Business

Circle of Ash closes in Cedar Rapids, will reopen in 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS — For the first time since the 1980s, Cedar Rapids won’t have a haunted house for Halloween. Circle of Ash, the only haunted attraction for the last few years in the city, is closed this season. But, don’t be scared, owners said it’ll be back next year.

Circle of Ash has been a scary staple in downtown Cedar Rapids after opening at a warehouse on Seventh Avenue Southeast in October of 2010. Organizers leased the space each Halloween season.

“You would go in this door, and inside there would be a ticket booth,” said Mark Fuller, a co-owner of the attraction. “That’s where you would purchase your tickets. Inside there would have been our 9,000 linear foot maze.”

This year, you won’t find that maze or the volunteers wearing creepy drab. Fuller said owners have shuttered the haunt, which attracts thousands of patrons on October weekends, to prepare for next season.

He said owners have found a new spot with cheaper rent, which will allow them to put more of their budget toward scare tactics.

“About 50 percent of our overall revenue will now be able to be going into building,” Fuller said. “Expanding and making better our haunted house.”

Fuller won’t give up where the spot is, just yet, but said it will be a bit further than downtown.

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He said the new location will allow the group to get back to its roots. In 2001, Circle of Ash was known as the outdoor attraction Frightmare Forest. Fuller said next year, they’ll readopt the name, and create a haunted house of similar size that incorporates elements of both outside and inside attractions.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity,” he said. “Now that we know how to do an indoor attraction and an outdoor attraction, we feel like we can bring the best of both worlds.”

Tickets for the new haunt will likely cost about the same as Circle of Ash, which was around $12.

Fuller said he’ll be announcing the address of the new location October 30th.

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