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naberhoodhaunts
05-01-2008, 01:03 PM
I have been doing a home haunt for about 5 years did a yard haunt before that. i was just approached by a friend of the wife if i was interested in opening a haunt on the third floor of a building. this would be a dedicated spot, so no tearing down every year. Im waiting for a floor plan and the name of the fire marshal and building inspector so i can set up meetings with them. The building will be ready for a walk through sometime in late may. I tried doing a charity haunt two years ago but six weeks before opening the nonprofit that i was working with backed out. lawyers gotta love them... NOT! lol My question to you all is if this venture starts rolling around mid June do you think i will have enough time to put it all together? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Budget will be around 30,000 to 40,000 At the high end. I have read some threads, and am aware that there will be upfront costs for fire marshal, permits, inspections, insurance the list goes on.
have dealt with that two years ago. Just seems overwhelming but so damn exciting to get the chance to do something that i've wanted to do for years. Thanks for your time and answers

condemned 12
05-01-2008, 01:38 PM
everything depends on what you are willing to do.it can be done with alot of hard work and help.i wish you the best as i do all haunts.this keeps our industry going.

naberhoodhaunts
05-03-2008, 12:25 PM
thank you for you vote of confidence. Will just have to see how the next few weeks pan out.

graystone
05-03-2008, 03:18 PM
And think positive. If you have to take two steps back just remember to go 4 steps foreward. Bad news seems to go with the haunt world from fire marshals to permits, to you name it. But when you over come all of this your deam will come true trust me. Best of luck to you I wish you the best. Shane Graystone Manor

Tom
05-03-2008, 05:49 PM
My question to you all is if this venture starts rolling around mid June do you think i will have enough time to put it all together?

Only you will be able to answer that question. You'll have to work hard and long days. Overcome obstacles and insure you save a budget for the unexpected (this is a biggie).

I converted a previous mall restaurant to a dark ride in 5 months (9,000 sq ft) in 2003. This included starting with the fire marshal first. Work with them and kiss their butts. If you butt-heads in the beginning, you might as well quit before sinking any more time and money. Invite the fire marshals as you build and progress. They need the comfort that you WANT them involved and to produce a safe haunt. Use them as a tool to do the right thing and let them know the reason they are there is because they have the right answers, not you. Again, use them as a tool to build it right, from the beginning.

I sunk in an average of 6 hours a day (seriously, every day!!!) for 5 months and made it work. This was on top of my full time job too. Of course a dark ride has more to it and additional inspections. But it's all the same when it comes to safety and city inspectors.

If you have the desire, and I mean deep down, then you'll do good. If you have family, you better plan all this with them and explain the challenge ahead. No family outings for 5 months unless they come to you. If you think I'm kidding, well, I warned you.

Good luck and keep us posted.

P.S. the funny thing is, I ended up moving to another location in 2004 and put together the ride (half the size) in 37 days. Permits, inspections and all. It's amazing how dedication can make it happen (although my wife got a little pissed off, she understands and sees it now). Especially when you know what to expect. Oh, we were full size again the next year in 2005 (11,000 sq ft)

Open 8 months out of the year and loving every minute of it. If you don't have the love for YOUR haunt, don't even think about it. (just my thoughts)

Tom

Tom
05-03-2008, 05:52 PM
And think positive. If you have to take two steps back just remember to go 4 steps foreward. Bad news seems to go with the haunt world from fire marshals to permits, to you name it. But when you over come all of this your deam will come true trust me. Best of luck to you I wish you the best. Shane Graystone Manor


And I strongly agree with Shane. "POSITIVE" is a huge word and an even bigger attitude. No matter what. If they say to jump, you just ask, how high?

Tom

Jim Warfield
05-03-2008, 07:58 PM
Building any project on the ground floor will be tons easier than having to carry, lift everything to the third floor. There might be a mathematical equation to explain the extra work load , it is real and it will factor in to how much you can get done/how quickly.

naberhoodhaunts
05-06-2008, 02:42 PM
thank you all for the encouragement ! I will let you all know how things are progressing if it gets off the ground. Waiting to hear from some people on what is really expected. Thanks again Joe

mrs_boo
05-22-2008, 11:12 AM
I totally agree with the keeping your family in on it. I helped my husband start our haunt last year, and since I did a lot of the work with him, I knew what needed to be put into it. I could help him out and support him better and it also made it easier to get through all the obstacles and see it open. Our kids can attest that they were there EVERY day with us, as hard as it was.

Good luck!

monsterwax
06-08-2008, 11:04 PM
The most important thing I think is to get the fire marshall restrictions all sorted out IN ADVANCE, written down. You can spend months and tens of thousands, then they can walk in and say "Sorry, you don't have sprinklers. We can't let you open." Or, "Sorry, these walkways are not wide enough, you have to tear out this wall" or "Sorry, you need a completely different lighting system" etc. etc. And they can change the rules on you so if you don't have it written down, the goal posts can move from season to season. I know a haunt where they spent $60,000 building it and it DID have sprinklers (an older system from before), but then the fire marshall came in and said, "sorry, it needs a NEW sprinkler system." It cost them another $60,000 to retrofit a new system and eventually led to their forecloser.

I'm not trying to rag on the fire department, but it's not their money if you shut down, but they feel it's their ass if anyone gets hurt, so they have little incentive to make your life easy if it exposes them to any possible risk... and let's face it, it's almost impossible to prevent ANY risk. So make sure you have these guys on board in the front end. We do everything to make our fire guys happy and we still walk on eggshells around them each and every year. Now THAT'S SCARY!