View Full Version : What is causing a bad season for some?
10-29-2012, 05:52 PM
I have read several posts from haunts that have just had a rotten season and yet some have done great. Even some established haunts had really low numbers this year. Anyone have any ideas on what is causing this? Could it be that it is an election year and people are just cutting back on spending? Even though the younger end of our demographic really don't care about the election they still get their money from their parents. The odd thing is everyones market will be different but there still seems to be a trend industry wide. Look forward to hearing everyones thoughts on the matter.
10-30-2012, 05:35 PM
I wonít speculate why some haunts are up and many are down, but there are some issues that have made this season more challenging:
- The political scene in some states (Ohio is a battleground state) has made it very difficult or expensive to purchase electronic media. Itís unfair that politicians can lock up so much air time causing prices to soar and limiting the availability of commercials to the private business sector.
- The economy is still very challenging. Unemployment is still high and many people who have jobs are underemployed.
- The cost of living is up; food and gasoline are at all time highs; limiting the amount of disposable income available to spend on entertainment. The entertainment industry (movies) has had a tough time this fall too.
- The weather has sucked. In our state (Ohio); it has rained 21 of 30 days this month.
- Hurricane Sandy has impacted 13 states leading up to the past weekend, which normally the weekend before Halloween was our best weekend for attendance. Please keep our friends who are suffering in these areas in your thoughts and prayers.
- There were only four weekends in October this year.
All that being said, I thought we were doing pretty good as we were up about 20% going into this past weekend. The cold/wind/rain started last Friday and hasnít stopped since and so we were down about 40% this past weekend. Weíre open this coming weekend and hopefully we can recover some lost sales.
I hope this provides some thought starters for discuss in the group.
10-31-2012, 05:04 PM
Kelly we can all speculate at what the cause of this was but I have visited several haunts in my area that were still the same as they were 2 years ago. I felt like I just paid to see reruns of Seinfeld. They have not changed much. The weather, holloween on a Wednesday, World Series, and the economy all are factors but each one would only account for a percentage of the lost revenue. Some haunts are saying they are down 30 to 40% and that would mean there is a bigger issue here. Marketing tendencies are changing from tv, newspapers, and even radio to Web marketing and local cable. In the market now you need be on the leading edge of these things and you need to reinvent yourself in some degree every year to stay fresh. I know many people that said they did not want to go with me to the largest haunt in the Detroit area just because they have gone the last 2 years and the show did not change much, at least not $28 worth of change. I don't disagree with them, A haunt of this level should be leading the area in inovation. If your haunt or marketing gets stale people just think they have been there done that, you need to look at what will keep the customers coming back year after year. I have watched a lot of haunts that change or add every year and they were jamed this year even in the rain. The other thing is they send info about what is different this out over the web making you want to go see what is new. If we give the customer some bang for there buck then they will want to come see our latest and greatest work every year no mater the wheather, economy, or the stinking Tigers losing the World Series. Maybe I'm a dreamer and I'm on crack, but I think if so many people will pay $150 for a football game then they will do it for something that comes only once a year.
11-10-2012, 09:34 AM
I know for us in Michigan we had some crappy ass weather all season long. Plus with our baseball team being in the world series the cost of living etc. I think maybe people can only afford to go to one haunted attraction now days. Since Metro-Detroit has A LOT of haunted houses in the area people are just burn't out I'm thinking. I just don't know
11-10-2012, 12:07 PM
How many of them can afford to see say 3 haunts if they have a family/friends and admission is $20-$25 or more?
Add gasoline expenses....
I also wonder if when a haunt gets up to this price range if customers just assume that all the haunts in a given area are all going to be that expensive? (I know "Duh!?" Customers )
Some parents will indulge their kids but not always paying for the more expensive haunt, toy, whatitz.
"But we wanted to go to The Fingernail Of Gruesome Death haunted house, not Rickies Merry-G0-Round of Limburger Cheese..again."
"Just forget it, we took you to A haunted house,the season and the discussion are over!"
Most teens go to movies to do something to be with their friends. If too many friends "Bail" (money coming up short?) then the whole safari might derail.
I work on this house everyday for these last 25years. This place has many items displayed here. I don't do or say the same things for each tour (I don't want to get bored, either!)
Do some people have every inch of my house memorized? Doubtful.
"NEW" things await them, just turn your head and look the other way this time!"
This business has always been tricky to anticipate, although years ago I was more psychic and I was predicting very accurately how many would be here, sometimes I even could guess "Who"!
Yes I did.
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