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Thread: Haunt Start Up

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  1. Default Haunt Start Up 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    24
    I'm in the early stages of planning my haunt. I don't plan on opening any time soon. This is my dream and I'm looking at every detail and planning on what to do if a detail either goes right or wrong. My biggest concern is funding. How did you gain the funds to start up? Also any tips to get the ball rolling would be greatly appreciated!
    THE SCARE DOCTOR
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    64
    I see that you are in Georgia, which isn't TOO terribly far from Louisiana.
    HauntCon is taking place next weekend in Baton Rouge.
    There will be several haunt-business related training seminars taught there, including an all-day seminar on starting your first haunted attraction.
    Also, look into buying a book called "So You Want to be a Haunt Entrepreneur" by Kelly Allen.
    Good resource.
    Fright In Falcon Haunted Maze
    http://frightinfalcon.com
     

  3. Default Haunt Start Up 
    #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by GrimmHallows101 View Post
    I'm in the early stages of planning my haunt. I don't plan on opening any time soon. This is my dream and I'm looking at every detail and planning on what to do if a detail either goes right or wrong. My biggest concern is funding. How did you gain the funds to start up? Also any tips to get the ball rolling would be greatly appreciated!
    GrimmHallows101,

    Hi there. Nice to see another local haunter. While I can't necessarily give you a magic answer to any of this (if I did I'd have my own haunt open right now) I would say try and take things slowly. Invest as much as you can into education. Take seminars, classes, read books, buy videos, attend trade shows and industry sponsored events. Observe other haunts in action. See what works and what doesn't. Become a jack of all trades and learn how to do just about everything.

    I can also highly recommend Kelly Allen's Book "So You Want To Be A Haunt Entrepreneur". It has valuable insight into starting up. Not to mention Kelly is also a super-great guy and very approachable. In it he is very honest about successes and failures (lessons learned). After that you'll need a solid business plan and course of action. Are you going it alone or with partners? If you can find someone you gel with you can build a great team and do more with a partnership and double the resources than you could solo. With that however you have to be willing to work one shared vision and not just your own.

    For the funding this can be tough. Unless you have endless cash, a trust-fund, existing collateral, or someone willing to loan you the money for start-up (good luck), you're going to have to fund it yourself. Haunting is not cheap! I would recommend doing what I do and be very specific with your design and build only what you need. It's tempting to go buy all the cool props and the latest greatest whatever but if you design only what you need for a specific room then you can budget accordingly and not spend out of control or on impulse. It will take time but you can build it a bit at a time. Eventually you will have enough materials/props/etc. to open the haunt. I'm lucky enough to have an 1100 sq ft stand alone garage behind my house to work on props and sets but not everyone has that capability. Many folks get started doing a home haunt and eventually go pro. This can have advantages as well as restrictions.

    I'm by no means an expert. I have been haunting for about 25 years and have had a haunt of my own years ago. That's why I'm looking to re-open. Definitely listen to the advice from folks on the forum. Most people are pretty friendly and know their stuff. Hope that helps you.

    Good luck!
    Lee D. Sanders
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Gahaunter View Post
    GrimmHallows101,

    Hi there. Nice to see another local haunter. While I can't necessarily give you a magic answer to any of this (if I did I'd have my own haunt open right now) I would say try and take things slowly. Invest as much as you can into education. Take seminars, classes, read books, buy videos, attend trade shows and industry sponsored events. Observe other haunts in action. See what works and what doesn't. Become a jack of all trades and learn how to do just about everything.

    I can also highly recommend Kelly Allen's Book "So You Want To Be A Haunt Entrepreneur". It has valuable insight into starting up. Not to mention Kelly is also a super-great guy and very approachable. In it he is very honest about successes and failures (lessons learned). After that you'll need a solid business plan and course of action. Are you going it alone or with partners? If you can find someone you gel with you can build a great team and do more with a partnership and double the resources than you could solo. With that however you have to be willing to work one shared vision and not just your own.

    For the funding this can be tough. Unless you have endless cash, a trust-fund, existing collateral, or someone willing to loan you the money for start-up (good luck), you're going to have to fund it yourself. Haunting is not cheap! I would recommend doing what I do and be very specific with your design and build only what you need. It's tempting to go buy all the cool props and the latest greatest whatever but if you design only what you need for a specific room then you can budget accordingly and not spend out of control or on impulse. It will take time but you can build it a bit at a time. Eventually you will have enough materials/props/etc. to open the haunt. I'm lucky enough to have an 1100 sq ft stand alone garage behind my house to work on props and sets but not everyone has that capability. Many folks get started doing a home haunt and eventually go pro. This can have advantages as well as restrictions.

    I'm by no means an expert. I have been haunting for about 25 years and have had a haunt of my own years ago. That's why I'm looking to re-open. Definitely listen to the advice from folks on the forum. Most people are pretty friendly and know their stuff. Hope that helps you.

    Good luck!

    I appreciate all of the tips! Where are you located?
    THE SCARE DOCTOR
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    151
    I work in Atlanta, proper but I live in the burbs. Cobb County area.
    Lee D. Sanders
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Gahaunter View Post
    I work in Atlanta, proper but I live in the burbs. Cobb County area.
    I'm up a bit more in Cherokee! What was the name of your haunt?
    THE SCARE DOCTOR
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by GrimmHallows101 View Post
    I'm up a bit more in Cherokee! What was the name of your haunt?
    Grimm,

    Nothing you've probably ever heard of. It was small haunt called Nightmare Manor and was partnership between myself and a now defunct charity. It was in Clayton County (Morrow Georgia) in the early 90's. I was young, stupid, and in my early 20's. I kinda gave it up to chase a relationship and after a while eventually ended up moving out of state for 5 1/2 years. Then I wised up a moved back. LOL At that point, I had gotten rid of everything. Should have kept the haunt and got rid of the relationship. Would have cost me less and I still would have the haunt stuff. I'm slowly rebuilding stuff a bit at a time. Won't be resurrecting that name though when and if I do. Right now it's kinda a slow going process since I work (gotta eat) and am in school getting a BFA in Computer Animation and Visual FX. Takes up most of my time but I'm trying to find time to make and create stuff. Why don't you private msg me and we can chat some more about your ideas. Don't wanna waste all the space on this forum with personal convo's.
    Lee D. Sanders
     

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