Like miniature golf? Here’s something different … this one glows in the dark.
Eric Hunn watched a friend and former business partner open an indoor miniature golf course in North Jersey and decided to look into the venture.
The concept is Monster Mini Golf, based in Providence, R.I.
Penny Hunn, Eric’s wife, also was on board.
“We did all the research, went up to Providence, and they liked us,” Eric Hunn said of company officials. “They assisted us in finding a place.”
The Hunns found their location in a shopping center on Bustleton Pike in Feasterville. They began working on the site — a former furniture store, Halloween store, bargain-book warehouse and discount grocer — in January and opened for business in April.
The centerpieces of the 30 Monster Mini Golf locations across the nation are the 18-hole, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf courses.
“The glow-in-the-dark has a cool appeal,” Eric Hunn said.
The golf course includes flat surfaces and loops that make it more challenging. It is not intended as a haunted house.
Instead, each location features decor and props representing the local geographical area and local personalities. Thus, the Hunns have included scenes of the Liberty Bell, Rocky Balboa on the Art Museum steps, M. Night Shyamalan directing The Sixth Sense, the pop singer Pink and the Delaware River and bridges.
Employees, also known as “mad scientists,” wear white laboratory coats.
A disc jockey plays music that ranges from Johnny Cash to the Culture Club, while mixing in television theme songs like The Flintstones.
“You won’t hear rap or Rihanna or Lady Gaga here,” Eric Hunn said.
The Hunns believe they’ll be successful, in part, because of their backgrounds.
Eric, a native of Bustleton’s Sun Valley section, has business experience. Penny, who grew up in Philmont Heights and handles the day-to-day operations, has worked at summer camps and as a teacher at Penn Treaty Middle School in Fishtown. Their children, 14-year-old Ethan and 11-year-old Lexi, also help out, as do Penny’s parents.
“It’s a good mix,” Eric said.
The couple, who live in Richboro, track where their guests live. The top six areas are the Lower Bucks County towns of Bensalem, Feasterville, Holland and Levittown, along with Huntingdon Valley in Montgomery County and the Northeast.
There were eight birthday parties scheduled for Saturday, and the youngsters hailed from Bustleton, Morrell Park, West Mount Airy, Huntingdon Valley, Churchville, Holland and Newtown (two of them).
The location was selected because it’s in a growing county and so close to the Northeast and Montgomery County.
“There’s so much population here,” Eric Hunn said.
The success of the business depends largely on whether people want to go inside to engage in an activity usually associated with warm outdoor weather. Outdoor soccer and baseball seasons are mostly over, and kids don’t ride bicycles as much in the winter.
Eric Hunn is not aware of any other 18-hole, indoor miniature golf course in the area.
“People like to play miniature golf,” he said. “Now, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or 95 degrees with high humidity.”
Monster Mini Golf is geared to people of all ages. The cost is $7 for “little monsters” and $8 for “big monsters,” and gift certificates are available.
“Two-year-olds play, eighty-year-olds play and everybody in between,” Eric Hunn said. “Everybody has fun. It’s very interactive.”
Even Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has made an appearance, getting some free unsolicited advice on how to fine-tune the team in the offseason.
The DJ entertains the crowd by asking trivia questions, playing Name That Tune, organizing dance and air-guitar contests and giving out prizes for holes-in-one and closest-to-the-hole contests.
Monster Mini Golf is open six days a week, with Monday hours on holidays and extended hours during school breaks near Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It gives parents and kids something to do,” Eric Hunn said. “It’s a good alternative in any weather.”
Amenities include two specially decorated party rooms, where celebrations take place for 90 minutes before guests hit the links. Veteran crooner Charlie Gracie sang at a recent adult birthday party.
The entertainment venue has attracted field trips, fund-raising events, corporate gatherings and visits by Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Brownies, summer camps and youth sports teams. Children with autism have done well in the setting, according to the owners. And two wedding couples have even inquired about holding their receptions there.
The rest of the place features a gift shop and an arcade that includes games like skee ball, pop-a-shot basketball, air hockey, Pac-Man, Wheel of Fortune and Deal or No Deal, with tickets won redeemed for prizes.
“This place is awesome. It’s really cool,” said Jamison resident Danielle Brooks, who brought two boys, ages 5 and 8, whom she babysits. “When the weather’s cold, this is the perfect place to go.”
That’s what the Hunns like to hear.
“There are a lot of options for people to enjoy the facility,” Eric Hunn said. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the club …
Monster Mini Golf is located in Feasterville Plaza, at 1045-7 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville.
Hours are 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 2 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Mondays except holidays. There are extended hours during the holiday school break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.
Call 215-396-6700 or visit www.monsterminigolf.com/fran-pa-feasterville