Local geeks tend to worship Pop Culture Paradise owner Marco Regalado, especially since the Tempe nerd destination is one of the better comic book and gaming havens in the Valley. And now there's another reason grovel in adoration at his feet: He's deep into the process of purchasing Monsterland and reopening the place.
On Friday, the 38-year-old über-geek grandly announced on his Facebook page that he was interested in possibly buying the Mesa haunted attraction and bar, which closed on Saturday night. Since then, Regalado tells Jackalope Ranch, he's been busy negotiating a potential sale with Monsterland owner Kevin Wynn and estimates the deal is "50 percent" done.
There's still plenty of negotiations and due diligence left to do, Regalado says.
We spoke with the Pop Culture Paradise owner via Facebook and while he says there's a lot of ground left to cover, he and his wife are optimistic that a deal will be reached. Before that point, however, Regalado says that the couple and their accountant have to finish looking through Monsterland's books/financial records and ensure the decision to purchase the establishment "is a wise one."
"If you've ever bought a house before...we're at the point where the wife and I have said, 'Wouldn't it be nice to own that home? Can we afford it? Let's go look at the house and see what they are asking for. We love it! Let's get the money together. Will this be enough for it?,'" Regalado says. "So, there still is some negotiations left between Kevin and myself. We're scheduled to finalize the agreement this week though."
The Regalados aren't the only ones to have announced their intentions to buy the Mesa bar and attraction last week, as a group of Monsterland employees recently launched a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo to save the joint.
According to Regalado, however, the folks behind the fundraiser have promised to add whatever cash they're able to scare up (which is only $405 as of this writing) to his efforts to purchase Monsterland.
"The employees spearheading the plan to save Monsterland on their own pledged their funds raised as investors in Monsterland should we buy it," Regalado says. "Other than that, we're (my wife and I) are hoping to do it alone with our own money."
Which is why, he adds, its important to closely eyeball Monsterland's financial records, especially since Wynn was reportedly losing money on the venture and was forced to close it.
"That's why we really need to make sure the books show promise," Regalado says.
He reiterates that no paperwork has been signed at this point, but is hopeful that a potential deal could be reached within the next few days, possibly by Friday.
Regalado says he's interest in purchasing Monsterland for both financial and cultural reasons.
"I'm an entrepreneur looking to diversify my portfolio. Monsterland has some great people and things going for it already," he says. "I want to keep that going and by adding the way I do things, which [is] good customer service without compromise and taking care of the people directly responsible for it (employees), Monsterland will be better than before."
Plus, he's a fan of the place and is certain he can keep it afloat.
"I believe Monsterland or any other venue that's considered a destination spot is very important to any city," he says. "Plus, I love this culture and Monsterland in particular got fans excited! Excited fans buy things."