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View Full Version : Haunt Season Attendance Numbers Up or Down... Follow this thead all season



drfrightner
09-19-2011, 01:46 PM
I'm starting a thread for which I'm hoping everyone in the haunt industry will follow and report to as the season goes on... your opening weekend up or down? The season as a whole is going well is media stories up or down, are you flat with attendance what???

REPORT HERE as the season goes on... if your season is slow or down how much? What are you doing about it or what are the reasons why?

This thread can help everyone because remember your season is short and what you do in a quick timeframe could determine whether you do well or not.

Larry

drfrightner
09-19-2011, 01:48 PM
We have opened The Darkness and Lemp now and attendance is down so far but I'm really not going to panic until after this weekend when Creepyworld opens.

Our marketing is now going strong and hoping with all three open we'll have a strong weekend. Either way I will continue to report everything as we go.

One thing I'm going to suggest to everyone is to try new media try and do things you haven't done before, mix things up, and spend more on marketing not less.

Even when things seem down spend more, cut something else but cutting marketing won't save your bottom line!

Larry

drfrightner
09-19-2011, 02:09 PM
On another note... to all those who are SMART ENOUGH to buy featured ads on Hauntworld.com ... I know you are going to think this is a sales pitch but its not. I have put all my off season work into ONE PROJECT... www.HAUNTWORLD.com and I continue to work on it even today. I've learned so much about SEO, to everything between... I make changes to Hauntworld almost daily now and I'm determined to make this the biggest Haunted House website in the WORLD without any doubts.

I'm PROUD TO REPORT that Hauntworld web traffic is UP 60.1 % over same time last year. Just so we are clear its not up 60% over same day last month or two weeks ago, up 60% over the same weekend periods of last year. All the work we put into the site is now coming through... and now that our national PR program is starting to kick in on top of all the increased SEO work this site might go over 100% increases.

I'm happy that I invested over $20k to move the website to the CLOUD because we are going to need it... our biggest traffic days last year saw the site get over 100,000 visits in a single day. This year it could go to 200,000 visits in a single day. I keep telling you and some of you don't listen but oh well... UPDATE YOUR PROFILES because people are using this site to find haunted houses and you either have an attractive web page or you don't!

We are giving you the tools to promote your business you either jump on them or you don't. I would say anyone who can't find the time to update their profile is dropping the ball... and you can quote me on that one. Running a successful business takes a masterful ability to promote your business, so if you stick your nose into your haunt only and forget the elements to promote your business its hard to complain about lower attendance.

I've found that today its 10 times harder to market your business than it was 10 years ago... now you have to keep up with a facebook, websites, creating new content all the time for your website, you have to use more than radio to get the word out, you got google ads, haunt directory, all these other online sites you can list on... its tough. If you can't do it get someone to do it for you... full time! IT WILL PAY FOR ITSELF AFTER THE FIRST WEEKEND!

Lastly tell me if you think our site needs help or work or new features... i'm always open to new things. Let me know. I will keep you updated on HW traffic.

Larry

wickedfarmer
09-19-2011, 09:35 PM
Only corn maze is open now; haunt opens 30th. This last weekend; Sat was triple last year...sunday was on par. This is for same weekend and very similar weather as last year. Mind you we are between Michigan State University (15 minutes away) and University of Michigan (45 minutes away) This is even with Detroit tigers on fire winning something like last 11 straight games. Even Detroit Lions are making noise here in Michigan again! Real trend will be able to be seen in next few weeks.

Wicked Farmer

Badger
09-20-2011, 05:14 AM
I went to Scarowinds in Charlotte last Saturday night and the crowds were WAY up from previous years. I spent at least 45 minutes just trying to get into the park. My sister-in-law who is a year round employee says there were close to 18,000 on Saturday. A few years ago when Paramount owned the park, they would shut the gates when 15,000 were inside. I can see them setting record numbers as they are open 2 extra weekends this year. I doubt I would go in 3-4 weeks because I couldn't take the crowds...

wickedfarmer
09-20-2011, 08:12 AM
Only corn maze is open now; haunt opens 30th. This last weekend; Sat was triple last year...sunday was on par. This is for same weekend and very similar weather as last year. Mind you we are between Michigan State University (15 minutes away) and University of Michigan (45 minutes away) This is even with Detroit tigers on fire winning something like last 11 straight games. Even Detroit Lions are making noise here in Michigan again! Real trend will be able to be seen in next few weeks.

