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Mr. Haunt
03-14-2008, 10:34 AM
I was wondering, for those who are open every weekend through the month of October, how busy are you on Halloween?

If I did have the money to do a haunt for one day, why not do this on Halloween.

Mr. Haunt

graystone
03-14-2008, 10:44 AM
It may just be me but I dont understand the question? Are you saying your going to do a Haunted House for 1 day only and your going to do it on Halloween?

Mr. Haunt
03-14-2008, 11:12 AM
To answer your question, yes.

I still have some time to figure things out, but I might be able to do a haunt at a good location for one day. My rent would be only 140.00 for each day.

I know that everyone has their own opinions on this, but one day is better then none. I also will be doing things a little more differant then a typical haunt to keep overhead low. BUT good enough to scare the pants off of people.

Then I will put all profit into the haunt for 2009 and make it better and grow a little more each year.




Mr. Haunt

tkaska
03-14-2008, 11:38 AM
Aside from scaring the pants off of people; I'm assuming you have at least enough funds to properly run your biz, right? I mean insurance, actors, safety concerns, etc....I guess your question is a little confusing to me, too? Knowing what it costs to take care of all the other overhead, I sure as hell wouldn't open for one day. I'm just guessing here, but you'd need a fair amount of customers to break even. I hate to see you lose good money like that....I see where you're headed with your thinking and all...been there, done that. Do you have any sponsors to help bring a little cash in?

Mr. Haunt
03-14-2008, 12:26 PM
I know all about the safety needed for the haunt. I have a good number of people to help as well. I have an idea to do some free marketing and such.

As for a sponsor, I might be able to get a hold of a few.



Mr. Haunt

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-14-2008, 01:19 PM
Mr. Haunt,

If you are trying to make enough profit to open a full season haunt in one night, then you are fooling yourself. Unless you are just doing it to have fun and give a few scares, then I would not expect to make much money from opening only on Halloween.

We do see pretty good numbers on Halloween. But, that is partially because of all the word of mouth from earlier in the month.

At very best I would only expect a few hundred people to show up. Being it will be your first year. And only being open that night.

We spend thousands of dollars each year advertising our haunt. Just in rent and payroll we spend almost 50k a year. Then there are construction costs, permits, insurance, safety equipment, outside entertainment, props, sound, lighting, special effects, tickets, merchandise to sell, concessions, searchlights and about another 100 things I am forgetting about right now.

Running a haunt is not an easy business. In fact, as I think most pros would agree, it is probably one of the most difficult ventures out there to actually make a profit from. If you do not put everything into it. Or go in without completely researching every aspect of your business plan. You are almost certainly doomed for failure.

If I were you I would consider opening for at least the whole last week of October and maybe even the first weekend in November. Or hold off on opening this year. Try getting enough money together to do it right in 09.

Anyway, I am not trying to sound negative. I am just trying to be realistic.

Just my 2 cents. I have been in this business for 22 years and have seen a lot of things. You can take my advice or leave it. Most people choose not to listen to me. LOL! But usually to there own regret.

Hope everything works out for you,

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Owner
Deadly Intentions Haunted House (Prison)
www.DEADLYINTENTIONSHAUNT.com

Mr. Haunt
03-14-2008, 01:49 PM
Howie,

Thanks for your 2 cents. I have been on this forum for 2 years now and I have learned much from you and everyone else.

I like your idea being open the week of Halloween. Or at least the weekend before. I will have to see how money is in the next month or so, who knows I might make it the whole month of October.

Of course as we all know there are many types of haunted attractions to do. Ghost Stories, Haunted Trails, haunted Hayrides, Out Side Haunted Houses, and Indoor Haunted Houses. Indoor Haunted Houses are most costly. They have a lot of overhead and a lot more safety concerns then the others I listed.

Fore my first attraction I was looking at doing a Ghost Story. Just tweak it up some to make it a bit more spooky.

I have two places that might be of use, so I just need to figure which place offers the best for the money.




Mr. Haunt

Deathmask Studios
03-14-2008, 02:10 PM
I have to agree with Howie - one night is a tough one! One thing to think about is the quality of what you want to do - if you cut corners and "jump the gun" getting into the business, you may make a bit of cash year one, but it'll come back to bite you in year two. Patrons have considerable memory when it comes to haunts and remember the weak ones more readily than the good ones sometimes. The second consideration is the area you open in. I'm in Florida and after 16 years of trying every conceivable schedule, we only open on weekends in October - period! Floridians are slow to get in the mood (no seasons maybe) and impossible to get out on week nights. Third, the insurance issue - you have to have it and don't kid yourself otherwise. One silly mistake and you're done. You literally risk home and hearth without it and I don't know if anyone will write it for one night or the cost difference if they will. Lastly - and we've all done it - that brilliant idea, that innovation, that revolution to the industry - probably won't work the way you imagine right out of the box. At the very best a successful haunt is a work in progress that caters to everyone BUT you, a living breathing thing that consumes you - and if it doesn't, it just won't last. Good luck, we all started somewhere and no one has ALL the answers!
George
www.xscreamhalloween.com