Madison’s nearly infamous The Snuggle House has closed its doors to cuddlers for good, after making an announcement on its Facebook page late Friday night.
“The Snuggle House is Officially Closed — for good,” the post read. “For those people who supported us, thank you. Snuggle on!”
The Snuggle House was open just 22 days before “push back and harassment” led to its end, according to its Facebook post. The business, which charged $60 for an hour -long snuggle session, had already delayed its opening when city attorneys expressed concern the sessions would result in prostitution.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he was surprised the business closed so quickly after opening. He said The Snuggle House has not had any issues with the city since officials delayed its opening in November due to insurance issues.
Verveer said it was likely The Snuggle House just was not seeing the business they had anticipated.
“I would say that I am quite surprised they have closed so abruptly,” Verveer said. “Especially given all the national media attention that they were largely enjoying, and so perhaps one of the main factors in their closing was that their business just wasn’t what they had hoped it to be.”
Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, District 5, said in an email to The Badger Herald that the closure does not come as a shock.
“I always thought their business case was not a very strong one so I am honestly not surprised that they had to close so quickly,” Bidar-Sielaff said.
The Snuggle House also put up a Facebook post saying it would donate its extra furniture to any church organization that would use it for people in need, saying the furniture is “brand new and very nice.” The post encouraged anyone interested to email the business directly.
Comments on the post announcing the closing expressed solidarity with the business and outrage that the Snugglers would “give up so easily.”
Ald. Chris Schmidt, District 11, and president of City Council said in an email to The Badger Herald he is also not surprised at the closure.
“‘Non-phased’ is a good way to put it,” Schmidt said. “I presumed that once they cleared their regulatory hurdles that their success or failure was up to them.”
Verveer said that though he was a “healthy skeptic” of The Snuggle House’s business model, he tried to keep an open mind and not be judgmental.
He added he guessed there could be another factor in the closing, though he was not sure what it could be.
“Although I can’t imagine any business that would only give it three weeks before they pulled the plug,” Verveer said. “So I have to believe there was something else that instigated it.”