Make us your home page
Instagram

New business to feature birdies and bogeymen

NEW PORT RICHEY

Forget Home Depot vs. Lowe's or Best Buy vs. Circuit City. Here is the next business battle in west Pasco: trolls vs. alligators. Monster Mini Golf — an indoor, glow-in-the-dark course featuring music, special effects billed as "Broadway quality" and robotic monsters — is opening next month on U.S. 19 in New Port Richey.

The 18-hole course, still under construction, is less than 6 miles south of Congo River Golf, an outdoor, jungle-themed miniature golf course that opened last month.

Monster Mini Golf is a 3-year-old franchised business based in Rhode Island.

Bob and Tracy Mendonca, a Trinity couple with children ages 4, 10 and 12, own the franchise for the New Port Richey location. The course under construction is in the Vanderbilt Square shopping mall on the west side of U.S. 19, just north of Main Street.

Bob Mendonca said he thinks that families — parents and their kids, coming together — will be the biggest market. Adults will pay $7.50 for a game, while kids will play for $6.50, $5.50 or free, depending on a sliding height scale.

"We don't want it to be a teen hangout," he said. "It's really a family place."

The Mendoncas, Rhode Island natives, started a landscape and paver business after moving to Pasco in 2005. The housing market, of course, has not been kind to such businesses, and the couple started thinking about other opportunities.

About a year ago, they stopped at an indoor, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course near Orlando and felt as if they had found a family-friendly entertainment niche. That's when they started researching and found the Monster Mini Golf company, which has been looking to expand gradually from its Rhode Island roots.

Monster Mini Golf has more than 10 locations around the country, and another dozen are expected to open this year. The estimated initial investment for the franchise owners ranges from $288,000 to $346,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee.

Bob Mendonca, 39, said he and his wife wanted to start a business close to home. But even more, he said, west Pasco seemed a good fit: Even as the number of young families grew in Pasco in recent years, he said, the entertainment options for them did not.

The company helped the couple look at local demographics, "and they thought this area was really good," Mendonca said.

He said Monster Mini Golf courses typically host a lot of children's birthday parties, and the company sees places such as Chuck E. Cheese's as its main competition.

Mendonca said the news broke that Congo River was coming to Pasco just as he had started planning his own business. He said he thinks Monster Mini Golf will do well despite the close competition.

"I think the biggest difference is being inside," he said. "It's just a popular place to go that's cool."

Steve Baker, the manager at Congo River, said he welcomes the competition. Some days are perfect for outdoor golf, and others are better spent indoors, he said.

"We complement each other," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

New business to feature birdies and bogeymen 07/15/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 7:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open (w/video)

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

    Shoppers shop in a Toys R Us store on Black Friday in Miami in 2016. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. [Associated Press]
  2. Trigaux: Waiting for your next pay raise? Keep dreaming, employers hint

    Working Life

    The economy's bouncing back. The stock market keeps hitting new records. And the jobless rate in Florida may soon drop below 4 percent. Surely, these are robust indicators — key signs that an annual raise is just around the corner. Right?

    Who doesn't want a pay raise? Demonstrators have rallied for years in a number of states for a $15 minimum wage. But many workers across a broad pay range are unlikely to see much if any raises this year, a new survey says. [AP Photo/Seth Wenig]
  3. Florida Guard scales down troop strength; Navy sails away from the Keys

    State Roundup

    The Florida National Guard on Monday drew down its activated statewide forces to about 1,200 on-duty troops, mostly in operations focused on relief distribution in the Florida Keys — and the last of a mini-armada of U.S. Navy ships off Key West set sail for home.

    Soldiers from the Florida National Guard's Delta Company, 1st Battallion, 124th Infantry, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Sept. 14. The Federal Emergency Managment Agency has reported that 25-percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65-percent sustained major damage when they took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.  [Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images]
  4. LOCALE Market hosting St. Pete job fair for hospitality positions

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — Locale Market / FarmTable Kitchen is hosting a hospitality job fair Tuesday in St. Petersburg. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LOCALE Market at 179 2nd Ave. North, St. Petersburg. Organizers said they hope to hire about 20 workers with a focus on displaced workers from Hurricane …

    Locale Market is hosting job fair on Tues., Feb. 19. [LARA CERRI | Times] 

  5. So far, 335,000 Irma claims totalling $1.95 billion filed in Florida

    Business

    Times Staff Writer

    As of Sunday afternoon, insurers had received a total of 335,347 claims statewide for insured damage totalling $1.95 billion caused by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday based on preliminary figures.

    This shows a damaged mobile home inside Clover Leaf Farms RV Park in Brooksville. So far, insurers have received a total of 335,347 claims statewide for insured damage totalling $1.95 billion caused by Hurricane Irma.
[MEGAN REEVES   |   Times]