/fetish-oriented events that seemed to mesh well with the establishment's theme. Those weren't enough to shore up Monsterland's bottom line, she admits.
Gangemi also says that Monsterland's owners don't have any plans "to abandon the nightclub side and operate it strictly as a haunted house during the profitable Halloween season.
"We'd love to see someone who's in that field come and possibly take over both the bar and grill and the Monsterland [attraction] itself is concerned, but, no, there are no plans at this point in time. It wouldn't make sense to go back to that as far as the owners and their investments are concerned."
They are however hoping to sell of many of the props, monsters, and creatures that decorate the property, should anyone have a burning desire (and plenty of cash) for an life-sized werewolf or swamp creature in their living room.
Gangemi says a "final hurrah" and costume party (natch) is planned for January 19, and will offer DJs, dancing, drink specials and a chance to do the "Thriller" dance at midnight.
"I'm sure everyone will be crying as they're doing the 'Thriller' dance one last time," she says.
Monsterland's Farewell Party takes place on Saturday, January 19. Admission is free.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.