Madison's most interesting business, The Snuggle House, closes

2013-12-07T18:00:00Z Madison's most interesting business, The Snuggle House, closesJUDY NEWMAN | Wisconsin State Journal | jdnewman@madison.com | 608-252-6156 madison.com

They’re throwing in the blanket at The Snuggle House.

The Downtown business, 123 E. Main St., open for just three weeks, announced on its Facebook page Friday night that it has closed.

“The Snuggle House is Officially Closed — for good. For those people who supported us, thank you. Snuggle on!” the post read.

No specific reason was given, but The Snuggle House, whose November opening was delayed for one month because of city concerns, posted this reply to Facebook questions: “The push back and harassment is not worth it, honestly.”

Neither employees of the business nor owner Matthew Hurtado could be reached for comment on Saturday. Phone calls and email messages were not returned.

The closing announcement drew scores of comments on The Snuggle House’s Facebook page, most of them sympathetic. Some said they were sad to see the business close so soon; a few said they had been hoping to try the service.

The Snuggle House offered “therapeutic cuddling” for $60 an hour. The business, which had attracted nationwide attention, opened Nov. 15 after weeks of delays because of a lack of a business plan and inspections by city officials who were concerned the second-floor business could be a front for prostitution.

Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, who represents the area, said he received quite a few questions from Downtown residents and businesspeople before The Snuggle House opened. They were worried that the clientele might be detrimental to nearby restaurants and bars, Verveer said.

He said he, too, was “a healthy skeptic of their business model. But I was keeping an open mind.”

Since The Snuggle House opened, Verveer said he has “not received any complaints whatsoever.” He also said he does not know of any new demands by the city, once the business fulfilled all of the initial requirements.

Verveer said he was surprised to hear that The Snuggle House closed so soon and so abruptly. “My guess would probably be that they just didn’t have the business that they anticipated,” he said.

The Facebook page for the business offers The Snuggle House’s furniture to local church organizations “for people who are in need,” and promises refunds for unused gift certificates.

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(12) Comments

  1. mervin-smucker
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    mervin-smucker - December 11, 2013 6:49 am
    Now thats an interesting turn, thanks for the info.

    Mervin Smucker
  2. Anonymous1952
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    Anonymous1952 - December 10, 2013 10:17 am
    Haydook:

    Did you read any of the comments?

    A self admitted sex addict with a goal of making a million dollars from what appears to be quack supplement scams, a history of two bankruptcies, and serious tax delinquencies encounters barriers that forces him to close his "Snuggle House".

    That is a progressive thinking community fulfilling its first responsibility of protecting itself from possible predation. That is not intolerance.
  3. haydook
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    haydook - December 10, 2013 12:37 am
    Madison stopped being a place for tolerant free minded progressive thinking people a long, long time ago. This place is though.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/12/as_snuggle_shop_shutters_in_wi.html#incart_river_default
  4. Anonymous1952
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    Anonymous1952 - December 09, 2013 10:37 am
    From WKOW Ch. 27 in Madison's report:

    "Matthew Hurtado of Lone Rock, who has a current book that's advertised online as a biography of being a sex-addicted misfit, who becomes a millionaire.

    "Hurtado is also listed on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's web site of tax delinquents as owing more than $10,000 in state income tax.

    "...Hurtado disputes the delinquency.

    "Online, federal bankruptcy court records show Hurtado has filed for bankruptcy twice since 2002, most recently in Missouri in 2009." (That suggests there is unlikely to be refunds for unused gift certificates as promised on their FB page.)

    Ms. Newman, why wasn't this included alongside Mr. Hurtado's statement of why he closed?
  5. College Didn't Take
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    College Didn't Take - December 08, 2013 10:34 am
    Oh darn! Where shall I go when Tonette is at her parents' house or off to church as she is wont to do? Perhaps I'll have to go back to using The Rising Sin....er, ....Sun again.
  6. Anonymous1952
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    Anonymous1952 - December 08, 2013 10:07 am
    A search for "Matthew Hurtado" returns an incredible number of YouTube videos promoting scam quack fraud supplements such as RNA drops. The guy in the videos looks to be the same guy as the owner of Snuggle House. Can anyone confirm that?

    On Nov. 18 someone who may be the same Matthew Hurtado settled over $10,000 in delinquent tax warrants.

    Court records also refer to litigation about the "Elite Nutrition Organic Smoothie Bar" in Milwaukee. Does anyone know more about that?

    A commenter on C3K news site says AP is investigating Hurtado's background. Could that be the “The push back and harassment (that) is not worth it, honestly.” that he alleges forced him to close?

    The closure may have more to do with the owner rather than alleged barriers in Madison to new business start up or excessively moralistic regulations and attitudes.

    I suggest local journalists do basic fact checking and research rather than simply reprint unverified quotes from the owner..
  7. bdholmes
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    bdholmes - December 08, 2013 12:03 am
    Rumors abound you're full of shiiiiit...
  8. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - December 07, 2013 11:46 pm
    Rumors are bound it was a gay brothel to accommodate local politicians & atheists!
  9. bdholmes
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    bdholmes - December 07, 2013 10:08 pm
    Hi. I'm Earth. Have we met?
  10. Booke
    Report Abuse
    Booke - December 07, 2013 9:47 pm
    Huh???
  11. bdholmes
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    bdholmes - December 07, 2013 9:35 pm
    I think you way more to fear going on in the back room of gentleman's club than this place...someone wants to pay $60 to fill the void of spooning in their life more power to you...just another example of people these days getting offended by something that has absolutely nothing to do with them personally...I think we have much higher priorities for things to get our panties in a bunch over...
  12. B-Man
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    B-Man - December 07, 2013 4:31 pm
    Even the Snuggle House finds Madison to be a tough place to open a business.
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