Casper's Nap Tour Is Coming to Phoenix, Which... Okay

It’s bad enough that spring has once again reneged on its scheduled appearance; that Cher has cancelled her latest farewell tour; that the Stones have limited their summer concerts to Latin American cities only. Phoenix will just have to make due with Casper’s Nap Tour, which stops here this week for three days of snooze-filled fun.

That’s Casper as in the mattress manufacturer, not the friendly ghost. The somnambulist sleep startup promises, in a press release, to “take over Phoenix this weekend” with a mobile nest of “nap pods” outfitted with latex-and-memory-foam mattresses. Casper will haul its mobile sleep stations into town not to promote the healthy benefits of midday siestas — a discipline founded by sleep scientist David Dinges in the early '80s at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine — but to market its mattresses and a new line of bedclothes.

According to a recent study sponsored by Casper, “28 percent of Phoenix residents would trade a portion of their paid vacation days to be able to take workday naps.” But exhausted professionals are on their own in convincing bosses to install a pullout sofa in their office, or to schedule mandatory bide-a-wee time into their day. Casper isn’t selling the sleep pods, which have been catching on among larger companies who’ve embraced the corporate catnap as part of a workday routine. They’re pushing plain old mattresses at a pair of events, one at Tempe’s Diablo Stadium on the 3rd, the other at the Litchfield Art and Culinary Festival on the 5th and 6th, presumably because art and food and mattresses are all kind of the same thing.

“We have a Napmobile that comes around to different designated locations,” a Casper rep named Allyn told me during an online chat about the company’s Nap Tour. “You can make a reservation or walk right up and take a little rest in the middle of your day.”

The startup, which to date has sold $100 million worth of mattresses, is also peddling bedtime stories.
“Inside the pods are headphones that will read you Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks!” Allyn enthused, when I asked what else Casper had in store for me. And if I prefer to fall asleep to the Rolling Stones? “Ummm,” typed Allyn. “Bring your iPod and jam out, I guess?”

I think I’ll just stay at home, in bed.

Casper’s Nap Tour comes to Diablo Stadium, 2200 W. Alameda Dr. in Tempe on March 3, and at the Litchfield Art and Culinary Festival, 300 W. Wigwam Blvd. in Litchfield Park on March 5 and 6. More details can be found at
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela