Three Flagstaff business owners have found a freakishly fun way to raise funds for local organizations: a haunted house.
Dan Duke, the owner of Woody’s Old School Tattoos, and Marvin and Theresa Lujan, the owners of Dark City Transportation, teamed up a few weeks ago in an effort to find a way to give back to the Flagstaff community. They came up with the idea of Dark City Entertainment, an event company geared toward fun for families and fundraising for local organizations.
Duke is a Flagstaff native and has lived and worked in the community for around 32 years. He’s seen the effect organizations like Hope Cottage and Sunshine Mission have had for people in the area.
“This community has been so good to small businesses, like ours,” Duke said. “And we wanted to create an asset to the community.”
The trio wants to hold several family-friendly/fundraiser events throughout the year. They’re hoping the haunted house will be a hit and they’ll be able to plan something for the spring.
The company’s first event this year starts this weekend with the opening of the Nightmare on 4th Street haunted house. The haunted house was Lujan’s idea. It is at 2098 N. Fourth Street, next to Fratelli Pizza in an older commercial building. The group picked the building because it had been empty for a while and because they wanted to create something that would draw the community to the Fourth Street area.
“We wanted to create a safe space for kids and families to have some fun,” Duke said. “We’d like to make it an annual event.”
The haunted house is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night from Oct. 13 to Oct. 31. Tickets are $10 for adults $6 for children ages 4 to 17 and children under the age of 4 are free. All children have to be accompanied by a paying adult. The house is open to all ages but the more adult-themed spookiness starts at 10 p.m.
Some of the proceeds from the event will go to Hope Cottage, which provides shelter to women and children in need. Dark City is also holding several school sponsor nights throughout the event that will see some of the proceeds will go to local schools. Several commercial sponsors like North Country HealthCare and CAL Ranch have chipped in to sponsor the haunted house.
Marvin Lujan said getting sponsors for the first Dark City event was a bit of a challenge, but added, “It’s a great opportunity to give back.”
Dark City is also looking for volunteers to help staff the haunted house. You can sign up on Dark City’s website at www.darkcityflagstaff.com.