By CEcILLA CHAN
GSN Managing Editor
Hosting a sleepover for their 11-year-old daughter’s birthday party gave birth to a new business venture for a Gilbert couple.
Chris and Amanda Armbrust have launched The Slumber Shack, a modified travel trailer people can rent that sleeps 10 and can be set up most anywhere.
“We are keeping up with the demand right now, it’s been doing really well,” said Amanda Armbrust, whose also is mother of an 8-year-old daughter.
Armbrust said the idea came after her older daughter had two sleepovers for her birthday.
“It was hard to find a spot to put all the kids where they could be at and where they could all sleep together,” she said.
“They use to take over the entire house and the whole house had to be picked up after a sleepover. One night the idea came what if there were a spot to put them like a clubhouse, not inside our house,” Armbrust added.
The couple purchased a travel trailer, gutted it and put in bunk beds, new flooring, flat-screen television with DVD player with full surround sound, stereo with indoor and outdoor speakers, photo booth with a wall-mounted tablet and basic kitchen necessities.
Slumber Shack began taking bookings early this year with the demand mostly for children’s slumber parties, closely followed by adults who want to rent the trailer for “glamping” at Lake Pleasant by Pleasant Harbor.
“We drive out to the lake and set everything up they need for glamping, which is glamorous camping, not roughing it in a tent but they are still enjoying the outdoors,” she explained.
Two upcoming bookings are from brides who want either to get their girlfriends together for a glamping event or use the trailer for a hangout for kids during the wedding reception.
“Instead of a kids’ table, the kids are inside The Slumber Shack to be entertained while their parents enjoy the reception,” Armbrust said.
The Slumber Shack currently offers four packages — Slumber Shack Party for children 8 and older for $325; Glamping, $250 a night; Wedding Day Kids’ Retreat, $275-$350 and long-term rental with a minimal of three nights for $175-$200 a day.
Customized add-ons also are available for a cost — such a fridge stocked with a choice of sodas, a propane gas fire pit, and a s’mores kit. Other offerings expected soon include an outdoor projection theater with popcorn and candy and crafting projects.
So far, The Slumber Shack seems to be a hit with many people on the company’s Facebook page such as Lisa Gowyer who wrote, “Wow! So creative and fun!”
Demand is to a point that the couple is in the process of renovating a second trailer, which sleeps only eight but is roomier than the 10-person trailer.
So far, the business is a side job for the couple who are third-party contractors for Arizona Department of Transportation, able to process things like title transfers and vehicle registrations. They have two offices, one in Glendale and one in Goodyear.
“The best part is we are mobile,” Armbrust said. “We can take it to wherever it needs to be as long as we have permission.”