Wicked Farmer


This is with close to same advertising as last year...probably slightly less for same time period. My newer venues of advertising will be hitting next 2 weeks and will do more than last year. Group bookings on par with last year. My best advertising I believe...happy customers who have been elsewhere and disatisfied. Put flyers in a city with a newer big haunt. Everywhere I went people in that city were unhappy with experience..the more unhappy former customers of other haunt I ran into THE HEAVIER I LEFT MY FLYERS in that city. If you do this DO NOT...DO NOT... BAD MOUTH the competition; just explain what you do different.

Wicked Farmer

DarkTikiEntertainment
09-20-2011, 09:32 AM
Only corn maze is open now; haunt opens 30th. This last weekend; Sat was triple last year...sunday was on par. This is for same weekend and very similar weather as last year. Mind you we are between Michigan State University (15 minutes away) and University of Michigan (45 minutes away) This is even with Detroit tigers on fire winning something like last 11 straight games. Even Detroit Lions are making noise here in Michigan again! Real trend will be able to be seen in next few weeks.

Wicked Farmer

Hey Wicked Farmer, what is the name of your haunt?? I will be visiting Michigan the last week of October!

Thanks,
TODD

wickedfarmer
09-20-2011, 12:38 PM
Name you are looking for is Bestmaze Corn Maze. Look for bestmaze.com It is one mile from intersection of I-96 and M-52...one mile from Michigan Brewing as the bats fly. Haunt name is Trail of Terror but it is not found under that. Oh God; here comes the lectures for that tidbit. Caution...we stop selling tickets for haunt at 10:30. I know; that is just plain crazy hours! Well we farm all night long after crowds go home in October. Old man on combine and me running grain truck to our dryer and bins. It works for us.

Wicked Farmer

DarkTikiEntertainment
09-26-2011, 09:57 AM
Should be interesting to see how the numbers were over the weekend for everyone!

Spoils
09-26-2011, 10:32 AM
We have tripled our numbers from last year up to this date. If it keeps going this way we are in for one hell of a ride.

MorgueofDoom
09-26-2011, 12:01 PM
Our numbers are up considerably from last years opening weekend. Looks to be a great season so far.

MDKing
09-26-2011, 12:30 PM
As usual, the mid atlantic is getting all the rain this year, we had 3.19 inches of rain friday which was our opening night. My state has had record rainfall in both August and September and the hurricane devastated much of my trail haunt Creepywoods haunted Forest. Tough year so far, but the feedback back so far has been overwhelmingly positive so looking for a killer month, if it stays dry!

Good luck everyone!

Allan

undertaker
09-26-2011, 09:01 PM
Name you are looking for is Bestmaze Corn Maze. Look for bestmaze.com It is one mile from intersection of I-96 and M-52...one mile from Michigan Brewing as the bats fly. Haunt name is Trail of Terror but it is not found under that. Oh God; here comes the lectures for that tidbit. Caution...we stop selling tickets for haunt at 10:30. I know; that is just plain crazy hours! Well we farm all night long after crowds go home in October. Old man on combine and me running grain truck to our dryer and bins. It works for us.

Wicked Farmer

I attended your haunt last season. Probably the best corn maze I've been to.

wickedfarmer
09-27-2011, 08:42 AM
I attended your haunt last season. Probably the best corn maze I've been to.

I was jumping on here to say this last weekend was under last year; but we were under rain storms...so that was expected.

Since "powers that be" will be scanning this; and you said probably best maze you have ever been to; I will offer to do seminar on corn maze construction in St. Louis; if powrers that be contact me. Why you do not want to hire a national company to make a "pretty" maze. I would cover maze FLOW as most important. And how I manage maze from towers. Why...I have people coming from Nebraska to Michigan this year to go through THIS maze. What makes Bestmaze Corn Maze and what NOT to do.

Wicked Farmer

wickedfarmer
10-01-2011, 11:15 PM
Friday night was a washout. But Sat. it felt more like the week before Halloween instead of first Sat. of October. I posted a few months back that theme parks were up over previous years so I was expecting larger numbers this fall.

drfrightner
10-02-2011, 05:08 AM
Our numbers are DOWN with NO rain. The economy is terrible just horrible. There is really no telling just how this season will end up but we will not reach our numbers from last year this I know for sure. You know you might hear about a lot of haunts saying up but if you are a growing haunt you should be going up... if you are an established haunt going strong for many years your numbers are somewhat established ... like every year we do 40,000, or every year we do 32,000 or whatever. You know without a doubt you are up or down because you are always around that number maybe a little up or a little down from an established number.

