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Thread: Hi everyone! Was wondering if I could get some help

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  1. Exclamation Hi everyone! Was wondering if I could get some help 
    #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    12
    Hey fellow haunters!

    I am very new to this forum and I have read some topics that have been on here, but am not sure if this has been talked about before or not. But here we go.

    So I have been put in charge of planning, building, and managing an entire large haunt that will be opening in 2014. I have worked in haunted houses since I was little and have worked in the majority of the time in the creative aspect of things. Acting, Costumes, Props, Set Design, etc. So when it comes to the financial side of things I have very little experience. With the business end of things I will be getting assistance but I know budgeting, and management of funds. We have a lot of things falling into place but I need some help from you guys who are in the industry a lot longer than me and have owned your own haunts.

    I just have a few questions that would really help me a lot. If you could please answer these questions it would mean the world to me. If you don't want to disclose this right here in a reply, you can message it to me, I can call you on the phone, or you can email it to me. Whatever is most convenient to you. I truly appreciate any help and insight that you can give me. When I was offered this position it was a dream come true, and I am going to do my all to make sure it doesn't fail. This is my passion and I want this haunt to become one of the best around. Thanks everyone, and here are the questions:

    1. Name of Haunt and Location

    2. Typical cost for gas in a season

    3. Cost of Electric

    4. How many actors do you have hired for your show?

    5. How many sq feet (or acres if outdoor) is your haunt?

    6. Typical amount of patrons that come through your doors (or gate, cave, etc) each season

    7. Cost of upkeep, and repairs that you will budget each year.

    Any other insight or thoughts that you have would be greatly appreciated. I really am excited about this project (hence why im still awake and posting this at 2 in the morning), and can't wait to start touring more haunts and getting to meet all of you at Transworld and other shows. Thanks again!
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Near Charlotte NC
    Posts
    1,041
    Welcome to the HW forum and good luck. It's a wealth of information by those who really know the business.

    If you haven't already, I highly recommend Kelly Allen's book. Best $30 you'll ever spend for those interested in doing a haunt.

    www.hauntbook.com
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    411
    I'll second that!
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his gods.

    What you put into your mind- you put into your life.


    www.zombietoxin.com
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    Paging Dr. Hopps . . . Dr. Allen Hopps . . . Paging Dr. Chrise . . . Dr. Greg Chrise . . .
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Welcome to the HW forum and good luck. It's a wealth of information by those who really know the business.

    If you haven't already, I highly recommend Kelly Allen's book. Best $30 you'll ever spend for those interested in doing a haunt.

    www.hauntbook.com
    yup I already have that book and have read it thoroughly. It's a great book and Kelly has an amazing wealth of information! I am just trying to get some info from other haunters about their costs, so we can get an average on what to potentially expect
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    Somewhere there is an article Larry wrote that describes that there are 2500 haunts, 70% of them suck the living soul out of society 20% make a meager gain and 10% kick ass and can afford to spend kazillions in advertising. The survey is nice to know, it only describes that you may or may not be crazy and that there are others like you out there so how wrong is it.

    A survey of 2500 different electrical bills from different places in the country isn't going to help your opportunity. Rather for us to help in a positive way, we need to know what part of the country you are setting up in. This way it can better focus people closer to you to actually hand you contacts that are within your region. That might be of better assistance or can actually come lend a hand, let you borrow or trade props and costumes and perhaps entire sections of haunts not being used anymore. Knowing what city and state you are setting up in better identifies for us what you will have for specific expenses.

    Example, many years ago a guy told me he was going to have a haunt that was going to need 12,000 SF in a town that the largest buildings are typically 8,000 SF. Or you only need 3 acres to put on a moderate show but all the land is $25,000 an acre and the smallest plot available is 175 acres. You have to dial it in a little. If you have 4.3 million to buy property I will give you my phone number. My point is none of this information is specific to your location.

    We can help you. In fact conversation and free on here. Waiting for a book that describes how someone took a former career selling motivational business information and a small hotel business that became a dream haunt business that hopped to 3 different towns and got taken out by a tornado for $30 isn't going to help you either when it comes right down to it.

    At this point, first post ever, you could be some kind of spy that wants a survey of all haunt income and expenses across the country. We have discovered here in the haunt underground, experienced haunt guys like to become sock puppets and just see what we will say on here for their own entertainent.

    Electric bills can be $35 a month through a co-op using flashlights or $16,000 a month. What are you plugging in? Do you have time to have 16,000 watts of transformers installed or need 4 semi sized power generators moved in by crane or will a few batteries and a shovel get the job done.

    1. Are you a spy for some government agency or a sock puppet
    2. do you have any money (if not no problem, I can recommend wether or not to eat what you find in a dumpster)
    3. Where is it you have been given this opportunity
    4. Is it a charity or for profit event
    5. is your event happening this year

    Over the next 20 years you can buy every haunt book, every magazine, every video tutorial and still be a failure. We can fill in the blanks and offer suggestions with more information. If you give us something to work with.
    Last edited by Greg Chrise; 08-25-2012 at 01:00 PM.


    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.
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    12
    Hey Greg, yeah that is totally understandable and I can see the that there might be some that are not going to really want to share information if I am just a first time poster and could be seen as someone that really is of no value to you and not going to be able to put any of my insight into things, and be involved in the community. I spoke with Larry last night and he told me that this would probably be the best place to go to get help and learn that kind of information.

    Just to give you some more information (which I am happy to share) I am located in Utah. have worked at the Haunted Forest in American Fork, UT for about 5 years. I started there as an actor, worked my way up to a casting director, and this last year was over a bunch of set design projects and we built the entire Texas Chainsaw house with a slide at the end that dropped them to Leatherface with a chainsaw so he could chase them out of the forest. It was a very ambitious project and something that was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!

