Client story

Funlab scores a hole-in-one

From Australian fairways to American greens, Holey Moley and JLL bring a new putt-putt game to the western hemisphere


11,472 sq. ft.


Funlab expands mini-golf brand to the U.S.


Denver, Co

When Funlab launched more than 20 years ago, the mastermind behind Australia's most thrilling social experiences was driven by a single idea: having a blast. But after conquering their homeland as well as New Zealand, these spirited "motherfunners," were ready to expand from Down Under and share the fun in a new environment.

The challenge

Funlab had a grand vision to bring their Holey Moley mini-golf concept to life in the United States and preserving its retro, unique brand identity was a non-negotiable.

“We’ve taken over Australia to a certain degree and there’s only so much white space left. We still have a lot of opportunities to grow there, but America is the biggest ship in the ocean and we’ve always had the plan to get there and blossom,” said Troy Foster, director of developments, Funlab.

But to make this dream a reality, Funlab needed the par-fect partner with global reach and local expertise, a pool of resources and a commitment to a timely execution. Enter JLL.

The JLL Approach

The partnership began with an immersive experience in the heart of the brand—Australia, where Funlab immersed the JLL team in Holey Moley's core values and venues. By the end of the week-long trip, the mission was clear: transform Holey Moley for its American debut while staying true to its Australian roots.

“Brand consistency was incredibly important to Funlab but they also realized Holey Moley had to adapt to a new territory,” said Marta Smurzynska, Creative Director, JLL Design Solutions. 

Funlab needed to make a splash with its very first U.S. outpost but they also needed it to be strategic. We analyzed dozens of different cities, slicing and dicing based on some key metrics: where people were interested in mini-golf and where Funlab could find affordable buildings amidst rising rental rates. 

The path forward was filled with a number of bunkers and water hazards. The U.S.-specific design and architecture processes posed a few challenges, like dealing with different city permits and following multiple building codes. And on top of that, they had to convert everything from the metric system to imperial units. 

“Coming from a smaller country, we knew there would be hurdles in finding a building for Holey Moley. But that is one of the reasons why we collaborated with JLL because of their collection of resources and ability to scale our business and find the right location for us,” said Foster.

“When customers walk into our venue, they will enter an immersive experience with our eye-catching displays and inviting spaces for socializing. Opening our very first location in Denver kickstarted our journey to grow in the U.S.”, said Michael Schreiber, CEO, Funlab.

Bringing it to life 

JLL's team, made up of project development and Design Solutions, narrowed in on the American West, ultimately recommending Holey Moley tee off in Denver, CO. They landed on an 11,427-square-foot venue—none other than Denver's historic City Cable Railway Building. The building's adaptive reuse was perfect for a 9-hole course, while also leaving plenty of space for socializing and food and drinks.

“We combined all of our design, architecture and project management expertise to create a really special space for Holey Moley in this historic building. We were able to keep it retro and fun, but get the work done on time and well within budget,” said Ken Demske, managing director, PDS, JLL.

JLL services
  • Leasing
  • Retail design
  • Construction
  • Architecture

The design and architecture of the space includes:

  • Holey Moley’s retro aesthetic with neon artwork and vintage signage
  • A vibrant showcase of local artist murals on exposed brick walls
  • A spacious and interactive layout to enhance the customer experience
  • Instagram-worthy and pop-culture decor
Seeing a brighter way

The Holey Moley venture in the U.S. is thriving and three more venues are set to open by Spring 2024. 

"We learned a lot and already made a lot of changes and evolutions for our next projects in Austin, Houston and San Francisco," Foster says, “Having a team of like JLL and everybody under that umbrella on the ground for us has been a massive asset to delivering a successful project.”

Learn more about how JLL uses a human-centric approach to solve your biggest business challenges here.