So I hope to hear more from very established haunts here soon.

Larry

the ogre
10-02-2011, 09:15 AM
Rain has been aweful in Pa. our opening night thursday the 29th was a wash out, friday we closed an hour early because of rain and last night we got a full night in but it downpoured for the last 2 hours and we have to close our forest maze untill there is dry weather. i am only a supervisor at my haunt and right now im thanking god i dont own it. if this rain keeps goin this season will be a total disaster. on the plus side my actors are kick ass this year. im hoping for dry weather just so we can showcase our crew. i dunno about numbers being up or down but once the first raindrop is felt cars stop pulling in. this rain is bullshit! on another note, We start the 2012 production line for Haunt Tactics next week!

Dman
10-02-2011, 10:01 AM
Hi Larry,
We are a 20+ year Scream Park in Western, MA and the weather has been horrible (Rain go away). We opened on Friday to a above average crowd only to get a downpour 2 hrs into the evening, this didn't stop folks from arriving. We were rained out Saturday and we will take a rainout this evening. With 2 days out of 3 rained out, our attendance is slightly down but our payroll is way down due to the closings. We are controlling our biggest expense (Payroll) to increase our bottom line. This is a Business, do not make business decisions based on emotion. If you don't make a profit, you Can't play anymore.

Dan Augusto
Owner Tombstone Productions
Monster Mash Scream Park

krazedklownkilla
10-02-2011, 11:45 AM
We have had A great opening weekend. this is our first year in this location but, We put out the most promotion we have ever done and it has paid off. We have easily tripaled any other year numbers. cant wait to see how the rest of the season gos. Hoping everyone else dose well!!!

Allen H
10-02-2011, 03:54 PM
Established haunt and we are signifigantly up over last year. In north TX, locally it sounds like TX is up.

bhays
10-03-2011, 05:03 AM
We are established (11th season) here in southern Indiana. 9th year in same location. We're up overall about 25% in 6 nights open so far. We have had two nights, last night being one that have more than doubled last year's attendance.


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JamBam
10-03-2011, 06:12 AM
We are in NE Indiana and thirteen years in this location with seven years of slow growth on the line. Friday saw periods of cold rain and Sat was cool with us down some both nights. Looking for much better solid weekends the rest of the month.

1mando
10-03-2011, 06:36 AM
3rd year haunt and we doubled our advertising and we are up up up from last year

TheGreatPhantasmo
10-03-2011, 07:57 AM
We have been open for the past two Friday and Saturdays. We had pretty much a monsoon on our opening night and we are still up in attendance by about 15%.

HordeOfUndead
10-03-2011, 07:01 PM
I just started a similar thread in the other forum before realizing this one was here.

I don't know about other areas of the country, but Buffalo, NY had some pretty miserable weather this past weekend. On the plus side this whole upcoming week is supposed to be nice!

We certainly learned a lot just in the past 3 nights of our grand opening for District of the Dead. Couple glitches Friday night, but a good turnout. Saturday night was an awesome crowd, better weather, and much, MUCH more organized as far as actors and glitches fixed. Last night ran just as smooth or smoother and for a Sunday night not too bad a crowd. We did a little over 300 guests for opening weekend. Our location is excellent and our marketing efforts have been directed to many colleges, universities, and high schools within a very close proximity of where we are. Social marketing efforts over the past couple months have been excellent as well. Not everyone is in full blow Halloween mode on the first weekend so we anticipate a steady increase in guests for the remaining 4 weekends, especially with the buzz created on local campuses. And we managed to make the news last night! 8-)

Without our excellent actors, volunteers, and support from everyone that attended District of the Dead's grand opening over the weekend we would have not had such a screaming good time! Can't thank everyone enough for supporting WNY's Newest & Most Frightening Haunted Attraction, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and The Food Bank of WNY. :grin::grin:

Our crew hopes all the other excellent haunted attractions in WNY had a great opening weekend too!

Anyone have any wild or entertaining things that happened on their opening weekend worth sharing??

