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mrs_boo
04-03-2007, 07:52 AM
Hey every1, I am trying to write a business plan for our haunt and I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of what employees get paid (actors, management, etc.). If you guys could just give me a ballpark idea that would be great!

My second question is, we can't decide whether to be open Thursday-Saturdays or Friday-Sundays for the first season. Any suggestions? (I'm opting for Sundays, but I'm wondering what you all think).

Many thanks to all who reply!!!! :wink:

Jim Warfield
04-03-2007, 08:02 AM
Sundays can be a laid back night but even though the crowd might seem alittle different, they can show up in numbers.
Sunday afternoons are excellant times for familys with small children to attend if you make a show just for this group. You usually don't have any vandalism to contend with then. (Maybe it's the "Daylight" and non-drunking factor at work?)
Talk with the familys first, watch for body lanuage from kids telling you they might be very nervous, make yourself into a real person at this time and make some real promises not to scare these little ones, make special compensations for them, turn up the lights some, do not have the big scares operating and have a kitty or a puppy waiting to bring out to distract them in a positive way so they can at least get through the first room . (I have had Larry's puppie waiting so long for him he's a full-grown werewolf now!)
This sort of activity, if done by the majority of the haunts would inspire and build a future audience that many now alienate forever, in my opinion.

Raycliff Manor
04-03-2007, 08:21 AM
Great question! We've typically been open on Thursday's toward the end of the month of October, but we're eliminating Thursday's this year completely. The attendance just didn't justify being open. Of course, "your results may vary". :wink: My recommendation would be to give one Thursday night a try to test it out for your first year. Because we live in a tourist area, the last Sunday before Halloween we definitely are open. So many of the locals work in hospitality and we found that offering them a Sunday to come out is very much appreciated by them. Again, you can try on Sunday your first year and see how it goes. Hope that helps a litle bit. :wink:

Kel

Jolly Pumpkin
04-03-2007, 10:27 AM
It really depends if you have volunteer kid actors or not. If you are going to be open Thursday and your volunteers have only been out of school for a couple hours, they are likely not to show up unless they love haunting. On Sunday school isn't in session so they will definately be able to work. On thursdays kids have school so your crowd is going to be pretty small unless you offer half off Thursdays or some kind of promotion. That always seems to work when you add in a promotion. So my suggestion would to be open Sundays and be open almost every day of the week Halloween week. People are really in the mood for haunted attractions the week before Halloween. But alot of things fator in such as your location, demographic etc.

Jim Warfield
04-03-2007, 02:11 PM
Kelly, Have you a strong Monday tourism business at your inn or haunt?
There was a clientel of what I thought might qualify as "Smarter" tourists who would book a Sunday night's lodging and leisurely drive home maybe early Monday afternoon rather than fight the traffic or drive at night.
Of course most of these people had a 3 hour drive to "the city", otherwise known as Chicago. Maybe it doesn't work like this where you are if everyone drives further to arrive home?
Have flyers for your business sort of died too? Nobody seems to pick up many flyers anymore, it's all on-line instead for tourist info.

Duke of Darkness
04-03-2007, 02:12 PM
It is very difficult to answer either of your questions because there are so many factors involved.

Wages are very much governed by where you are located, though it is common for paid actors to make minimum wage (here that is a bit over $7/hr).

As for what days to be open, that takes some experimentation. One of the big factors is how long you are open. Will you be open all month long or only one or two weeks. The shorter your season, the more days you will have to stay open. If you are open for the entire month, consider ramping up the number of days as the season goes on. For example, this season you might be open Sept. 28 & 29 and Oct 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31. This type of progression has been successful for us in the past. As I said however, you will have to determine what works best for you and your guests.

I really like Jim's suggestion about Sunday afternoons. How many have tried this? How was it received?

Dave

Mr Nightmarez
04-04-2007, 06:27 AM
Sundays can be profitable if you target the right audience. Sundays are normally Family Nights - We advertise on Que Bueno a (Latino Radio Station) and our attendance increased on Sundays. Plus some churches will do a Sunday night trip w/ youth groups.

However, Thursdays can be good toward the end of the season... If I had to choose - I would have to go w/ Sunday. :wink:

Good Luck!

mindtumor
04-05-2007, 01:04 PM
Wow, nobody likes Thursdays. Come to think of it I don't think I have ever been to a haunt on a Thursday.

lurker
04-05-2007, 01:17 PM
It took me a while to learn this lesson, but Thursdays tend to suck. I think everyone seems to agree on this subject.

MMManiac
04-05-2007, 02:07 PM
THURSDAY SUCK FOR US TOO AND SUNDAYS AT TIMES ARE OUR BUSIEST NIGHT. WE DO THOUGH TOWARDS THE END OF THE MONTH OPEN THURSDAYS.

SEAN

mrs_boo
04-05-2007, 07:19 PM
Okay that's kinda what I figured. You guys all have great ideas! Thank you so much!!