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Thread: What's a realistic starting budget?

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  1. Default What's a realistic starting budget? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Hartford CT
    Posts
    763
    What a responsible budget to get going? 20k? 50k? I have nothing in my area within a half hour drive and quite a few abandoned strip mall sites.
     

  2. Default Budget? 
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Charlotte North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    347
    That is like asking how far is it to New York? There are so many variables that this is something that you need to figure out your budget. First start off with where do you want to put it strip mall old grocery store and find out what your rent will be. And the size of the building so you can start doing a construction cost and so on and so on and so on. But this something that you need to do some research on before you ask a question like that. Put it this way my first business plan was a 600k budget and now i am doing a haunt on just under 10% of that.

    Shawn
    http://bradentonhauntedtrail.com
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    88
    located in ohio, spec'd out 20 room haunt for 2013, estimated cost 65k-80k ...figure it will fall in between somewhere. Depending on where you live , cost will greatly vary...and I live it's fairly moderate compared to New York, guessing.
     

  4. Default $65,000-$85,000???!!! 
    #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,783
    I can't EVEN begin to compute just HOW many pounds of soggy spaghettii and peeled grapes that much money would buy!?
    Don't forget to buy the blindfolds or else people will know it's not really guts and eye-balls and then they will demand that you return their money!
    If you even hesitate to do that, they will punch you in the guts and punch you in the eye-ball!
    And you will cry.
    As you are then forced to open an Italian Restaurant.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    mmmmmm. Lasagna.


    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.
     

  6. Default What's a realistic starting budget? 
    #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brookings SD
    Posts
    334
    I live in the midwest and dont have a attraction within 150 miles to compete with. This is my second year and I will be around $30K-$40k by the time we open this year. I will have 2 attractions (4000 sq ft haunt, and "The Last Ride") I own my own building so this saves me alot of money compared to rent so keep that in mind. I do not have a bunch of crazy animatronics however I could not pass up Dark Ravens spiders and snakes this year at Transworld. That added around $6k. i opened last year for about $15k. That included all my walls,detailing,some high end props (gore galore,ghostride,etc) 100% crap lighting and subpar audio. This year we added LED lighting, great audio, and more props and walls and fixed what didnt work last year. By the time we are done with the main haunt, and some add on attractions we will be around $100k.
    Also last year we were a financial loss. This year we will be a financial loss. However I believe we will start seeing profit around year 4-5. I am fine with this as I am treating it like a business. On the up side, I was out for supper last night and I had no less then 5 people come up and ask about our haunt this year and cant wait for it to open. I hope this helps you out and good luck. Do not underestimate the cost involved to open this type of venture and do it right. The hidden costs can bury ya.

    Chaos
    Capt.Chaos
    Fear Asylum Haunted House
    Brookings,SD

    fear-asylum.com
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    You have to factor in that those haunt makers that have successfully spent $65,000 and got it all back the same year did not stay in their same old little funky town and try to develop a market. They hit the road and hooked up with something else, a Family entertainment center or existing haunt that was lacking in a town of 4.5 million people and advertised as much as they could. In the haunt guy and the property owners cases this scenario would have been 20 years developing their formulas of what to do, not first year even though it might have been the first year of some haunt name.

    There is nothing wrong with making an investment if you had the money to do so. That is different than a financial loss. A financial loss is you aren't able to open and no way to get your investment back ever. If you are comparing it to a real business by 90 or 120 days the guy in the limosine comes by and wants to know why there isn't a profit yet and if it doesn't happen right now he's pulling the plug. In haunt years that might be 4 years of being open for a month. Still there is no reason you can't match income with expenses and be real close to breaking even every year. Smaller start ups might sound like they are a ridiculously slow turning of the wheels but, they prove to be stronger more reliable markets in the end that others want to feed off of. Some were just lucky and were located close to larger towns to begin with.

