we had people come late.
People would come to us later cause they knew other haunts around us closed earlier. We close around 12-12:30 every night. But I think it really depends on how you market it. You can say from 11-12 its the Xtreme Scream hour or lights out. I worked at a bar that stayed open until 4am. All bars in the area closed at 3am so people would show up for that power hour and the bar would be packed because they knew we stayed open. BUT... Like larry said the later you stay open the crazier the people are. BTW that bar burnt down so .... yeah.... Use your best judgment.
Best of luck to you and your season!
I've found that the later you're open the more drunk and high nut jobs you get. Remember the old saying nothing good happens after midnight.
you created the trend that people stop coming at 9:45 because they know you are only open untill 10. We have 2 rushes, one at 9 and one at 10.
You should be open until midnight fridays and saturdays and sundays and off days depend on your market trends.
But what if......
a large number of your patrons were driving 3plus hours just to get to Your Haunt? I used to have a policy of remaining open til the last person in the parking lot had their ticket honored.
I found that it is Very difficult to "entertain" people who have been in-line for several hours after driving several hours to get here, especially when it is 5:30AM! Yes.
I had several guys from Chicago wait half the night to get in, couldn't get in, drove back home, came back the next night to see the house. Then my Exit was only 20 feet from the entrance so as people left the house those still in line would ask them:"Is it worth the wait? Is it worth the money?"
People being puked out of the giant skull's mouth would enthusiastically say:"YES! YES!"
There is a huge difference between the 9pm groups versus the 10:30 and later ones , who do show up more scatter-brained from .. "Whatever?"
Screaming, staggering drunks do not get in. Those who can't hold in "their Crazy" also have to leave as this becomes a problem.
Are the late-night customers worth the extra efforts and extra wear and tare on your employees? Sometimes it is not.
I agree with you all. Opening until 11 or 12 is about the best scenario. Any later and I think you start getting the drunks from the bars and such....
But then if your location was way out in the middle of "nowhere" with no booze buyable, late night people might have to arrive sober then remain that way= a perfect scenario?
I used to have groups arriving off -season from 90 minutes away who would arrive drunk. I eventually convinced them to arrive sober and everything was "peachy"... except my now Ex-wife didn't like it.
Some would intentionally show up at closing or later , they seemed to think this was more of a full-effect sort of tour since this house is haunted, and has had such a reputation beginning at least as long ago as 1925.
We are open until 11pm each night (Fri/Sat) and for the past 4 years it's seemed that we drop off at 9:45 also. Around here are small towns and the charity haunts used to open either 6-9, 6:30-9:30 or even 6-10. We noticed this year (2nd year in the mall-different store) that we didn't have drop off until 10:20 or so. We are in the same store in the mall (3rd year mall overall) and are hoping to be open past 11 because of the line this year! We will sell tickets as long as they're coming in.
Dark, how do you advertise?
It appears as if being open year after year til 11 has helped you to keep busy longer?
11 works for us
We advertise gate times. Gate closes at 11PM. It gets slow about 9 but then we get another burst of traffic close to 10, and it runs steady until close. I would stay open longer but we are in a campground, so we do have to close it down by midnight.
We keep our ticket booth open until 1am Fridays and Saturday but later in the season. For the first few weeks that we are open we stay open until 12.