Five years later, Glowgolf returns to Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills
After a five-year absence, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf is returning to Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills.
Glowgolf, which operated at Hawthorn from 2009 to 2013, is back with plans to open Wednesday or Thursday, according to John Wright, chief of Wichita, Kansas-based Opry Glowgolf LLC.
"The mall asked us to come back," he said. "We were very popular."
Although considered a temporary tenant, Glowgolf was open year-round during its first run at Hawthorn. It closed when the space it occupied was purchased and renovated for Dave & Buster's.
The new location is on the upper level in the former Charming Charlie women's clothing and accessories store near Macy's on the west side of the mall.
Glowgolf is lit by fluorescent black lights in existing store fixtures. Walls are covered with glowing themed art work. The course is module so no interior construction of the space is required.
Last time, the "course" had 36 holes. The new course will have 27 bigger holes, according to Wright. A Laser Maze challenge also will be available for a separate fee of $3 per game, $5 for two games or $10 for five games, he added.
Wright said there are 35 Glowgolf courses in the U.S. There had been courses at four other suburban Chicago malls, including Woodfield in Schaumburg, but they have closed.
"In all of the instances, we lost our space to someone who was willing to pay more," he said.
Malls around the country are featuring entertainment uses to draw customers, Wright said. At Hawthorn, a synthetic ice rink opened last fall.
Glowgolf also will sell merchandise and host birthday parties and other events. The Vernon Hills village board informally recommended approval and is expected to officially approve a special use permit at it's meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at village hall, 290 Evergreen Drive.