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Thread: Eureka Screams Spring Break Update...

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  1. Default Eureka Screams Spring Break Update... 
    #1
    Raycliff Manor Guest
    Last night was our first night of our Spring Break event and many on this forum have PM'd me and asked me to provide updates. Sometimes the news is good and sometimes the news is not so good. Today... the news is not so good, but all is not lost! We still have tonight and next Friday and Saturday.

    The update so far is that we only had approx. 60 people (That's right only 60!) attend last night. I could be off by 3 or 4 in either direction, we haven't counted the tickets sold yet, but that really won't take too long when we get to it. :lol: We're hoping for a much better turn out for the remaining nights, but only time will tell. We're still trying to find out what happened to our airbrush makeup artist. He's MIA and we haven't been able to reach him.

    For those of you who have asked for a report because you too are thinking about operating an "off-season" event, take heart. This is our first run at this and it's not over yet! Remember some markets can do extremely well with something that will not work well in another area. I'll continue to provide updates as this event plays out. Please send us positive thoughts and energy! With a staff of 35 people we hope we can at least break even.

    Actors get really restless when they're ready to scare and no one is coming through! Mari (our Fright Team Manager, that many of you met in Chicago) is awesome! She had the actors working on coming up with new lines for their character and encouraged them to develop their characters and rehearse during the downtime. My wish is for all of you to have a Mari! Don't any of you dare try to recruit her away from us though :!: :wink:

    Kel
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    1,723
    One of the things we do in down times is let the actors go through a few at a time. It gives the other actors something to do and it lets the actors see the haunt while it is running.
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,798
    School breaks can be good or not-so-good, weather dependant too.
    I turn on two low-energy bulbs at the front and two at the rear of my house and wait, just me.
    If and when anyone shows up I turn on the circuits in pretty much one room at a time as we go into them. About 65 motion switches turn on and off many of the circuits for me.
    The air compressor gets turned on as I am half way through the front room presentation and stays on until the tour is completed.
    My wife is usually available to help if suddenly more show up at any time. We have a pocket doorbell made from a car alarm that even will send us a signal a black and a half away, so I could be in a store around the corner and not miss someone, it also works sending the signal to the underground wine cellar.
    I think my college crowd has dropped off alot, maybe because of the economy? Summer jobs and part time jobs might not be so easy to find or good anymore?
     

  4. Default Re: Eureka Screams Spring Break Update... 
    #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,738
    Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor
    Today... the news is not so good, but all is not lost! We still have tonight and next Friday and Saturday.
    It will work out just fine, Brother. You'll see. I'm sending good vibes your way.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Raycliff Manor Guest
    Thanks for the feedback, suggestions and good vibes! I'll keep you all posted! By the way Brad's here visiting from Texas and he did an awesome job as a crazed clown last night! I wish I had have his energy! He's with Mari and a group of Fright Team members getting lined up for the St. Patty's Day Parade with the hearse pulling the giant headstone marquee. I'm busy with the inn and wish I could have gone, but I'm sure they're having a blast!

    Kel
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,278
    Tons of positive thoughts and energy your way, Kel! Sounds like Mari is on top of the situation! Wish I could be there to help you out!
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    9,011
    I've never attempted such a thing for several reasons... first and foremost no time, but also because I can't get my haunted house ready in time, when you have so many updates you're doing.

    Additionally the cost to market something like this, plus labor to operate, just doesn't seem like the risk vs. the return.

    Maybe you make a few bucks, but is it worth it? If you do several thousand people its probably worth it.

    I would have a few tips on how to promote something like this but it would all start with keeping your website current, constantly updated so people visit so often and an aggressive way to capture your customers email address's. The cheapest way to promote something like this would be email blast.

    I don't know that I would ever try something like this but I'm glad to hear you're updating us with your results. Very interested!!!

    Larry
     

  8. Default reply 
    #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    493
    Kel,

    I know theres a feeling of despair right now as your thinking of lost moneys but if anything it is a couple of weekends your crew is getting together and acting that they normally wouldn't get. If anything they will appreciate it because now the long wait until October is shorter for them.

    We do the same thing Barry described on very slow nights in October(Usually first weekend open) let a couple of the actors go through at a time to see the show themselves.

    Im curios you being in Arkansas, is Eureka Springs a big spring break city? Do you have a lot of visitors every year that prompted this idea or are you trying to draw them in from other city's?
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,798
    One night I had maybe 5 or 6 employees doing nothing and only two people were here for a tour . The guys all pretended to be customers as everyone had a seat. Then as planned, after just a few minutes I said one certain previously discussed word (for the cue) and my people all screamed, jumped up and ran from the room(even though nothing the least bit scary was happening)
    The customers were running too!
    They didn't know why, but they decided they had better run!
    Quite the experiment in group psychology.
    "Everybody's doing it, doing it,
    Picken their nose and chewing it, chewing it!"
    (I don't care for the taste...but EVERYBODY'S Doing it, so I guess I will!)
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Raycliff Manor Guest
    Just another quick update. We had 105 people come through the attraction last night. Better than the night before, but still nothing like the fall season. We do still have next weekend though and the news coverage and other press and media attention will be taking place this week, so we'll seee how it goes.

    Larry, We knew that any time you present a new concept to the public, you have to expect to face the challenge of getting people used to an idea. Visiting a haunted attraction during the Spring is definitely a new concept here! :lol: In talking to Cydney Neil though, they experienced incredible success for their first Spring Break event last year! If you're interested, you might contact her to discuss this. I have a feeling you'd be much better positioned to encounter more immediate success with something like this.

    Kevin and Gwen, thanks so much for the words of encouragement and thanks Barry for the suggestion. We did have the actors take turns running through the attraction during down time and they had a blast doing so. To answer your question Kevin, Eureka Springs is a tourist destination town but not necessarily a big Spring Break destination. Because we are in a wet county and surrounded by dry counties, we do tend to get pretty busy during Spring Break though, but we need to offer more here for the Spring Break aged audience. We're hoping the haunted attraction is part of doing so. If we can break even this year and get a good start at it, we'll probably go ahead with it again next year and see if we can build it.

    For an update on our Tinkle Tally, we had 2 on Friday night and three last night, so we're up to 5 so far! We had a group of people who own and operate the Chamber of Horrors in Little Rock, Arkansas drive 4 hours last night to check out the haunt. They said they had heard we have the best haunt in Arkansas! They said we not only lived up to, but exceeded our reputation! Now that was a sweet compliment!

    One funny story; we had a couple who won tickets on the radio. They drove to the station in Fayetteville and picked up the tickets and then drove an hour to the attraction to enjoy the show. They didn't make it past the first room! After they encountered the first scare, they went back to the intro room and informed our actor that they were done and wanted out. Yep, we're doing our job. People pay to be scared and these two, even though they lasted about two minutes, got what they paid for!

    Brad who was in visiting from Texas headed back home today. He has a 7 hour drive! He had a blast and informed me that he will be logging on here to share a couple of the stories from his experience here at Rayclif Manor. He's got a couple of awesome stories to share!

    Kevin is absolutely right, this is an investment in our team and we are shortening our wait to the fall season! Some great memories have been made again at the haunt!

    Kel
     

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