    I was introduced to a local entrepreneur who has been very successful in all of his ventures and is wanting to start his own haunted house. He had seen my business plan and project that I was wanting to start up with my business partner and also the lead make-up artist at the forest. He offered me a job to start this whole haunt, and right now we are looking for the property that we want to build on. We are targeting Utah County and Salt Lake County so are wanting to go for a centralized location where we can tap both of those places

    There is a lot of haunts out here in Utah, and a very big love for haunts. Rocky Point was amazing in it's day and Nightmare on 13th, Castle of Chaos, have set the bar high for us to build and create an amazing haunt that would be recognized by others within the industry. You speak of 4 million for a property, that isnt actually too far off to the amount of money that is being invested in this venture. Right now we are thinking about 6 acres is what will be workable for us in the concept that we are wanting to create and the amount of people we want to be prepared for.

    Now the haunt is going to be the main focus of the venue, but we want to also bring in Christmas, as well as have this place be a location that conventions (horror, renaissance, etc) and concerts can be as well. So it is a pretty huge project and I am trying to get all the help that I can in knowing what is going to be the best way to budget out our costs, and upkeep.

    And to answer your questions

    1. Are you a spy for some government agency or a sock puppet: No government entity here, and as far as a sock puppet, no, i have a sock monkey around here somewhere though if you want one

    2. do you have any money (if not no problem, I can recommend wether or not to eat what you find in a dumpster) Why yes we do have money, i might be eating out of the dumpster of the business complex im working in at the moment because I don't have time to leave, so any advice on eating a sandwich that has only one bite out of it but is sadly on top of a glowing green piece of metal would be greatly appreciated

    3. Where is it you have been given this opportunity: Good ol' state of Utah. Come one come all! bring your 50 kids and 13 wives to the best holiday bash of all time! We have green jell-o, funeral potatoes, and more!

    4. Is it a charity or for profit event: This is going to be a profit event, but would love to allow charitable corporations have events at our haunt

    5. is your event happening this year: Hell no! you think that 4 weeks is enough time to open up a haunt!? well maybe, but not the one that we have envisioned. right now we project that we are going to have this haunt open for the 2014 season. We want to go over every detail and then check and double check to make sure we have everything right. We don't want to rush this thing.

    Hope that helps you know a little bit more about what I am working on, and trying to accomplish. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go deliver a package to some friends out in the middle of no-where in a suit and unmarked car........pay no attention to the fact the box is moving.....
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    I have been thinking I can have a room full of personal assistants in India for $10 per hour and you can text message your dumpster finds to EatitorDonteatIt.com and they will vote on whether to eat something or not for 10cents per text message. It would only take 100 calls per hour from hobos with smart phones to break even. After that is is all sweet profit.


    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
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    So glad to see someone with a sense of humor show up! Welcome.

    The first thing that pops into my mind is that because of the great number of haunts in Utah, some counties have actually forbidden that type of venue. So first step is making sure the zoning to the prospect area allows your type of event. And if so, what codes are they being held to.

    In general, what you describe does sound like something that could be quite successful. Pretty much the end result of a ren fair, haunt season plus christmas is just like where Allen Hopps has been for a few years.

    Green metal, Hmmm, does the metal turn black with a drop of hydrocloric acid or maybe there is a used wedge of lemon near by. If the metal turns blue only eat the top bread and fillings in the sandwich, leave the bottom bread there.


    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.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Chrise View Post
    So glad to see someone with a sense of humor show up! Welcome.

    The first thing that pops into my mind is that because of the great number of haunts in Utah, some counties have actually forbidden that type of venue. So first step is making sure the zoning to the prospect area allows your type of event. And if so, what codes are they being held to.

    In general, what you describe does sound like something that could be quite successful. Pretty much the end result of a ren fair, haunt season plus christmas is just like where Allen Hopps has been for a few years.

    Green metal, Hmmm, does the metal turn black with a drop of hydrocloric acid or maybe there is a used wedge of lemon near by. If the metal turns blue only eat the top bread and fillings in the sandwich, leave the bottom bread there.
    I already have been working on talking with the county and cities in Utah county about the zoning and what is allowed. Some are pretty hesitant to allow any such place be built, but there are a few cities that I am spending most of my time looking for land that we can build this up on. So far they have been very willing to work with me and with the zoning. We just are looking for a few other places as the initial land we want to buy has some wetlands in it and we need to get a surveyer down to check and make sure that there are no endangered species that we could be disturbing if we decide to build there.

    Right now that is our biggest hurtle. Just finding the right piece of land that has quick access from I-15 and can be reached by both counties no problem. So while I work on that, I also wanted to reach out to you guys in the industry to see what kind of expenses we should be expecting. Next week im planning on calling the electric company and see if we can work out a flat rate deal or something (it may only be an option after we have been established for a year or so) but still it is something that is worth looking into.

    I had called Allen a week or two ago to ask him a little bit about his haunt (i follow his youtube channel which is awesome!) and he was saying to expect to spend about a dollar per sq ft on utilities and everything, which makes sense. I just wanted to get some others opinions as well.

    hmm....well I dont have any hydrocloric acid on me...so maybe ill just skip this meal and wait to see what the button pushers have for me to scrounge through tonight. I was lucky and found a piece of fried chicken still in the bucket last night! I only threw up once afterwords so that tells me that it was still pretty fresh. Now i just need to start looking for improvements to my cardboard....er i mean Green living house that needs a new coat of crayon....er color accents to help make it more livable.
    Just your friendly neighborhood...........awe hell I can't think of anything witty
     

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