It's also about being different. If you go through 60 haunts and list the number of rooms you generally have 10 to 13 major scenes and usually large rooms 20 by 12 in some instances that add up to 5 to 6,000 SF. Usually a 20 plus thousand square foot haunt is 4 of these all together with a central hidden corridor system so generically 40 to 50 rooms in 20,000 SF.
Just to be different, I have in 3,000 SF 18 highly entertaining things happening and mostly tight areas and small rooms with only two large scenes. As a result, we compete with the big boys and no one really knows why. I've watched knowledgeable people stand in front of my building and tilt there head like a dog hearing a weird noise trying to figure out why it works to the same level.
It isn't necessarily any cheaper to build the haunt, just limited on overall space. To me bigger space means higher rent and that is just evil. When you go location shopping you can convert the dimensions into dollars per square foot to compare. This works for buying or leasing. It works for storage shopping too.
What happens if you have a large temporary location and then the following year such a large space is not available? Yo just lost your customer following because it isn't what it was.
I have also seen large areas with 3 different themed haunts in them but, you go from one to the other like it is all one big haunt. Why not have them as 3 seperate tolerable events? Because they don't really stand up on their own as entertainment value.
If I had 8,000 Sf I would have two 3,000 SF with seperate entries and lines with a 2,000 SF scened out lobby. But, that's just the way I roll.
So many are so large it becomes more like an endurance test rather than a long fulfilling entertainment venue. I paid to walk this far? If I just wanted to walk I could go shopping at walmart. The dog food is on the opposite end from the milk. That's pretty scary. But, you can go into three rows of toys and lose an hour and a half. If you are a woman apparently 12 feet of make up is good for an hour and a half. I'm forever pleading to the security cameras "Please help me!" when ever Vampirella has somehow slipped into there.
It isn't square footage so much as how good were the number of things that happened. 18 things is enough to swirl anyone's head. 25 things is quite the value, it should be over now. 35 things is okay I'm feeling abused now. 40 things is okay screw this I have had enough of your crap. 50 is that sucked I'm only doing this once ever in my life and would not really recommend it unless I hate someone.
I would rather have them exit fulfilled and highly entertained. Also if you have a smaller amount of things to develop to a higher quality rather than 50 stupid fugly junky things that are supposed to be scary or something you will not be thought of as highly.
Going to the other extreme. There are a couple seance rooms that have 30 things happen in them that only take up so many square feet (maybe 400 SF) for the event and 800 SF for the people and they work to some extent. Then you are dealing with how lame it is versus attention span.
It sounds good in advertisments "100,000 SF of Spooky Stuff" but in application it sucks. Yeah 100,000 SF of undecorated plywood. I could see that at Home Depot for free. Unless you are ZZ Top and 9 trailer trucks of millions of dollars of stuff has rolled into town for the biggest show ever. That worked in 1979 when the tickets were only $18. Only a few haunts have even similar possible name recognition. Now if Neatherworld had a record on the top 40 for 20 years it would work.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.