Golf sealed with a KISS Las Vegas style

Apr 10, 2012 3:08 AM

It’s not like miniature golf ventures in Las Vegas haven’t been tried before, but none had ties to KISS.

"My choice for a flagship site was Las Vegas and I went with KISS for the idea," said Christiana Vitagliano, founder of Monster Mini-Golf located across from the Hard Rock. "So far, so good. No complaints."

The first of 31 current Monster Mini-Golf locations was born in Danielson, Conn., some 30 minutes from Providence, R.I. Christiana’s vision is now in 15 states plus Canada, but without a doubt the relationship with the iconic rock band in Las Vegas is a coming out party.

"I wanted to establish something chic," Vitagliano said. "This is not Chuck E. Cheese. I wanted a definite rock and roll theme and KISS clearly knows how to market their band."

That’s for sure. Lead singer Gene Simmons is an unquestioned marketing genius, whether it’s in promoting the band itself, all the merchandise or the lone-running TV reality show.

"We have the largest KISS gift shop in the nation, a KISS wedding chapel, a VIP area, an arcade, café, and of course the neon-lit 18-hole golf course," Vitagliano said. "We’re delighted with the location across from Hard Rock because a lot of our customers will come from there."

The "Hotter Than Hell" wedding chapel does indeed perform weddings and you can request a Gene Simmons dwarf to preside at the ceremony. Quite naturally, he is called "the Mini-ster."

If you just want to play golf, the cost is $11.95 for 18 holes. Par is 39, so there are some that are 1’s and 3’s, but most are the traditional 2.

"The chapel was hit right out of the gate," Vitagliano said. "It’s just a fun experience for everyone.

As for KISS, they attended the opening back in March and are likely to pop in when they return to Las Vegas for their big August 11 concert at Mandalay Bay with Motley Crue.

"It’s great to hit a ball through a windmill, but wouldn’t you rather hit it through one of my boots, especially with the black lights and everything glowing? It’s very, very cool," KISS guitarist Paul Stanley told a local news station at the time of the opening.

Naturally the famed Simmons tongue comes into play on the 18th hole. Will this miniature golf site prosper where others have failed? Time will tell. But, hey, it’s Vegas.