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Thread: Haunts in Malls?

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    214
    In the next few years when I decide to open my haunt I was debating between an old asylum in the area or a mall. A few years back I remember Frightworld was occupying the mall I have my eye on and from what I saw they did a very good job. So from what I am hearing and please correct me if I'm wrong, malls are good as long as you massively advertise your attraction? I mean when you come to think of it, wouldn't a mall be the most ideal spot?

    Hundreds of people shop during the day and pass your attraction.
    Even though it is closed it has to make people wonder

    "What could be in there?"

    and trigger a lot of curiosity causing them to come back. That has to increase attendance right?
    Last edited by The Forsaken Crypt; 06-21-2011 at 09:26 PM.
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Athens, Texas, United States
    Posts
    291
    This may sound crazy but it might work for you. We opened on sundays at like 2 till 6 when the mall closed and used to get really good crowds and even church groups. We were the only haunt in our market open at that time and got a lot of haunt traffic from the mall or from people who went to us before other haunts opened. We had a few sundays that were close to sat nights traffic
    I'm only doing this to impress 2 people ... The fire marshal and the customer that's it !!!
     

  3. Default Been there... 
    #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    328
    I opened a haunt in a mall back in 2003 (CrossRoads mall in OKC).
    The first absolute thing I did first was get the fire marshal out there to make sure he approves the site (hope you have done this) and discuss evacuation, fire alarms and such. Call him out regularly to be sure you're doing everything right up to the end. It will make things alot smoother with no last minute shockers.
    Operating in a mall was nice and we did alright. The first year is always hard to get established and get the word out.
    We stayed open after mall hours (till 11pm, 12pm the last week) with the doors opening around 7ish.
    We only opened on weekends the first couple weeks then the last week we opened every night.
    You might think about doing a kiddie version during the afternoon on weekends at a cheaper price. This will get some of the weekend shoppers with kids and won't wear out your actors from a long day. Use only a couple of haunt staff to make sure the kids are going thru okay. Something to think about. Of course, you don't want everyone to think it's a kiddie haunt all the time so advertise likewise.
    One thing you might ask about is mall security. If they have enough staff, you may not have to hire one just for the haunt. We had a mall security that hung around because he had a blast seeing everyone come out scared. He enjoyed his job while we were there.
    If you aren't open during the daytime mall hours, have a video or voice recording explaining what the haunt is (advertisement) there at the haunt entrance. This way, the mall shoppers during the day will see/hear it and hopefully spread the work.
    One thing to check with the mall if actors with mask/face paint on and roaming the mall. Some have rules/laws against this happening. We were restricted to just outside the entrance to the mall.
    We had a temp lease (1 year) and when going to renew, we were pushed out for a Chinese joint. Oh well....
    It was a great experience for me and the other tenants loved it.

    Hope this helps,
    Tom
    Tom
    Creator of the Dungeon
    WWW.BRICKTOWNAMUSEMENT.COM
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    534
    We actually have some good fire marshalls and people to work with in our area...we're on top of that!
    The mall is actually really going out of their way for us too...it's almost too good to be true! LOL
    The mall maintainence man grew up and knew my partner's family. He is even putting in extra outlets for us (even thought at this moment it's still pending...hopefully by Friday we'll know!)
    We are thinking Sept. 23/24 to open (Fri/Sat only) from 6-10pm.
    Then Thur/Fri/Sat nights from 6-9pm Thur and 6-10pm Fri/Sat...or until the last victim is in.
    I am thinking the 2 lines (in mall and outside mall after 9pm) sounds confusing and we have to work it out...
    Keep the advice coming!
    DARK DOMAIN HAUNTED HOUSE
    www.darkdomainhauntedhouse.com
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Athens, Texas, United States
    Posts
    291
    I did the malls for 4 yrs and lived to tell about it . In fact some of my fondest memories were at the malls. If I had planned better in the early yrs i would have planned an outside entry. Thank god we did well enough with out it. I would advise a mall entry as well as out side entry leading to the ticket booth. We got lucky and had a space by the movies that stayed open till 12am. We also did thurs nights with little success
    I'm only doing this to impress 2 people ... The fire marshal and the customer that's it !!!
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    9
    We opened our haunt Night Terrors of Effingham in 2010 in a vacant building in our mall. We are in a smaller community of 12,000 people so our mall is one of those that is slowly dying. The mall managers have been a AMAZING to work with, they charged us a very reduced rent for a space that is 45,000 sq ft and only charge for Sept and Oct!!! With much community advertisement, local business sponsorships, parades, social events, etc, we were able to get the word out and brought in 2,100 for our first year! Many of the businesses close at 9pm however the movie theater stays open til Midnight. So we had an inside entrance to our haunt and just had to have the patrons out by 12. If we were so busy we didn't think we would be able to get them through in time, we offered to sell them a ticket to return the next day and they would have a fast pass. People liked that!
    The great thing with the mall is they are very accessible for the patrons, most know exactly where you are located, because they are a dying breed the managers are very eager to work with potential renters. You don't have to worry about parking, restrooms, etc. The downfall is you have to tear down at the end of your season. With our location our managers were so eager to have us back this year they offered to let us store our entire tore down haunt in their warehouse for an extremely discounted rate!!! They also have let us host haunt meetings each month to try and recruit new members along with hosting prop building days to prepare for this years haunt.
    I think utilizing a mall space is a great way to build your business and get your haunt to the success you desire. Our goal is to do just that and then be able to move to establish a permanent haunt.
    Good luck with your haunt this year!!!!
     

