View Full Version : How do you find a location?
04-23-2012, 12:34 PM
I have had a hard time finding a location to open a haunt.
I had a few leads but they fell through, my question is to all of you who have a haunt or have a location ready to start a haunt, how did you find it? Did you contact a realtor, or did you just look around town and found the right stop?
I have all my ducks in a line.... expect the one big duck where I am going to have the haunt.
Also do most of you rent or own your location?
Thank you guys so much you have been so helpful!
04-23-2012, 02:27 PM
All of the above. We've been scouting really hard for about 6 to 8 months. We've gotten a realtor that's been very helpful and been hard on the lookout ourselves. We've looked withing about an hour's drive. Everything past that is either already full of nice haunts or is too far!!
We're renting to own our building. Our main one was rent free with 30% going to the building owner. That fell through but was a blessing really. Now we're paying $2,000 a month, split in half with half being paid by month and rest at end of season. It has a house on it and has 150 parking spots and is beside a good size factory with tons of parking as well. We would rent it, but it's such a good deal to go ahead and RTOwn it.
Just don't settle for a spot in your own town, unless it's a prime spot. My town is 26,000 people with ZERO haunts that are considered "nice" or "pro" And we're 20 min's away from a 76,000 town that has only 1 "nice" haunt with some much smaller haunts and they all do ok it seems. I'd try to get that 76k town, but rent is UNGODLY high there! We'll market a lot for that area and try to reel them into this town. Plus, those folks have to drive through my town to get to the big haunt in Piggott, 45 min's north from here.
Hope this helps a bit. All I can say is NEVER stop looking! you never know what you've missed. We thought we were done in this town, after locking in this place, we found 2 more spots that'd been suitable, with less rent, BUT, we're still in a better deal.
04-23-2012, 02:45 PM
It's really tough, but it will probably end up costing you anywhere from $60k-to well over 100k in rent because they'd probably want you to rent year round. Expect to start out with a couple hundred thousand to start out your first year in a competitive market to cover all aspects of the haunt and staff, taxes etc.
04-23-2012, 06:16 PM
It was my biggest obstacle to overcome as well - hopefully signing my lease wednesday. I am having to rent year round - hopefully I'll get some good use out of it. Good luck to you.
04-24-2012, 06:41 AM
.......... I looked for two years. First on my own then with a realtor. I didn’t have much luck with the first 3…I don’t know maybe cause I wanted a lease and not to buy. Then I found a commercial leasing agent WOW, had a place in a month!!!
Cost?? Here is how I handled it. I ask for a step up lease lower the first year (MUCH LOWER) and more over the next 4, to sweeten the deal I offered a $1.00 on each ticket sold the first year and $.50 the next 2 years he negotiated it for the next 4…oh well im getting 14,000 feet for a lot less than originally requested…..and the more I thought about it, it might make him a better landlord if he is in on the action some.
Good Luck Man!!!! Going indoors is probably one of the most exciting thing I have ever done and I have been around for close to 50 years:D
04-24-2012, 07:55 AM
I consider ourselves lucky. We've got a house onsite, an apartment in the main building and a parking lot of 150 + neighboring lot. They were asking $175K and we're getting it rent to own for $145k. $1k a month rent, and $12k lump at end of season. I asked for that because she wanted $2,200 a month. Got her to $2k a month and then split it up for our first year. The thing is, she's leaving it like that for the remainder of the time AND, no interest off the lump of $12k in november! Our building is only 6,400 sq ft, but I think that's plenty for the first few years.
However, with our FM going through the books, he decided to make us put a sprinkler system in. On the good hand, they're allowing us to only have to install them in the haunt side, not the apartment as well, which will cut down on cost. We'll be sprinkling close to 4,500 sq ft for $2.50 a sq ft. Which I hear is cheap! There's a hydrant just a block away and it'll be going through an already cut ditch, through an abandoned lot! So that'll be easier on us too.
Finding a location is rough, it is the hardest thing to do imo. This is our first year of doing ANYTHING! We didn't have an outdoor event first or anything. Just did NICE halloween parties for people and yard haunts. Decided they weren't strong / good enough for us and so we decided to go pro. If this things pays rent and utilities I'LL BE HAPPY!! I can build it up to make more, no doubt about it.
04-24-2012, 12:19 PM
Or do like I'm planning and give the owner a % of ticket sales. They like that I'm helping charities, maybe not the first or 2nd years but eventually which was a plus to having me.
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