A Winnipeg hotel struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed its basement into an extreme haunted house.
The idea for the haunted house came after several event cancellations at the hotel within recent weeks.
“I’ve got three banquet spaces here that we’ve had to shut down, we’ve had to refund a lot of people’s weddings and wedding socials. This area hurt us real bad in the hotel and I thought, hey why don’t we do something really fun and creative so we can drive some new traffic here,” said Ravi Ramberran, the owner of the Four Crowns restaurant on McPhillips Street.
The massive space underneath the hotel has been operating as one of the most extravagant haunted houses in the area since the start of the month.
Winnipegger Al Vincent explored the spooky creation with his daughter on Friday night and was impressed with the house’s production.
“She seemed to like the wolf guy with the chainsaw,” he said. “There’s definitely a lot of crazy little twists and turns in there.”
With COVID-19 haunting the minds of many potential customers, Ramberran says the hotel is requiring customers to sign in, leaving their name and number for contact tracing.
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“We’re only putting a maximum of five groups of five people through and they must keep moving through, they can never stop to gather and mingle. We don’t need anyone getting sick, safety is number one,” he continued.
“With everything going on in the world right now, it’s nice to have a little bit of fun and everything here is all up to safety measures, so having fun and being safe at the same time is important to all of us right now,” says Melissa Wedgewood, one the house’s key designers.
Ramberran says he hopes his improvised attraction provides Winnipeggers with some fun entertainment ahead of Halloween.
“I knew we wouldn’t have huge lineups outside, I knew people wouldn’t be coming out like crazy, but we wanted to try it and this year more than ever is kind of a trial and error year.”