We had all sorts of issues with one compressor that kept blowing a breaker. I ran laps all night and luckily the breaker was only controlling one pneumatic prop. All is fixed now. 8-)

wickedfarmer
10-09-2011, 09:50 PM
If weather is good Sat. Oct. 15th I am expecting to direct cars away to a haunt 2 miles away. Sat the 8th was our second biggest night of ALL nights of 11 years. Blew away corresponding weeks of previous years. Firday night was good; not anything exceptional. Will be cutting my advertising next year. Am on FRONT cover of magazine style mailers, postcards in 120,000 mailboxes,..... tv, Haunt Guide, Fear Finder etc. Large plywood sign with all our ads displayed and ask everyone how did you hear about us. Word of mouth, our own flyers, and "been here before" is kicking butt...nothing else even close. So I turn cars away to my 'competitor" and say come on a friday night or earlier in month next time to all of them. Send business to newer haunt (former employee) help them get established and have exit 122 off I-96 become known as place to go. Then again if it rains...I'll have parking to spare.

Wicked Farmer

drfrightner
10-10-2011, 05:43 AM
Update: Our numbers are way down. I talked to a rep at a radio station who told me, Six Flags was down, and all the other haunts around these parts are down as well. So basically everything around these parts are way down. Not going well around here... nothing that will kill us or anything just going to drop some serious dollars from last year to this year.

I'm guessing there is really nothing we can to change the outcome. People don't have jobs, Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich which will hurt the economy because the Rich will stop investing, which in turns doesn't create new jobs, while at the same time companies will simply lay off people to pay for it, blah, blah.

The presidential election process has started already, blah, blah... what can you do? I don't know how its going for many others but our season is HORRIBLE but not close to be great either.

I've talked to several people by phone most everyone telling me either flat or down. So who knows.

I hope the finish is strong but we'll see.

Larry

wickedfarmer
10-10-2011, 06:05 AM
Your mind is playing tricks on you from lack of sleep and nerves. You did not read anything political in previous post. Although I agree with the subliminal message that was sent. Well except for that businesses have ALREADY stopped investing. They are sitting on some of largest cash reserves in recent history; because they do not like investing in climate of $14 trillion debt. Back when national debt was smaller % of GDP they wouls still invest. But we reached the tipping point. WARNING...continue political at own risk.

Wicked Farmer

wickedfarmer
10-10-2011, 06:24 AM
I never doubted Larry's numbers ...or hits on Hauntworld...still don't. BUT; I am a little leary of "radio guy" saying six flags was down. It VERY WELL COULD BE DOWN in that area. But earlier this summer "theme park" attendance was up and I have grown leary of all local radio ad salesmen (did no radio this year after being one of sponsors of radio stations haunt finding service last year) . Heck I am from Michigan so I understand economy affecting numbers. Just curious of those who chimed in on this thread...what is your admission price? My haunt is $10. Is public still doing haunts in same numbers but going more economical route??? For $10 they are getting a vortex tunnel, 25 actors, Night Frights Bloddy Mary Mirrior & Ghost Bust, talking skulls, Hallway to hell, caged up in prison for a few minuts, and a smattering of smaller ScareFactory animatronics along a 1/3 mile trail. In other words...does haunt industry need to look at producing a great show for less $$$. I understand we are a once a year event and people LOVE this stuff and most will gladly fork over more $$$. But; economy is what it is.

Wicked Farmer

Badger
10-10-2011, 10:48 AM
I talked to a rep at a radio station who told me, Six Flags was down, and all the other haunts around these parts are down as well.

I went to my local theme-park haunt on it's second night and it was PACKED. My SIL who works at the park full-times says they have been averaging 18-20,000 each night and they expect those numbers to go up for the final three weekends.

120-acre theme park.
11 mazes.
Most of the coasters and rides open with the exception of the children's area.
Tickets now running between $33.99 to $38.99 depending on night.
Go figure.

I wonder if St Louis and surrounding areas is down due to the tornado damage and subsequent rebuilding. Perhaps they've seen enough real horror this year...?

HauntedPaws
10-10-2011, 11:11 AM
Really depends where you are we have $10-$20 haunts sell out for the night here in New England.

Dman
10-10-2011, 06:02 PM
We are in our 21st year and after a rainy start, we have had record setting nights this past weekend. We are a Haunted Hayride that is roughly 40 minutes long and covers 165 acres of land as well as our House of Bad Dreams walk through which is roughly 12000 square feet. I feel we have priced our attraction to be a great family value, $15.00 per person or $25.00 for fast pass. I think some of the long standing larger attractions are simply pricing themselves out of business.

