Corn MAiZE in fifth year

Sep 192004
Authors: Ryan Riggen

“Freedom Reigns” is the theme of this year’s corn maze at

Fritzler Farm.

The maze depicts four marines raising the American flag in Iwo

Jima during World War II and the words “freedom reigns” carved out

of the corn. The farm will be open to the public Sept. 17 through

Oct. 31.

The farm is located in LaSalle, seven miles south of Greeley, at

the 1500 block on the west side of U.S. Highway 85. Two inflatable

haunted houses sit next to the corn maze and are originals, said

owner Glen Fritzler.

One of the inflatable houses is a monster called The Giant.

Visitors enter The Giant through the head and must find their way

through a haunted maze to the exit on The Giant’s stomach.

“The Giant is family-friendly during the day,” Fritzler said.

“But it is designed for night.”

Fritzler said both of the haunted houses are meant for older

teens and young adults because they tend to frighten young


The second haunted house is appropriately called Pitch Black.

Visitors are given a tiny flashlight to use inside the foggy,

pitch-black haunted house.

“It is a phenomenal haunted house,” Fritzler said. “It is a

great, great time.”

The corn maze took six days to complete and was done by using

ground maps on a grid. Those who made the maze used backpacks

filled with herbicide to implement the design by Brett Herbst.

Herbst has designed more than 450 corn mazes throughout the

country. He began the MAiZE company, which designs mazes for farms

to implement, in 1996 with one maze in Utah and has expanded every

year since.

According to Kamille Combs, marketing director for MAiZE,

farmers usually contact the company when they become interested in

making a corn maze.

“We have several hundred inquiries a year,” Combs said. “We

never anticipated this but it’s growing like crazy.”

The maze at Fritzler Farm was made in 15 acres of corn and

contains more than two miles of twists and turns that must be

navigated before finding the end.

Many people wander for more than an hour before finding the

exit, but some people take the correct path and exit in about 30


Fritzler Farm has been making a corn maze available to the

public for the last five years. Last year’s design depicted John

Elway; past years depicted an American flag and horse designs

Dawn Thilmany, an associate professor of agriculture and

economics at CSU, said more farmers have adopted corn mazes and

other fall harvest activities. Thilmany also said profit margins

are high because these activities are not very expensive to


“The (farms) near metro areas are encouraged to do this because

of pressure on land prices,” Thilmany said. “They don’t want to

sell their land for housing developments.”

According to Thilmany, these farms make a significant amount of

money and the number of farms with fall harvest activities that

exist in Colorado is higher than average. She added that the first

success stories in this kind of business were wineries, pumpkin

patches and Christmas tree farms.

“People are into the experience,” Thilmany said. “They can

probably get (Christmas) trees cheaper at Wal-Mart but they would

rather experience a farm.”

Fritzler said roughly 32,000 people visited the farm last year

and an average of 2,000 people come on Saturday nights.


Ages 12 and up can take on the maze

for $8.

Ages 5 to 11 can do it for $6 and

those younger than 5 enter for free.

Combo tickets can also be purchased

that allow visitors to challenge the maze and brave The Giant.

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