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Thread: A Vanishing Breed?...

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,721
    *giggle*

    Greg, you might be onto something there.

    Funny how we work so hard to make things LOOK old and distressed and think it looks great, but the REAL stuff just makes the place look crumby.
    ------------------------
    The child is grown, the dream is gone.
    I have become comfortably numb.
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    77
    A lot of the problem with Skull Kingdom was mistaken identity.

    Not a lot of people drove past it and knew what it was. We were constantly telling people that we weren't a dinner show, and that we were a walk through attraction.

    The castle also started off on the wrong foot because the people involved with the concept and the construction wanted something different than what the people that went through it wanted it to be, if that makes sense.

    It was originally going to be a self-guided tour, ala Ripley's, with some creepiness, but no big scares, and no actors. It never worked that way. The people wanted something to compete with Terror On Church Street. That's not what they got.

    So the overhaul began, and that's why so much money was spent and why it was so over budget. Basically, the entire show had been built twice, if not three times!

    There were a lot of people involved with the management end of Skull Kingdom that had NO haunting experience at all. But all of the actors did, and we knew what was wrong, but unfortunately, we didn't have the pocketbook. The place didn't know what it wanted to be. And the outside showed it.

    The last manager there frustrated everyone so much, that a lot of the original cast members, including myself, left, knowing that it would only be a short time before what just happened, happened. It's sad to see all of our hard work go down the drain, and it's said that it didn't go for more, but I expected nothing less than what happened because of the person that was running it. I'm not trying to throw anyone under a bus here, but I know for a fact that the owner doesn't know the first thing about Haunting or haunted attractions. And that's why he just got $35k for a building that was probably worth a lot more.

    Oh well. That's my story. I'll be there hopefully when the wrecking ball comes down on it.

    -=BP
     

  3. Default  
    #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Louisville,Ky.
    Posts
    147
    Bp-
    My condolences to you and the other cast members of Skull Kingdom. I'd imagine that the only thing more heartbreaking than being associated with a haunt that closes is working for haunt management that choses to remain oblivious to what was needed to be done to turn things around.

    To add insult to injury, he only got $35,000 for a building THAT size?!? After a screwing like that, I hope he at least got a complimenttary cigarette and a promise they'd call him later...
    "We all go a little mad sometimes..."

    - Norman Bates
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    77
    He only got that much for everything inside. The building itself wasn't for sale. Even that should be worth more!
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Louisville,Ky.
    Posts
    147
    Based on what I'd read in an on-line article from the Orlando Sentinel, the building itself apparently doesn't figure into the appraised value of the sale, since the property itself is what's really being sold. The building is due to be demolished and replaced with condos and a few retail properties...
    "We all go a little mad sometimes..."

    - Norman Bates
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,813
    Several years ago I took a big chance (for me) and redefined my basic show here. I may have alienated some previous customers, I seemed to have gained more/better customers as judged from audience responses.
    Pleasing your audience is important, pleasing yourself may have to often be the first priority though, then everything else falls into line.
    I wonder if Skull Kingdom did and /or paid any attention to exit surveys?
    Maybe what was needed to make everything really work was something hard to define, something much more intangible?
    Learning from other's failures and successes can be a valuble thing because nobody has enough time (on this planet) or money to make all the mistakes themselves, I know Skull Kingdom must have been doing a fair number of things "right" to have survived as long as it did.
     

  7. Default  
    #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    77
    They did do exit surverys, once. And we knew what the results were going to be.... scarier, longer, more actors.

    All of that is $$$, which we didn't have a lot of.

    We did do things right, for a while, at least, but not enough rights to turn it around.

    Oh well. I'll have fond memories and friends from that place, if nothing else.

    -=BP
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,813
    When they say ,"Longer", I'm not sure this is always a viable suggestion or complaint.
    Most tours here take 90 minutes and even though people usually know this, some of them still drag their feet (and other body parts) and for some unknown reason, try to make the time here even longer!?
     

  9. Default reply 
    #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    493
    Hey Duke,
    Key in on pumpkins lots of pumpkins if your near a metro area and sell them for a decent price, people will come.
    We have a pumpkin farm near us that does really well. They sell buy the size and their reasonable if not cheap, this draws a big crowd. They started adding in the smaller attractions and they got really big.

    The prosper because all the nursery's that sell pumpkins near us sell them by the pound and you pick a medium sized pumpkin and take it up and bam your looking at a 12$ pumkin! Uh no!

    For years i went to a guy and i would tell him i want lots of pumkins for my outside display. I would say i have 25 bucks what can you do and he would sell me five huge pumpkins 50-60 lbs+, my kids could fit inside them.
    I would go back three or four times and get more pumpkins until i had the edge of my whole roof lined with giant light pumpkins,a bunch in the yard as well.
    A well placed pupmkin farm can do well.
     

  10. Default  
    #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,100
    They are a dying breed but small independent year round haunts in year-round touristy areas seem to do well.

    Bill Nehring's Dungeon of Horror in the Wisconsin Dells (water park mecca) and a few other haunts in the Dells (not to be confused with and no relation with Kevin Dells) :wink: have been there since I was a little kid (almost 30 years?!?!)... Wisconsin Dells has been increasingly a year-round destination now that alot of the resorts have indoor water parks. Their haunts in the "off-season" are still open on weekends. They aren't as detailed as many haunts here - they are situated in a busy downtown strip full of fudge shops, arcades, tourist trap stores... and are built for more a quick "cure the curiosity and run em through" more than to awe/entertain. ...but yet they've been there since the first waterslide went up in that town.

    The Pumpkin Farms in our area are a dying breed (Milwaukee-Chicago corridor) - they are being bought up for housing/subdivisions - the farmers/families are getting older, it's too much work, and their property is worth hundreds of thousands if not millions - so they sell (and I can't blame them). There are only a few BIG ONES where (as Kev said) you pay through the nose... and there are THRONGS of humanity there any given weekend in October. Not the little cute intimate rural pumpkin farms of yore. Sigh.
    Blood & Kisses,

    ~ Nicole

    Production Team Member
    The White Star Farm
    "Hey Baby, this blood's for you."
     

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