No Vacancy 2017

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Marlena | Austin | Ryan

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Marlena Baker

No Vacancy has really stepped up their game. I saw lots of great improvements this year, so while the theme hasn’t changed, it’s worth another visit if you’ve been before.

The sets were fantastic. There’s a very clear theme and they committed to it. I loved the consistent look of the wallpaper and how every room felt like part of a hotel. They were even playing this great music throughout the haunt. It helped build the atmosphere, and the moments where the other sounds died off and we just heard that as we crept our way through were great. The apprehension that built up made the following scares that much better.

The actors were not as consistent. Some, like the front desk clerk, rocked it. I really loved that intro. They sent us into it unprepared, too. Others just popped out and growled at us, with little impact. Part of the problem was that it felt a little sparse. There were a couple of rooms in particular that I really felt should have had actors. I like stretches of calm, but it felt like there were some missed opportunities there, especially in the attic.

I really enjoyed the haunt. Even though more actors and better lines would have improved it, the experience was strong. It was creepy and immersive. I would definitely recommend it.


Austin Metzler

Nothing beats Elitches in the Fall, fog is creeping in, monsters are on the prowl, and the smell of cotton candy, funnel cakes and unknown smells fill the air.  Every year this theme park has hosted Fright Fest, a Halloween event with haunted houses.  Have you always wanted to stay in a hotel in a theme park, well now you can at No Vacancy, the newest haunted house at Elitches.  Check in, if you dare.

Nothing’s creepier than an abandoned hotel, and this is one terrifying hotel. From the moment you check in to the moment you check out you will be scared to death.  This haunt uses a great mix of scares to get your blood pumping.  Perfect combinations of prop scares and actors release a unrelenting assault on your nerves.  Noises, not just from screams but from sound effects and creepy music chill you to your spine.  This haunt is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Walking through this attraction it is easy to be awestruck by the beautiful sets. Every room has beautiful detail, and every room feels like it fits the theme of an old hotel, even the facade is fantastic.  I absolutely loved the elevators and the fact that some of the rooms you could look inside seeing a gruesome scene while not going in the room.  There are some great props, the attention to even the gore can upset ones stomach.  There are also some great animatronics throughout.

Acting is one of the backbones of a great haunt, and the creatures that call this haunt home are no exception.  From the second you enter the actors are relentless.  The use of drop panels allowing the same actor multiple scares are timed perfectly.  The lines are very well improvised and you can get great interactions with the talent.  From unexpected places creatures pop out in your face to make you scream.  I have to thank the actor on the bungee for delivering the perfect scare.  The costuming and makeup throughout are extremely detailed, I stopped many times to admire the work. The length is also great considering the space available.  I recommend visiting Elitch Gardens this season to get a great haunt package.

Pros: great theme, love the sets and actors

Cons: you could hear the animatronics and hydraulics throughout the haunt

Ryan Acker

No Vacancy is the premier haunted attraction at Elitch Gardens, and rightfully so. From the beginning, we approached a beautiful hotel facade outside of the Trocadero theater and were told to simply walk inside. This freedom and uncertainty led me to be suspicious of what was ahead. Our journey into darkness lead us to the hotel check in where an eager hostess awaited us and informed us once we checked in, we wouldn’t be checking out.

The sets managed to transport us through this decrepit hotel, incorporating every room such as the attic, basement, elevator room, kitchen, multiple bedrooms, and long, ominous hallways. The majority of the sets were beautifully done, however some seemed to lack luster towards the end. The layout featured multiple bedrooms and a trip through many closets which is always unsettling. Expecting Narnia, we met the guests who never checked out and even witnessed their demise. Some rooms were well detailed, yet lacked many scare opportunities due to lack of prop or actor. While this added eeriness accompanied by the music playing nonchalantly in the background, it left me leaving more to the imagination.

The few actors scattered throughout overall had the same level of hatred for this place, but some chose to express it more than others. Some stuck with the traditional cry of “Get out!” and others chose to be more elaborate with their roles. Many of the startle scares came from drop panels, air cannons, and loud vibrating ramps more than the actors. Given more staffing, this problem could be easily fixed.

No Vacancy shines as the premier haunt at Elitch Gardens, and rightfully so, the sets are well done and props are much stronger than previous years. A little love to the sets towards the end and more acting will definitely fill this theater with screams throughout the night.

Pros: Realistic hotel theme, some beautiful sets (the elevator room!), good prop placement.

Cons: Not enough actors, using the same projection effect multiple times, sets lost detail towards the end.

2000 Elitch Circle

Denver, CO. 80204

September 29th – October 29th  (Weekends only)

Fridays 6-10pm

Saturdays 5-10pm

Sundays 5-9pm

Elitch Gardens Fright Fest


Where Check Out Time is Never

Prepare yourself for this all-new haunted attraction! Explore the nightmarish inn where creatures lurk around every turn and the building comes alive with terror! See if you have what it takes to escape this insidious hotel alive.

Located in the Trocadero Theatre. Haunted Attractions Open at 6 PM. This is an extra charge attraction. 

Fright By Night haunted attractions are recommended for ages 12 and older.

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