I wish everyone a DRY and Profitable season and look forward to seeing everyone at Transworld 2012..

Thanks,

Dan Augusto
Owner Tombstone Productions
Owner Monster Mash Scream Park

OblivionHauntedHouse
10-11-2011, 11:32 AM
We are in our second season and all of our numbers from last year have almost doubled as of this far.

Spoils
10-11-2011, 03:36 PM
This is our 5th season our attendance is up 62% and we raised our ticket price so we are up 78% in sales. Good year for us in North Texas!

Darkangel
10-11-2011, 04:08 PM
Dan, you said
"I think some of the long standing larger attractions are simply pricing themselves out of business."

You would think that but it's not the case, at not here on the East coast. I went to Bates Motel this past saturday and the place was packed, and their tickets are $40 a piece and that's general admission. Pennhurst was also $40 and the VIP pass was a whopping $75!!! I opted to wait in line. The shows are great though. People will pay the money for a great show.

DA

Allen H
10-11-2011, 04:32 PM
We are a mega haunt in TX and still doing well/ up after 2 weekends. Praying the weather holds and the rangers lose, when they are in the play offs people stay at home to see the game.

wickedfarmer
10-11-2011, 08:07 PM
We are a mega haunt in TX and still doing well/ up after 2 weekends. Praying the weather holds and the rangers lose, when they are in the play offs people stay at home to see the game.

Sorry Allen. I am outside of Detroit and I am hoping your team wins. If Rangers win; I'll buy drinks at Transworld. If Tigers win; you buy.

wickedfarmer
10-30-2011, 09:42 AM
Hmmmmm. Season started with a bang. Then did not escalate but just coasted. Weather did hit us Sat. 29th and earlier. Overall our Sunday family crowds fell off at maze this year...haunt probably above 2008 & 2009 but below 2010. The horse took off strong out of the gate ; but just coasted along and even slowed before crossing the finish line.

Maybe me walking down waiting line all these years and getting people to raise their right hand and repeat after me "Next year I am coming in EARLY Oct. when lines are smaller has finally sunk into peoples heads.

Wicked Farmer

Mike Goff
10-30-2011, 11:25 AM
This is our 13th year of operation. We have had terrible weather and closed a few nights due to rain, the parking lot and cornfield were little better than swamp land. We actually had to drill holes in the cornfield, drop submersable pumps and pump out the water. We relocated our queue line due to the river over flow. In spite of all this, we had an all time record season. We had 3 record nights and 3 record weekends. We ran out of parking 3 times.

We did no local radio advertising and added billboards. We have never done billboards before.

Looking through all of the info that we have available to us, my best guess as to what contributed to our success is the actors. I think that our actors performed better than they ever have, and we have gotten better at running our show. This year was a huge learning experience for me, and I am becomimg less and less concerned with our advertising and more concerned with the quality of the show. Face book has been huge for us, and I am not talking about the things that we did. I am talking about the things that our customers have been saying about us.

In our particular neck of the woods, it is pretty tough to impress. There are some bad ass haunts in this part of the state, we are about an hour and a half from the Hoochie, and about 2 hours from Land of Illusions. In our rural community we have to draw from pretty far away to do any amount of ticket sales. We will probably never be on par with these bigger haunts, but just being able to swim in the same pond and survive makes us pretty damn proud.

SCfearfarm
10-30-2011, 02:29 PM
It was our first year at our haunt so I don't really have anything to put the numbers up against, but I will say that this weekend has surprised me. Just like wickedfarmer said.....In talking with the other 3 or 4 haunts that we partnered with for marketing they all said that the last weekend before Halloween was not their best attended weekend the last few years. Last weekend we were all very packed and I figured that this weekend would be even bigger, but the attendance so far is half of last weekend. I am still pleased with our numbers, but I would have thought Halloween weekend would be the biggest. Who knows? There are a lot of parties, events, fall festivals, etc. going on so maybe everyone just got out early? Still 2 more nights left....but overall a good season with only 1 night of bad weather.

HauntedDeadEnd
10-31-2011, 08:10 AM
In our Second Year on the big stage we had to unfortunately shut down for 2 nights due to NY's 8" of snow. Some of our Haunt is outdoors and it was the right decision to make for safety reasons. The 7 nights that we were opened our numbers increased from last year so we were very successful and alot of positive feedback. We can't wait to get our hands on next year.