  7. Default Which mall in nj 
    #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    83
    What mall are you opening the haunt in jersey

    is it going to be in south or north jersey

    i live in new york but grow up in jersey

    bob




    Quote Originally Posted by xtremecreator View Post
    im trying a mall in nj this year as well. This mall brings in 750,000 customers a month .......so we will see how it goes...............

    John
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    534
    Well, we got the word yesterday that it was a GO...
    BUT...
    The tentative agreement they pitched us and we were fine with was all fine except the owners want 1000.00 more dollars tacked onto it.
    Plus the mall operations lady we dealt with was very rude to us on the phone...she kept cutting us off saying "IS IT FEASIBLE OR NOT?!?!"
    Now we are up in the air...

    Kirk
    DARK DOMAIN HAUNTED HOUSE
    www.darkdomainhauntedhouse.com
     

  9. Default  
    #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkblood View Post
    Well, we got the word yesterday that it was a GO...
    BUT...
    The tentative agreement they pitched us and we were fine with was all fine except the owners want 1000.00 more dollars tacked onto it.
    Plus the mall operations lady we dealt with was very rude to us on the phone...she kept cutting us off saying "IS IT FEASIBLE OR NOT?!?!"
    Now we are up in the air...

    Kirk
    Kirk,
    Don't let 1k and a gripey old lady stop you. If you think you can do good, then go for it.
    If it were me, I would personally go and talk to the mall owners, not the old lady over the phone and get it all in writing. Show your concern and don't hold anything back. Nothing worse than getting in a contract only to be dismissed early because everything was not out on the table at the beginning.
    Talk to them in person, not over the phone!!!

    Also, asked them why they changed the price (what change made that happen) ?????????

    Tom
    Tom
    Creator of the Dungeon
    WWW.BRICKTOWNAMUSEMENT.COM
     

  10. Default  
    #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    534
    Tom,
    The lady is the one to talk to who does all the dealings, etc. with stores/contracts.
    She is the top at the mall (other than owners).
    It was a matter of principle in our eyes. If she pulls this with no answer as to why then what will
    happen 1 month down the road?
    We met with her and looked the location over and she seemed gung-ho and offering to advertise for us
    in all of the mall advertising, etc.
    She told us she'd call by Friday and didn't, so we called her and she was just very rude and would not answer
    questions. She just kept saying "IS IT FEASIBLE?!?!"
    Right now we are contacting our location we had last year as the sale fell through and will see what comes of that.
    If that can work, we'd have it there. If not, we might just bite the bullet and try negotiating for 500 more instead of
    1000.00.
    I like having everything on the table (we tried to do that in person and thought we got it all out there).
    The terms we agreed tentatively to were the malls offer.
    The problem is, we've talked to some former mall tenants and they said the mall kept raising rent and prices on them and
    that's why they had to leave. It's a slowly dying mall that could use the traffic we'd bring in and more fun events.
    We thought it was mutually beneficial?
    We'll see...but the haunted house WILL happen!
    Thanks,
    Kirk
    DARK DOMAIN HAUNTED HOUSE
    www.darkdomainhauntedhouse.com
     

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