Growing up, I was such a HUGE KISS fan. I saw them in concert in 1980, had all their albums, dressed as Paul Stanley for halloween, had the lunchbox, watched the TV specials… All of it! I loved that band. I can't say that there's ever been a time in my life where I wasn't at least a casual fan.
That being said, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the amount of merchandise the band has put out over the past decade or so is absolutely gross. Some of the items are cool, don't get me wrong. And, I love when they license a product that is at least entertaining in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. But come on, the volume of products they've licensed is absurd. Not to take anything away from them. They are one of the best marketing machines we may ever see. But still, it does make me a little sad inside.
So of course, since KISS opened an indoor mini-golf course right here in Las Vegas (Across from the Hard Rock), you know I was gonna have to at least check it out.
We had gone to Vegas StrEATs on Saturday, and as we were finishing up some food, it began to rain. But, rather than just head home, I threw out the idea of checking out Kiss Mini-Golf. We headed that direction and called ahead to find out the price and to confirm it was an indoor venue. I certainly didn't want to be mini-golfing in the rain. Even though I though $11.95/person was a bit spendy for mini-golf, the $2 off per person for locals made the price at least tolerable. As we were paying, I saw a sign that suggested getting the iPhone app for keeping score. Naturally, I had to geek it up and grab the app. I was a bit put off that it was a $0.99 download. Come on. You already have me dropping $40 to play a round of mini-golf. But, whatever… on we went.
The place is pumping KISS music and I'm pretty sure the only lights in the place are black lights. Tons of black light paint is glowing all around the place. The 18 hole course isn't all that challenging, but the atmosphere and the staff really made up for it. The place was pretty busy, so there were plenty of times where we were standing still waiting for the group ahead of us to finish up. They have staff members who will come around and ask KISS trivia questions and give you tickets for correct answers.
The walls are painted with some some famous Vegas-related names, usually painted up in KISS make-up. Oscar Goodman, Elvis, Liberace and a bunch others. Oddly, there wasn't as much KISS memorabilia as I was expecting. They do have a small-ish store where you can purchase a bevy of KISS related products. Oh, and for those with a shit-ton of money, you can purchase a bass played by Gene Simmons and get a meet and great at a concert of your choice (tix not included).
Reading this back, it sounds like I'm doing more complaining than anything, but we actually had a really good time. I think I was a little put off by some aspects of it. Maybe a more spread out golf course would have helped. It does sorta feel like you're golfing with groups on 3 different holes at the same time. I'd say it's worth at least checking out once, but I can't see myself rushing back for another round any time soon.
Here's some photos from our adventure.