05/07/2016

KISS-Themed Mini-Golf Course Takes the Show to a New Venue

by Mike Bederka / www.iaapa.org

Grab the roadies. KISS by Monster Mini-Golf heads to a bigger stage this month.

With the mega band’s blessing, this popular rock-themed miniature-golf course will move a few miles down the road from the shadow of the Hard Rock Café Las Vegas to inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

“The Rio approached us as they had heard we may be interested in moving our venue,” says CEO/founder Christina Vitagliano. “Once we began speaking, both parties came to the conclusion the move could be a win-win, and we’re very excited to become a part of Caesars Entertainment.”

In a star-studded opening party in 2012, complete with a tribute band shredding in the parking lot, an Elvis impersonator in KISS makeup, and all the group’s current members in attendance, KISS by Monster Mini-Golf debuted with much fanfare.

“People come to us all the time with ideas,” said Paul Stanley, KISS cofounder and singer/guitarist, at the time. “But you need resources to implement it. You need a vision. We thought it would be a great marriage.”

Many of the course’s key props, like an oversized version of Stanley’s “Starchild” boot and KISS cofounder and singer/bassist Gene Simmons’ 18th hole giant “demon head,” will be transferred over to the new 13,000-square-foot space.

Vitagliano shares a few highlights from the past four years and what else members of the KISS Army can expect at the Rio:

Meet and Greet—The venue will feature an info center that offers up-to-the-minute details on all things KISS, including how a fan can hang out with a band member one-on-one.

Always on the Market—Fans can get a peek at a wide assortment of KISS memorabilia throughout the venue. Among the hundreds of pieces on display: original drummer Peter Criss’ “Spirit of ’76” tour, stage-used drum stool; every KISS album signed by all band members; and a ’70s KISS pinball machine. However, for Vitagliano’s favorite item, she points to former drummer Eric Carr’s Porsche gifted to him by Stanley and Simmons when he signed with the group. (Carr died in 1991 from heart cancer.) “It’s a very sentimental piece of KISStory,” she says, noting the course adds memorabilia as fans contact her to display or sell rare items.

Brush of Fame—Anticipate more rock stars putting the new 18-hole course. At the old place, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Sebastian Bach, Howard Leese of Heart, and members of Guns N’ Roses, Survivor, Imagine Dragons, Five Finger Death Punch, and more all took a swing on the course.

Get in Gear—The gift shop sells a wide assortment of officially licensed KISS products, including T-shirts, golf balls, fragrance, and hats. However, fans also can snatch high-end band costumes that can run more than $500.

Only in Vegas—At the old space, besides seeing a half-million guests since it opened, the facility hosted hundreds of special events, birthdays, and weddings in the Hotter Than Hell Wedding Chapel. The new rock-themed chapel will be the exclusive wedding chapel for the entire Rio venue.

by Mike Bederka / www.iaapa.org

Grab the roadies. KISS by Monster Mini-Golf heads to a bigger stage this month.

With the mega band’s blessing, this popular rock-themed miniature-golf course will move a few miles down the road from the shadow of the Hard Rock Café Las Vegas to inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

“The Rio approached us as they had heard we may be interested in moving our venue,” says CEO/founder Christina Vitagliano. “Once we began speaking, both parties came to the conclusion the move could be a win-win, and we’re very excited to become a part of Caesars Entertainment.”

In a star-studded opening party in 2012, complete with a tribute band shredding in the parking lot, an Elvis impersonator in KISS makeup, and all the group’s current members in attendance, KISS by Monster Mini-Golf debuted with much fanfare.

“People come to us all the time with ideas,” said Paul Stanley, KISS cofounder and singer/guitarist, at the time. “But you need resources to implement it. You need a vision. We thought it would be a great marriage.”

Many of the course’s key props, like an oversized version of Stanley’s “Starchild” boot and KISS cofounder and singer/bassist Gene Simmons’ 18th hole giant “demon head,” will be transferred over to the new 13,000-square-foot space.

Vitagliano shares a few highlights from the past four years and what else members of the KISS Army can expect at the Rio:

Meet and Greet—The venue will feature an info center that offers up-to-the-minute details on all things KISS, including how a fan can hang out with a band member one-on-one.

Always on the Market—Fans can get a peek at a wide assortment of KISS memorabilia throughout the venue. Among the hundreds of pieces on display: original drummer Peter Criss’ “Spirit of ’76” tour, stage-used drum stool; every KISS album signed by all band members; and a ’70s KISS pinball machine. However, for Vitagliano’s favorite item, she points to former drummer Eric Carr’s Porsche gifted to him by Stanley and Simmons when he signed with the group. (Carr died in 1991 from heart cancer.) “It’s a very sentimental piece of KISStory,” she says, noting the course adds memorabilia as fans contact her to display or sell rare items.

Brush of Fame—Anticipate more rock stars putting the new 18-hole course. At the old place, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Sebastian Bach, Howard Leese of Heart, and members of Guns N’ Roses, Survivor, Imagine Dragons, Five Finger Death Punch, and more all took a swing on the course.

Get in Gear—The gift shop sells a wide assortment of officially licensed KISS products, including T-shirts, golf balls, fragrance, and hats. However, fans also can snatch high-end band costumes that can run more than $500.

Only in Vegas—At the old space, besides seeing a half-million guests since it opened, the facility hosted hundreds of special events, birthdays, and weddings in the Hotter Than Hell Wedding Chapel. The new rock-themed chapel will be the exclusive wedding chapel for the entire Rio venue.

by Mike Bederka

Grab the roadies. KISS by Monster Mini-Golf heads to a bigger stage this month.

- See more at: http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/update---may-2016#sthash.0GKHkkYl.8J8LiriA.dpuf
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