1 Haunt or 2 element?
In my particular case. I have you guessed it,... ANOTHER dilemma. I have at least 60ft to travel my guests from building #1 (the house) to building #2.
1. Should I build a walk way, and if so, how would you do it?
2. Should I make the house (building#1) a stand alone haunt? BESIDES the carport which I can get 2 rooms out of, the house has 7 usable rooms for the haunt. Kitchen, Bathroom scene, Bedroom #1, Bedroom #2, Living room which will be split, Downstairs room (was a garage but turned into a room) and the dining room. Giving the carport out back, I should have about 9 rooms to detail etc. My brother and everyone else that's walked it with us talking about our ideas for the room, swear it's an $8 haunt by itself. Seeing as to how the others in this area were $10 and MUCH less of a haunt (I'm really not trying to knock these haunts, but hanging masks on a wall with Spirit Halloween tags still visable isn't a great thing to me) and EVERYONE that had something to say about it coming out of that haunt said it sucked. Sooo yeah, we can beat that with the house by itself.
Question is, is it worth it to cut the attraction in two, mainly because I'm nervous about building a 60ft walk way to keep the patrons from "leaving" the element of the haunt? I don't want them just walking back out into the parking lot, pallet cleansers sure, but I don't want them to lose the initiative we built inside the haunt just before continuing with the rest of it.
How can I build a cheap wall system? I was thinking about 2x4's, painted, drilled and staked through the asphalt and hang material, fake corn stalks (Thanks Allen) etc to keep them from being so bleeded out traveling the 60ft or so.
I was initially going to build a cave here, but since the robbery and a few other snags, budget's gotten much smaller.
Here's some pics, mostly used from the last thread, I know.
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How about using wooden pallets for walls of the walkway? Stand them up on end, fasten them together, put bracing on the back of them, flood lights behind them pointing inward so you get those cool shafts of light. Assign a couple of actors just to pace along the walls, in front of the lights, for cool shadow effects. Some fake barbed wire along the top and bob's your uncle, lambs being led to the slaughter! Relatively speaking.
After sleeping on it, it would be better to just keep them as two seperate elements and the area between is a place for queue lines and a place to pass from one parking lot to the other. It may also have some elements of greater detail to just stand around and socialize and read tombstones that are in boxed in plant beds made out of rail road ties and dirt. You just get grass or weeds to grow into these things.
The front of the house is already kind of spooky and you don't want to close that off from view for drive by looks. I would still do one price at $10 to $12 and have hosts asking what you thought and don't forget to do the other one. The end result at night ends up looking like a city fair or small carnival stands with the concession booth (s) and ticket booths and tomb stone display along the wall of the 2 out buildings. Simple lights strung up between the house and the out buildings kind of define where the market place and fun place to be is. No attempt to wall anything off.
I would remove all the curbs in front of the house and only have some minor barrier on the two ends that looks like 3 foot high spooky fence. I'm thinking mostly of budget.
My other instinct is to turn it from an asphalt area into some weird ancient stone trails and mulch and gravel wilderness with dead trees. Some wood decks and even a few places with patio furniture. Having a cross over from one part to the other actually lets people in the queue line see people come out of the house and head toward the other and sees their reaction and adds to the over all anticipation of what they may be about to experience. Because of the over all size and look, think of it as being a large house party and in the center section is people hanging out and laughing and entertaining themselves by the snack bar and sharing what someone's reaction was.
People will follow anything thing even not walled in if they are told to. They will stand in line anywhere and follow tape on the floor even chaulk as far as expense goes. To be silly it could be play voodoo Hopschotch of death to the next pavillion.
I would need some more pictures of from the parking lot to the street and from the street to the buildings to get a good feel or better feel. What is on other sides of the house and is it yours to work with? If so I would ut things on the grass yard and what ever in on the other side that just look spooky. Kind of outdoor set dressing anyone can see and brings attention to the event, sort of your own billboard in 3D. Plus the traditional 6 foot high letters on the street side of the car ports that says HAUNTED HOUSE with the name of the haunted house a little smaller on the roof or at roof level of the car ports.
Lights, signage and people to wonder what are they doing and can we stop and do that. It looks cool and like they are having fun.
On a reality buzz kill level, if I was the fire department, I would want to be able to trash what ever is between the building and trucks and clear the area and even drive trucks through there if I had to. With temporary fencing they just destroy that stuff and hoses can go through and lots of walking room once all the partrons are sent to the parking lot. So closing these things off would make it one big massive area with no reall access.
In other words you can be in the center court even not having paid. You just can't get into either of the houses unless you have a ticket or hand band or something.
The over all theory here is if you go by a place and there are no cars in the parking lot, you think it might be closed and continue on to another place that does look open and has people. If there are no people at the first place there must be something undesireable that they have no customers so just don't be the first to be suckered in.
If there are people, it's hey what are they getting?
To me if they were seperate prices I would say the car port section looks like The whole thing is just a $2 attraction. Just trying to be real and not cutting down in any way. Just because you can see what the outdoor buildings are and exactly how large they are. Maybe it is $3. So then the house is a $10 attraction and if you were uncertain and the $3 attraction is so great imagine how stupendous the $10 attraction must be and how much they must have put into that. It is a chunk of change but we have to do it, we have to know what is in there. Or you can do both for $12. ust make sure you see them both.
This confusion and making sure is interactive conversation among the groups and staff that causes all sorts of what did you think moments. Actually creating word of mouth is something you have to coach. If you get people to think and formulate what to say, they will wander around and say it. If you just say drive safe, they have no idea what junk they just saw or how they really feel about it. They won't ask anyone what they also thought and word of mouth doesn't happen.
