2,500 people attend Nightfall's opening night - Tucson News Now

2,500 people attend Nightfall's opening night

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SOUTH TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Old Tucson has turned into an eerie Wild West as Nightfall kicks off. It's a big boost to the theme park that's closed all Summer because of a lack of business.

Nightfall is the biggest money maker at Old Tucson. The owner is excited and hoping to do well this year by adding new attractions.

The screams and terror at Old Tucson are a welcoming sound for Pete Mangelsdort. He says Nightfall brings in roughly a million dollars in a single month.

"Nightfall is a major revenue producer for us and we hire a lot of people as a result of it," said Manglesdorf.

That's an extra 200 part-time jobs. On this 23rd anniversary of Nightfall, they've added a haunted house for children and a magic show. Organizers say tens of thousands of people come to get spooked each year.

"We have people in costumes, scaring people from the minute they walk in," said Manglesdorf.

While Mangelsdorf has added six new events at Old Tucson over the last three years, he admits it's been tough to draw people in year-round.

"Economy is down, Tucson lags Phoenix, Arizona lags, it's been a tough few years for us," said Mangelsdorf. "But, we're hopeful we'll bring it back."

Old Tucson is commonly used to film old western movies like "Hot Bath and a Stiff Drink." Filmmakers will be returning in November to film a sequel. In the meantime, Mangelsdorf is hoping to scare up some business.

"We have to watch our bottom line. Nightfall offers us a nice little boost in revenue right when we open for the new season," said Mangelsdorf.

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