    Taking numbers from a larger town out to the boonies can be just plain wrong in the end. I'm starting to see maps that show where everone is leaving, where they are going and what has remained a stable market that chose not to participate in the recession. There is nothing wrong with being a bit more on the campy side matching your small town market. If it is a small town they may actually reject high dollar items figuring you have so much money now they don't need to support you. There needs to be a conservative deal where the customers believe the progress of he haunt or business was somehow developed through their involvement rather than some rich guy or spoiled person of means is having a party to further pad their wallets.

    Although some things no one knows how much they cost, high dollar props also give everyone in town the idea there must me money in this and then there are 5 competitors.


    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.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    I have seen some pretty cheesy haunts with no animatronics and no sound system see 36,000 people at $18 a pop, on a dirt floor with no requirement for any fire systems. It might get a $3,000 per year paint face lift every year. If it was really a business, what looks kind of pathetic that brings in serious freaking cash as a total profit is the business I would want to have. Okay they did hire a sound and lighting guy on the cheap, not something they own. Ill bet 70% of the money was being held in the end.

    I have made it my business to really get into the customers heads and they really like cheesy and talk about how silly it is for years, thus big word of mouth. Cheesy and silly is fun. Overwhelming impact and high dollar props you pay for twice as people don't know what to think and don't talk about their experience so guess what, you have to have exorbidant advertising budgets. Even if you can put a third mortage on your house or come up with money to invest, does it match your local market?


    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.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,019
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Chrise View Post
    I have seen some pretty cheesy haunts with no animatronics and no sound system see 36,000 people at $18 a pop, on a dirt floor with no requirement for any fire systems. It might get a $3,000 per year paint face lift every year. If it was really a business, what looks kind of pathetic that brings in serious freaking cash as a total profit is the business I would want to have. Okay they did hire a sound and lighting guy on the cheap, not something they own. Ill bet 70% of the money was being held in the end.

    I have made it my business to really get into the customers heads and they really like cheesy and talk about how silly it is for years, thus big word of mouth. Cheesy and silly is fun. Overwhelming impact and high dollar props you pay for twice as people don't know what to think and don't talk about their experience so guess what, you have to have exorbidant advertising budgets. Even if you can put a third mortage on your house or come up with money to invest, does it match your local market?
    All I could think as I was reading this was that it sounds like you're saying a chainsaw is a must-have and a great investment. A little simplified perhaps, but not too far off the mark?

    EDITED: I just realized that you took out the line "You read this again (or was it twice) didn't you?"
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    I have been to many that had no chainsaws. Somehow though there are so many gas powered devices, weed eaters, trimmers and edgers that sound like chainsaws out in the real world neighborhoods. Even those not scared by a chainsaw, it is just one of those things in the real world that lingers. You hear something fire up and think chainsaw massacres are happening in the gated communities of the world just long enough to think haunted house all year long.

    You just have to imagine playing hopscotch might be a little tough getting your foot on specifically the right square when being threatened by a chainsaw. My original idea might have been crazier than that like a pendulum or beheading. I'm sure it was completely wrong, maybe spikes that come up out of the sidewalk, to make the people that are around me laugh for hours on one vision gets a little tough. They remember Voodoo Hopscotch of Death for years and it has never really happened anywhere yet. It is all in their heads. I may have to ask them what I said. It might just have been you were cursed to hell if you stepped on a crack? Or zombies reached out for you in the dark. It was non the less a difficult game that ended badly no matter what but you had to pay first.

    The chainsaw thing is real popular in Texas I guess. You have to go with it. Even having close friends across the county that try so hard not to have one and as a result have their own thing going on. After going to a haunt or being at one and hearing chainsaws so often and then being out in the world and for half a moment hearing a chainsaw and fake screaming is fun. It might be more fun than counting cars with one headlight and it IS haunt related.

    I'm afraid chainsaws are part of the tradition here.

    One haunt with chainsaws impressed me early in that they not only had chainsaws but they were highly personalized machines with full paint jobs. The one I liked the best for some reason matched the clown paint job on the walls of their fully themed attraction. Just the little touches that make memories for the nursing home.


    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.
     

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