Las Vegas Haunts & COVID
Written by: The Bat
With Covid-19 plunging the world into turmoil, scarers and thrill seekers across the country held their breaths for months at the prospect that Halloween would be all but canceled for 2020. That turned out to not entirely be the case, partly thanks to haunted attraction owners Rich and Jan Strelak, of The Asylum and Hotel Fear. Their attraction opens its doors for its 22nd year, drawing in scaredy cats and thrill seekers alike. But how?
Because they had been rebuilding The Asylum during the off season, they were in a strangely perfect position to accommodate the “new normal” that would come with this pandemic. They worked the new attraction to allow a bit more space to scare and designed the scares to subtly keep the guests a safe distance away, therefore allowing the actors to scare safely while still giving the ultimate experience. The owners also researched and consulted with other attractions across the country to build their Covid Plan, which includes timed ticketing to limit the amount of guests on property, temperature checks and mask requirements for both guests and actors, and an expanded “actor bubble” to ensure social distancing, and sanitation procedures that take place every 15 minutes. While it was definitely not easy to get the permits needed to open, and definitely not stress free, running with the knowledge that we could be shut down if even one of our protocols is not followed, the Strelaks have fought to open and to run this year, and both Hotel Fear and the Asylum are up and scaring.
One of the questions that I think is on many readers’ minds is, ‘Why open at all? Why go to all the trouble?’
Rich Strelak’s answer to this was simple. In a time of so much real fear, people need a normal scare.
“Attending a Haunted House during Halloween is something that we normally do. Right now, we need something NORMAL more than ever. We have NO control over Covid, and that is a real fear. Walk though a Haunted House and you get to face your fears head on… and win! We need a win right about now, that’s why we never gave up and did what was necessary to provide this experience and give our audience a sense of normal, even if for just one night!!”
I greatly admire his passion, and as a scare actor in one of his haunts, I am definitely overjoyed that I get to scare this year! As Halloween comes ever closer, I can only hope that their hard work is rewarded with screams heard all the way across the city!
Buy your tickets at LasVegasHaunts.com and visit us at the Meadows Mall, North Parking lot.