So all you need are people being good hosts, strings of lights and some junk spooky fence cut perhaps from other old fence that was replaced somewhere. You will have to block the light in the gap on top of the side panels of the car ports and if you really run short of money one car port IS the cue line and was all along intended for the comfort of your guests.
The thing to me is, the low parking space has got me concerned about keeping guests there for a really long time. If it was one attraction, running them out after an hour or so of que, seems like the best solution to get the parking spots cycled out.
There is however a factory next door to us. They have very few people working 2nd and 3rd shifts, so technically people will be parking over there as well. But I'm just worried about getting the numbers per night to equal about 2,500 guests for the season. If we do that many, it's game on with no worries. Less, something else will have to be figured out. All it has to do really is pay rent, or darn near it till the next season.
The two carports will have about 9 rooms with a dark maze in the last 3/4 of building #3.
Also the gable ends will be closed off, in fact, hopefully in just a week or so.
I'll try to get you some more pics this afternoon.
Thanks for the input,
Only a small portion of people will actually hang out. 90 or more percent have been trained by Walmart and McDonalds to do what you need to to and go. Even a 4,000 people night can be achieved with the parking you have. It is a bit confusing to wish people to stay but they really need to go. As long as you don't have 50 orange couches and a DJ for free they wil just be worn out from the walking and all the adrenaline. You have altered their sense of time by achieving a good experience level.
If you do pose as a low life in any restaurant or bar, even when there are highly nice things to sit and enjoy the whole place has changed out completely in at the longest an hour to an hour and a half. So if you count the seats and measure he flows you are able to actually calculate roughly how much money they cycled as well. Business studies are comparing everything and learning from it.
I would go as far as not having any parking in what would be an alley then entire length of the parking lot extending a straight shot with the alley in between the house and carports. Whereas the entire thing becomes an open walking area or certain access for fire trucks not having to drive across the yard. If you imagine what 350 people standing in line looks like, this is more what I would plan for. It ends up being a line of people that would be probably from the end of the house to either street in length, about 4 feet or more wide of people just standing there.
Not just a fire truck but an ambulance could roll all the way through not necessarily of your doing but people just have problems occasionally when you have a bunch of them in one place. I'm expecting there may be a large grass yard in front of the property. That just became parking instead of the asphalt alley that I'm estimating is 20 feet to 24 feet wide the whole length of the property.
You are also talking you are welcome to stand up on this asphalt area as long as you like. Little outdoor areas at restaurants people move from in about half an hour. 100 parking spaces with average 3 people per car is 300 people changing out every hour for 4 to 5 hours can be potentially 1500 people no problem per night. So you have exceeded your lower limit in just two nights. People will only hang for about 10 minutes and if being asked questions about how they liked it realy have to go, they all of a sudden have places to be, things to do, don't want to actually think and try to figure out how to talk after what they just enjoyed. So it all comes off like you really care about their experience and comfort and having a good time, which you do and are not really faulted but enjoing the endorphines and adrenaline they paid for they would rather not or maybe can't articulate as normal. They will all say it was great and the thing they liked the most was something that wan't even in there. Well, thanks have a nice evening.
For a customer un accustomed to the adrenaline, it is why people go to a haunt. Who knows what happened in the last 20 or 30 minutes. Just crazy shit. You can just talk to them in passing, you don't need to have the situation where now you must go over to that card table and talk to grandma. I don't want to talk to Grandma! Or fill out a survey. That is a negative experience. If you didn't set it up to welcome everyone, despite the fact they really don't want to stay they get in the car and tell each other they are never coming to something like this again. They programmed themselves to not support you in the future. You have to go out of your way to make sure they are okay on the way out, if they are the chainsaw guys go after them and get in the back seat of their car and demand to be taken to Dairy Queen. Just silly stuff but extremely memorable. Something they will laugh about for the rest of the year. Something that every time they see a Dairy Queen or a commercial for a Blizzard the monster in the back seat of the car wanted to go there.
I would stick it in your mind to want to see 4,000 people as opposed to have to see 2500 people. The next thing to know to be true is how many people per hour is possible. Like a math problem. Groups of 4 or 6 every minute is 360 people per haunt and that matches the parking numbers of 300 being served. You make sure there are a couple people spotting parking spots for people to park in and pointing the best way out to increase that flow. This attention also makes for the general pattern of everyone gets in their car a leaves, they don't begin hanging out in the parking lot, living in their cars and changing diapers and eating what ever is left on chicken bones in their back seat. Leave this way!
Still all geniune customer service. Nothing creepy or adverse. Generally the freedom to hang it unwinding a bit after traveling there, finding out about where the line is and what the ticket cost is, maybe having a beverage. As long as you don't start offering free all night bounce houses or something that really keeps people hanging out, they will leave satisfied. The hanging out phase is only really about 5 minutes which in real life is a long time or may be grandma not going in and waiting for kids has a place to be that isn't rushed.
I remember more fondly the attractions that were in the middle of nowhere that I didn't really know how to get to and when I got there I was greeted by people, welcomed and I probably asked and found out how many years they had done this, how many they see every year and all kinds of information probably no one else cares about. That whole welcome thing makes up for the crappiest attraction ever not any bigger than your two car ports for $8 literally in a pole barn behind a mobile home on the other side of a dam. A creepy several mile drive through a watershed paved trail with signs that had bloody hand prints that got bloodier and bloodier the closer you got. By time I actually pulled into their side field and parked I had already laughed my ass off at just the signs. Creativity and being welcoming.
Once you figure out this post, your other post; http://www.hauntworld.com/haunted_ho...771#post138771 will be figured out.