Entertainment provider Funlab to take Holey Moley to the US

Entertainment provider Funlab to take Holey Moley to the US

Funlab CEO Michael Schreiber (Provided)

The operator of entertainment venues Holey Moley, Hijinx Hotel and Strike Bowling has announced its US debut, with three of its mini-golf centres set to open in San Francisco, Denver and Austin over the next six months.  

Founded in 2001, Melbourne-based entertainment provider Funlab operates nine brands and 42 locations across Australia and New Zealand. Acquired by TPG Capital for $250 million in 2020, the company employs more than 2,200 staff to run venues like arcade and game bar B. Lucky & Sons, karaoke bar Juke's and escape room experience Red Herring.

“With the success of these venues under our belt, we did research and found there was a strong demand for this style of concept in the US, and we knew it was time to launch into America and expand our offerings globally,” Funlab CEO Michael Schreiber said.

“This is a huge milestone in our company’s growth and goal of encouraging guests to connect in real life for competitive socialising fun.

“We think our concepts will be widely embraced for our unique ability to take familiar, cherished concepts from the world around us, and transform them into extraordinary experiences.”

The San Francisco and Denver locations will be adaptations of two existing Urban Putt locations, which will continue to trade until their refurbishments into Holey Moley venues in August 2023 and early-2024 respectively. Holey Moley Austin will be an originally designed venue and is slated to launch in six months’ time.

In preparation for the openings Funlab is building out its local team, but will also keep the existing staff working at both Urban Putt outfits.

Urban Putt founder and CEO Steve Fox said he was enthusiastic about the new direction.

"Holey Moley's US arrival is exciting news for Denver and San Francisco," Fox said.

"These cities and teams have meant the world to me, and so do the good times our guests enjoy every time they visit. It's been incredible to see the vision Funlab has for transformation, and I can't wait to see how this will build on Urban Putt's success.”

Funlab will refurbish two of its recently acquired Urban Putt locations in the US (Provided)

 

The news comes after Funlab launched one of its largest precincts to date in Melbourne’s Chadstone, where four of its venues - Hijinx Hotel, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, Strike Bowling, and Holey Moley - operate under one roof.

The company said it plans to build a pipeline of Holey Moley venue openings in the US and is also exploring opportunities with a range of property partners for its other brands to launch in the States.

“This is just the start of our journey together, as we begin to bring out-of-this-world fun to the American market and we hope Americans enjoy our Funlab venues, just as Australians and New Zealanders have done over the past two decades,” Schreiber said.

"What makes us unique is the way we take familiar, cherished concepts from the world around us and transform them into something surprising.

“It's the immersion of the worlds we create that turns the ordinary into extraordinary. Without question, Funlab intends to make a mark in the US and to keep on growing."

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