Attorney confirms Wisconsin snuggle business has closed
Published 10:17 am Tuesday, December 10, 2013
MADISON, Wis. — So much for snuggling in Wisconsin.
The owner of Madison’s new Snuggle House has decided to shut it down just three weeks after it opened, choosing to pack up his pillows and beds under intense scrutiny from city officials who questioned whether the place was a front for a brothel.
The business announced its closure on Facebook late Friday evening. Timothy Casper, the owner’s attorney, confirmed the closure to The Associated Press on Monday, saying Matthew Hurtado was sick of the city harassing him and negative publicity.
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“He’s tired of people taking potshots at him,” Casper said. “He doesn’t need that.”
The Snuggle House, part of a growing trend of touch therapy establishments and cuddle parties around the country, was located above a bar about a block from the state Capitol. It offered customers an hour of cuddling in a bed with a professional snuggler for $60.
The place got off to a rough start, even in uber-liberal Madison. The business’s original October opening got pushed back to mid-November after city officials raised concerns about whether it was really a front for prostitution and the potential for sexual assaults. They also questioned why Hurtado, who has filed for bankruptcy twice, had no business plan and no business insurance.
Hurtado developed a policy manual forbidding sex during snuggle sessions, installed security cameras and a panic button in each snuggle room, and promised to perform background checks on clients, assistant city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said.