Grab a shovel and heap some extra dirt onto the grave of Monsterland -- it turns out the horror-themed Mesa venue apparently won't be resurrected. Nope, despite previous proclamations to the contrary, it seems the defunct haunted attraction and event space, which closed in January, will stay dead and buried, as owner Kevin Wynn reportedly has other plans.
An unsigned post (which we assume was from Wynn) to Monsterland's Facebook just before the recent holiday weekend states that he has "decided to accept an offer for the building" and the new business going into the place isn't keeping all the ghouls and goblins around.
"Unfortunately, the new business will be changing to a corporate and wedding venue," Wynn states. "It will keep a castle theme, but, I will be selling the props and animatronics"
He adds that the various monsters of Monsterland (a majority of which were created for its original role as a haunted house and horror film museum) will be sold off during an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, at the building.
[UPDATE: In a final twist to Monsterland's tragic tale, Wynn posted to Facebook on on Tuesday night that the open house/fire sale has been cancelled as he sold every single prop, animatronic creature, and freaky-looking fiend in one giant lot to the skeleton crew over at competing Halloween attraction 13th Floor Haunted House. Hope you didn't have any designs on owning that giant swamp monster or yeti.]
Wynn, who owns the two-story property that housed Monsterland, declined to comment or provide more details about the "offer for the building" (specifically, whether it involved his selling the structure to a new owner or simply leasing it out to another business venture). Whatever the "offer for the building" will entail, the result is the same: Monsterland will stay six feet under.
However, Wynn did tell us that the creatures and props available during Wednesday's open house will be sold via either silent auctions or for a flat price. Oh, and it's also a cash-only affair. Update: Or maybe it's not.
Wynn stated in his Facebook post that he came to the decision after "a tremendous amount of consideration and soul searching" and ended the post with an apology to those who were fans of the place.
"Thanks for your support," he wrote. "Sorry I couldn't make this work as a profitable business."
So much for Monsterland's "Resurrection Party," which was announced to much fanfare almost a month ago and purportedly was going to reopen and rechristen the place as an event space for occasional theme parties and geek events.
As we reported at the time, Marco Regalado, owner of Tempe's Pop Culture Paradise, and several other unnamed individuals had formed a production company with plans for putting on such events at Monsterland.
Obviously, said plans must have fallen through sometime in the past month.
We spoke briefly with Regalado via telephone earlier today regarding the situation. His only comment for the record? "It definitely does stink, let me just say that."
Wynn's Facebook announcement and tomorrow's divvying up of Monsterland's bestiary serves as the final nail in its coffin and the closing chapter of a two-year saga that's had many twists and turns. (He first opened the establishment as a haunted house in 2011, then rebuilt it as a restaurant/bar less than a year later, and finally shuttered the place at the start of this year.)
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Monsterland's fanbase, however, had much to say in response. Reaction to Wynn's Facebook post ran the gamut from sadness over the venue's ultimate fate and disappointment at having their hopes of its revival crushed. It being Facebook and all, it goes without saying that there was also much rancor, heated exchanges, and allegations being thrown about.
"Maybe you should have figured this out before getting hopes up with the grand reopening nonsense," one Facebook user named Tori Forte replied.
Kristy Smith, Monsterland's onetime marketing director, had a heartfelt response to the news: "Sad day for monster lovers!"