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October 22, 2017

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Fright Dome fires up ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’


Leila Navidi

Hauntrepreneur Jason Egan stands inside Fright Dome that he designed at Circus Circus in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013.

Fright Dome 2013

Richard Loeks plays The Stranger inside Fright Dome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. Launch slideshow »

In the horror-film genre, the most exciting form of massacre is, of course, a chainsaw massacre. Preferably achieved in the great state of Texas.

Fright Dome is teaming with the great horror director Tobe Hooper and writer Kim Henkel to feature one of the most familiar and frightening titles ever in scary films, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” when the attraction opens at Circus Circus on Oct. 3.

One of the half-dozen haunted houses taking over the back parking lot of the otherwise circus- and clown-themed resort is an ode to that movie, celebrating its 40th anniversary this Halloween season.

Fright Dome has long featured actors wielding chainsaws (absent the chains, thankfully, but never has evoked the film that sparked that method of horror).

“I am thrilled we are able to work with such a renowned brand this year,” Fright Dome owner Jason Egan said in a statement. “Being able to utilize a movie of this magnitude as a partner is quite an honor. For the past 12 years, we have been extremely fortunate to work with some of the best in the horror industry.”

Fright Dome is annually listed among the most popular haunted attractions in the country. Egan also is opening Fright Dome attractions in Hong Kong and Boston for the Halloween season.

One of the city’s most successful entrepreneurs of any age division, the 35-year-old graduate of the University of Nebraska in Omaha has grown Fright Dome to forge partnerships with such horror-industry stars as “Saw,” “The Collector,” “The Collection” and “Project Greenlight” producer-director Marcus Dunstan and makeup wizard Gary Tunnicliffe (“My Bloody Valentine,” “Scream” and “Blade” among the horror films on his resume).

The Strip attraction draws about 100,000 visitors a year, a number that only increases each year.

Egan’s operation covers 5 acres, features six houses and employs about 400 actors and staffers for every monthlong run.

The horror attraction also will feature five new haunted houses, including a solo haunted house, “Isolation.” Visitors will enter alone, navigate through “a labyrinth of industrial corridors filled with traps, crazed inhabitants and those that have ventured in before them but never escaped,” as the company news release says. Also, Egan promises, “Endless passages make each person prey in this shadowy haunted experience.”

Prey, and pray, too. Both variations apply at Fright Dome.

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