KISS by Monster Mini Golf
Location: 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103
Phone: (702) 588-6256
Hours: 10am – Midnight (Monday-Sunday)
Price: 18 holes – $11.95 or $9.95 (with Nevada/student ID)
Review: Tongues out, you krazy KISS-torians: you kooky kurators of KISS-torical lore! I hope you’re ready to exhale a ball of fire and smash your putter on the ground like it was an electric guitar made out of rattlesnakes. Cause it’s KISS time. That’s right, whether you’ve got a life-size replica of Gene Simmons’ hairdo tattooed to the nape of your tramp stamp, or just an avid passion for the greatest hard rock band of the year 1975, if you’re a true KISS fan (and not a true poser) have I got the mini golf course for you! So pawn your vintage KISS PEZ-dispensers for gas money, and liberally apply a clown-worthy level of face makeup to your hardcore lips and eyeballs, because we’re going on a road trip to the City of Sin: an oasis of depravity in the middle of the Mojave. A corrupt metropolis where both Guy Fieri and Mark Wahlberg are allowed to own equally odious “food” establishments.* Where the Bellagio casino is able to sustain a massive, man-made lake in the middle of a desert because why the heck not? Where a performing group made entirely out of blue men is considered normal and not, as is generally the case, an affront to the laws of nature.
But ignore these distractions. Because, as I’ve already mentioned, we’re after something much more important.
Conveniently located on the casino floor of the world-famous Rio hotel (only a mile away from the Vegas strip), the discerning KISS enthusiast will finally find the answer to their deepest, dankest prayers. The crown jewel of the multinational Monster Mini Golf franchise. With thirty locations in two countries, Monster Mini Golf has been providing quality (albeit mass-produced) blacklight, indoor mini golf since 2012. But, by far and away, Monster’s most impressive venue is its first, flagship location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Themed off of the massively popular rock band KISS, this venue isn’t just an incredibly well-maintained 18-hole adventure through the band’s storied history. It’s an experience. Wanna putt through giant replicas of KISS’ iconic knee-high boots, drum sets, and ax-shaped electric guitars**? You got it. Wanna watch videos of KISS rocking out while their most extreme tunes blare over the course’s sound speakers like the screams of a rock
god devil in heat***? You friggin got it! Wanna learn about the storied history of the greatest rock band in recorded history by looking at wall murals chronicling their impressive journey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Heck. Friggin. Yeah.
They even had a gift shop.
Honestly, I really only had two complaints about this venue. First off, as is the case with every other indoor mini golf course I’ve visited on this trip, Monster Mini Golf was more flat and less complicated that almost all of its outdoor counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, it still had many clever and complex elements. But, in the words of that esteemed songster and KISS-frontman Paul Stanley: “[rock and roll] will not make the blind man see! It will not make the cripple walk!” – similarly, indoor mini golf courses have the ability to kick some serious keister, but they’ll never replace the complexity of actual hills and rivers. My second complaint is more of a jab at Vegas itself… but no one ever told me how maze-like and labyrinthine casinos really are. It’s insane, right? It took me over twenty minutes to find this course hidden within the Rio’s impenetrable sea of slot machines and high stakes pai gow tables. I felt like mouse trapped in a corn maze chock-full of people who have obviously never heard the “if you or a loved one have a gambling addiction” disclaimers at the end of casino commercials because, in the two hours I spent at the Rio, they didn’t move an inch.
But, back to my earlier train of thought… even though Las Vegas itself stressed me out a bit, as a venue, KISS by Monster Mini golf was awesome. Awesome. I’m gonna write “awesome” one more time because I liked it so much. Awesome.
This course comes with my highest recommendation.
* I’m pretty sure I got a minor case of food poisoning from Wahlburgers. But I don’t want to publish anything truly libelous so all I’ll say is that, before I ate their 1/3 pound burger (Paul Wahlberg’s “fave”) I was feeling pretty good. And after… not so much.
** On the last hole, you got to putt up a giant replica of Gene Simmons’ extended tongue. Wow.
*** Tunes, it should be added, that were chosen by a real DJ who gave personalized shout-outs to golfers while, simultaneously, marketing the Rio’s convenient nearby wedding chapel****
**** Everything I just said is 100% true. It was awesome.
Course Score: 44; corresponding KISS skill level – between pro and semi-pro.
Pros: This place was awesome; fantastic KISS theme/obstacles; high production value; amazing overall experience; air conditioned escape from the desert; amazing upkeep/maintenance; great employees; long holes; historically informative; it had a real DJ and its own personalized radio station.
Cons: Like all indoor blacklight courses, it’s inherently simpler and flatter than the average outdoor course; hard to find.