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nightmareproductionz
06-01-2012, 01:17 AM
So right now, the topic of discussion at our latest meeting was that of "why are we only open for 6 days?" Meaning, I was the one who brought it up. I joined the management team of St Matthew Haunted House in Illinois, and if you couldnt tell by the name, we're a charity haunt for the church. But let me get to the point...

Due to the fact that our haunt is in the gym of the adjacent school, we can only get access to from the last weekend of September and have to completely moved out by November 1st. Which is completely fine... we bypass the first weekend in October, and are open the last three. But in year's past, we've only opened the adult house (meaning the night-time scary haunt) on Fridays and Saturdays.

Last year we were named 5th in Illinois by Haunted Illinois and because of that, I have a hunch we'll be seeing an increase in patrons this year. With that said, I'd like to be open more than just 6 nights.

So... what has been more beneficial to the rest of you? Opening a weekend early is the most obvious choice, but we dont have the man power to get the haunt up in 4 days. So pretty much I have two options: Thursdays or Sundays.

My gut says that Thursdays are better, maybe opening 7-10 (we're 7-11 Fri and Sat).

Thoughts?

MorgueofDoom
06-01-2012, 11:20 AM
The patrons and attendance are different everywhere but here in Texas, at least with our shows, Thursdays and Sundays are both a bust. We open the last two Sundays in the month but we had to make them special event nights in order to increase attendance for those days. Even at that, we do just enough to justify turning the lights on, let alone put gas in the trailers. Of the two days I would choose Sundays. 7-10pm

rwrussom
06-01-2012, 11:56 AM
From my experience and from the comments over the years from others, those nights will be of little help to relieve the busy Friday and Saturday. I have not a achieved or heard of others that were successful in diverting attendance to the off days outside of doing special events such as a charity event, or maybe a pitch dark event. It seems that for us smaller seasonal events, people come on Friday and Saturday, no amount of coupons or extra promotions seams to have much of an impact. To avoid turning people away because of lines so that you can take advantage of the great free promotion you received, it seems to become all about flow management. The biggest impact can be getting open on time or early and staying up and running. There is an art to keeping a line out front to bring people in but not so much as to look like there is an hour wait (even if there is). So mt 2 cents are focus on operational smoothness and maybe expand your hours on Friday and Saturday if you can

BrotherMysterio
06-01-2012, 05:42 PM
So... what has been more beneficial to the rest of you? Opening a weekend early is the most obvious choice, but we dont have the man power to get the haunt up in 4 days. So pretty much I have two options: Thursdays or Sundays.

Wait, are you saying you put the haunt up and take it down every week?

C.

Karl Fields
06-01-2012, 09:05 PM
Warning - your results may vary!
Last year, the 4 Thursday/Sundays we were open, Sundays easily doubled the Thursdays attendance, and it certainly didn't take away from our Fri/Sat attendance.
Once thing you might consider, if opening weeknights, is make any coupons, discounts or whatever not valid on Fri/Sat or Halloween. We have done that for years, with no harsh repercussions, and increased those normal really slow nights.

storm
06-01-2012, 11:25 PM
Just form this small sample of posts it looks like Thursdays are a bust in most markets. Don't get me wrong, unless weather is a factor Thursdays and Sundays are still profitable nights, just not the volume of Fri and Sat.

If you need to choose go with Sunday, it definitely trends higher then thurs, but both nights are supported well by coupons and promotions. The exception is the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend. This is a good night every year.

The way the calender falls this year we will probably drop Thursdays all together and stick with the Sundays in oct.

Karl Fields
06-01-2012, 11:43 PM
Not be picky Storm, but our Thursdays were not a 'bust', we made money just not up to Sundays numbers. Our only "can't ever seem to do anything to bring them in night" is Monday. Never again, well unless it's the 31st!




Just form this small sample of posts it looks like Thursdays are a bust in most markets. Don't get me wrong, unless weather is a factor Thursdays and Sundays are still profitable nights, just not the volume of Fri and Sat.

If you need to choose go with Sunday, it definitely trends higher then thurs, but both nights are supported well by coupons and promotions. The exception is the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend. This is a good night every year.

The way the calender falls this year we will probably drop Thursdays all together and stick with the Sundays in oct.

toxic_manor100
06-02-2012, 12:07 AM
hey guys and gals. does anyone know of any places in missouri that sells a rustic pre treated wood ??? iam building a bed prop that happends too spit a large amount of water and i want the frame of the bed to be rustic but at the same time i want it treated too so that when the water from the prop sprays out the wood dont ruin so if anyone has any ideas please message me or reply

Thanks ,

Joshua King - Owner
Toxic Manor Haunted House

nightmareproductionz
06-04-2012, 12:57 AM
Wait, are you saying you put the haunt up and take it down every week?

C.

No no no, not at all haha we have a medium-large size haunt that goes in the gym. So we can only use the gym space for the limited weeks.

So what I'm getting from this is to pretty much take everything from Fri and Sat as I can seeing as Thurs arent usually the best and we arent "allowed" to open Sunday nights.

Thanks for the input!

BrotherMysterio
06-04-2012, 02:24 AM
No no no, not at all haha we have a medium-large size haunt that goes in the gym.

Then what was that bit about only setting up in 4 days, and not having enough man power to do it?

C.

Wellinton
06-04-2012, 02:57 AM
Sunday has been our busiest nights the last 4 years with nice crowds. Coupons were not valid on busy Sunday. We are an indoor Haunt, but we opened from 4:00pm -8:00pm. School night.

nightmareproductionz
06-04-2012, 10:53 AM
Then what was that bit about only setting up in 4 days, and not having enough man power to do it?

C.

Because we unload the trailers the last weekend of September. We have one day of actor training/rehearsal. So in order to be open the first weekend of October (which we are not) we would have to set up in four days. Being open the second weekend gives us 10 days.

BrotherMysterio
06-04-2012, 12:37 PM
Because we unload the trailers the last weekend of September. We have one day of actor training/rehearsal. So in order to be open the first weekend of October (which we are not) we would have to set up in four days. Being open the second weekend gives us 10 days.

Ah, got it. It sounded like, with being a church, and Sundays being off, that there was perhaps some worship function going on, or that the gym area was meant to be a multi-purpose room and you didn't necessarily have the full run of it for October. Btw, why closed Sunday? Does the church do an evening service?

How big is your haunt and what kind of build out do you do? Standard wall panels, I would imagine? Is there a way to streamline the process a bit so that you can get it done faster? When we do a haunt-for-hire, we get it up in about 1.5 days. Of course, it's not the full size of a school or church gym, but there might be some way to streamline it. Also, do you have access to your actors earlier? You might hold training early, which would buy you another day, or even set up the haunt walls at another location, work out blocking, get training done, do a dress rehearsal, and then barnstorm the church building once you are good to go. Also, if your actors help with the dry run of setting up the walls, then they can be enlisted to help with the build out, which could speed things up.

Just some thoughts. :smile:

C.

rwrussom
06-04-2012, 01:22 PM
One thing to consider in reviewing the input here is the type of haunt compared to yours. Karl does a tops in the nation type of show that draws 10s of thousands over the season at a pretty good price. As a customer to a show like that, to roll to an off to another night and save a few bucks and wait time, this is a great deal. If you are not that type of show then a buck off to change my plan from a little Saturday night entertainment to a Sunday outing may not impact things. The same 30 minute drive that puts me within 400,000 people has Karl within multiple millions. Its just a different game, so try to understand your market.