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Dr.Mandrake
10-14-2012, 07:57 AM
Last night, we were hit with a pretty big storm, and it brought lots of rain with it. My haunt managers still decided to open the haunt, though. Being stationed in the outside portion, I can't say I had a really great time. We didn't get a whole lot of customers, and had to shut down before 10:00 because the building was beginning to get flooded. All in all, it was a pretty miserable and unproductive night. In your opinion, should haunted houses close down for bad weather, or should they remain open and tough it out?

BrotherMysterio
10-14-2012, 10:05 AM
Last night, we were hit with a pretty big storm, and it brought lots of rain with it. My haunt managers still decided to open the haunt, though. Being stationed in the outside portion, I can't say I had a really great time. We didn't get a whole lot of customers, and had to shut down before 10:00 because the building was beginning to get flooded. All in all, it was a pretty miserable and unproductive night. In your opinion, should haunted houses close down for bad weather, or should they remain open and tough it out?

It really sucks to have to act in the rain, but the people who showed up, showed up in the rain as well, and arguably might be just as wet as you are. If a haunt commits to "rain or shine" they commit all the way, or risk incurring the wrath of the negative word-of-mouth gods, just as with the wrath of the rain gods. "Man, we drove all that way out in the rain, got soaked, walked up to the gate, and the sign said 'closed for weather'!! WTF!?!"

C.

mrfoos
10-15-2012, 10:18 AM
Dr.Mandrake, you sound like a standup guy. I run an outdoor attraction and would never operate during the rain for the mere torture it would put on the actors. I wouldn't ever expect them to put up with it. Pretty cool that you are committed enough to stay with it. We all want more of you. ;)

Tom
10-15-2012, 11:12 AM
IMHO,
A haunt, like any other business should stay open during good or bad weather (excluding outdoor haunts) if they are advertised to be open during that time.
Gotta take the good with the bad.
Obviously if it's a safety factor, then any business should consider that risk and close. But if safety isn't a concern, then press on.
If anything, the actors get paid and get a break before "hell week".

Riedell595
10-18-2012, 12:15 PM
we added an outdoor addition this year, and our first night open it poured for the first hour. and we had people "WANTING" to go thru it in the rain and we gave them the option to go out early before, or go thru it all. and i was suprised that people enjoyed the effect.. now if it was STORMING I would not let it open.

Dr.Mandrake
10-21-2012, 08:54 PM
mrfoos, thanks! I love doing the haunt so much in general that a couple not-so-great nights don't really dull the experience too much. What I was most worried about was that my new $100 mask, which was made mostly of sponge and hair with a little bit of latex, would be damaged by the rain, but thankfully that was avoided.

Tom, we learned the next night that a tornado actually had touched down somewhere in our area, but we weren't affected at all, thank God. Also, we're a charity, so we don't get paid at all. We just show up because we love to do what we do ;)

Tom
10-22-2012, 08:48 AM
Tom, we learned the next night that a tornado actually had touched down somewhere in our area, but we weren't affected at all, thank God. Also, we're a charity, so we don't get paid at all. We just show up because we love to do what we do ;)

Dr,
Thank goodness the tornado didn't hit ya.

Wish there were more folks like you that do this for the "love" of acting in a haunt. :)

Steve Felber
04-08-2014, 07:27 AM
We are a one-night show and have adapted our set up to be under tent and cover 'just in case'... Well, the last 2 years have been a mess. Hurricane Sandy 2 years ago. Torrential downpours throughout the night, wind. If we could do it the night before or after, we would, but most customers we get would rather combine trick or treating with their kids with their visit with us.

Even with all the crap weather over the past few years, we still get a good turnout.

If a haunt is going to say 'rain or shine' then they need to go all the way. I'm just happy when I don't have to wear my thermals under my costume...

drfrightner
04-08-2014, 11:40 AM
Here is an opinion for you take it for what its worth...

1) If its a SLOW night NO NEVER EVER! I will close 110% on a night that should be slow anyway. I'd lose money first and foremost.

2) IF you are talking one of the busiest nights of the year yes we'd have to open but we've faced this many times before and dealt with it just fine. If there was a tornado warning or super high winds I would NOT open for safety issues alone. But if you are simply talking about rain yes we would and we can do it.

First we have tents for our customers to wait in so they don't get soaked and sometimes when its raining and lets say pouring we stop everything we get the actors inside the customers wait under the tents or whatever... when the rain breaks we fire up!

Additionally we are PREPARED for rain... you show up that day EARLY and you gravel gravel gravel the place so water can't collect where actors and customers walk.

You make sure electrical boxes and outlets are covered ... and you are simply PREPARED FOR IT!

I would NEVER make an actor working in the pouring down rain we'll wait it out... like you said its not super busy because of the rain SO you simply make sure you have a place for customers to wait and actors to wait without being rained on... when it breaks FIRE IT UP.

The other issue is if I know its going to rain we try to open early and we go faster to get customers through to beat the rain... it slows down naturally we close.

Larry

deathstaste
04-09-2014, 10:02 PM
We had one night of rain. We were not prepared for rain in the woulds no shelters just make shift. It was our busiest night of all. definitely added to the ambiance.

Jim Warfield
04-14-2014, 12:16 PM
In Oct. I put up a 20 by 10 Car tent I own. Securing it to the parking lot so it won't blow away is the most work. I sometimes built a wooden and plastic combination, thinking for the pure safety of my patrons I build 4 by 8 panels with 2 by 4 frames , laid on their side plus orange traffic cones plus parking one car next to the side of it, all to keep anyone as safe as possible should a car drive into it, since as many as 5 Taverns are just 50 to 200 feet away.
Ravens Grin is mostly indoors but there is an outdoor loop which can be totally and easily closed off if needed, re-routing people right back into the house. I do this once the snow fliys and I quit shoveling that area a few years ago. Two large items there can be seen at the tour's conclusion when I pop open a side hatch just before they exit the tour experience.
The backyard loop has stations along it where people could duck in from a normal rain and remain pretty dry. Using this yard year-round it is always graveled, the parts not cemented or with flush-grade stepping "stones", they will be re-entering the house and who needs mud? I sure don't. A carpeted ramp outdoors gets closed off when wet.
If high winds come up, we leave the backyard quickly because of all the tree branches which could possibly come down. I can't thoroughly inspect every branch on every tree back there, I do spend a ton of time every year cutting and trimming already to try to make it as safe of a trail as humanly posible.
I also have posted some mildly humorous signs as they enter the outdoor portion concerning "Wildlife". If there happens to be an animal lurking around back there it will be a real animal, don't touch, don't mess with it! My property is on the edge of a cliff with a small river below, woods on some of both sides, wildlife all over it, coyotes, raccoon, possuum and now bobcats and bears have been seen not very far from my backdoor .
We all have to think way ahead using "new eyes " sometimes to pick out or to guess what hazards we may not have anticipated, then, anticipate and fix them before they happen!

BigT
04-22-2014, 06:41 PM
We have only had to deal with this one night, and it was not really raining hard. My boy (who runs the outdoor haunt) was on the radio asking me what we should do, and when I saw the queue growing, simply answered, "if the patrons are willing to tough it out in the rain, then by-God we should be too!" And we did - and it was a great night!

That being said, it is definitely a safety call. If the weather turns for the worse, we would shut down the outside haunt, and if it put patrons in danger I would even shut down the indoor haunt. Being in the entertainment industry as long as we have, we have worked many concerts in the rain (thankful we were under the shelter of a stage). I have watched many a fan sit in torrential downpours during a show and have a blast - but I have also seen lightning strike where patrons were sitting so sometimes we have to make the hard decisions for them.