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Thread: Zombie Paintball?

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    501
    What was the name of the farm? Contact info? I'd love to speak with them to ask directly

    Thanks!
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    Keegan,
    I would urge you not to buy as it sounds you already have a bias. Yes, its expensive. Having done it I think it would cost more to do the R&D yourself to get it done to that level of correctness. Also because you are talking about Guns and moving vehicles I see it as an insurance and liability asset to buy from a seperate company. The renfaire I work for cant build a playground because they cant insure it, but if they purchase one they can because their is a liability sponge.
    I had a high actor turnover because we made a few poor choices reguarding the guns and the armor- the learning curve was high- part of what you are paying for is the learning curve you are skipping by buying from a vendor.
    I respect your choice and fully understand it- if you cant afford to market any attraction then you shouldnt invest to much in it.
    Allen H
     

  3. Default  
    #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    501
    Well said Allen. I'm not biased, simply looking for the negative to both sides in order to protect the people (and attraction) that I am helping to make the decision.

    I appreciate the feedback, and hope to hear from others who may have had a great experience with the setup.


    I understand from an insurance aspect it makes logical sense, but I also understand that investing that much money into an attraction that may not get the proper and adequate publicity may make it a wasted investment for the folks I am helping out.

    Much appreciation.
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    546
    You may try hooking up with another haunt that may want to do it but does not want to put out the money for it. If you shared their advertising and they got a cut this would reduce your exposure for losses your first year. They would have a second atraction and you would be on the hook for less marketing. Just an idea I have been kicking around. Whe have a corn maze around the corner and have been talking with them about the same thing. They have 5000 people go to the corn maze a year and if I can get some of their customer to do paint ball too that is a good start, on the flip side I would be driving more traffic to them too. The only thing I will say is make sure you have your marketing covered.

    Phatman
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    9,185
    Let me answer a few things and throw out a few comments...

    1) Is this a stand alone attraction ... NO!!!!! Its not scary, so that alone makes it not a stand alone, its more or less like a gimmick type of attractions which we used as a marketing tool/gimmick. There are several paintball fields in our area that did the same thing and this was the only thing they marketed and I think they might have done about 4 or 5000 people. So as a stand alone I don't think it works.

    2) Is it safe? Good question!!! I think I learned more about what to do and not to do by doing it and simply using a lot of common sense to make adjustments. Let me say I learned a lot! You can not really run this type of attraction when its warm because the actors will die of heat exhaustion. You have to give them so much protection and trust me it still isn't enough that when its warm they get over heated. We took every single safety precaution and every night we operated it I was worried something would happen but nothing did. The only issue we had was with actors not wanting to wear their protection and some getting bruises or some passing out due to heat. When the temp was cold or cool it wasn't really a problem.

    3) Is it effective? This is or was the most expensive attraction I've EVER operated it swallowed money. From all the staff it takes to load trailers, paintballs, fix guns, fill up tanks, to checking on actors or actors in general and oh gas for tractors, tractor drivers, and paintballs and more paintballs, and more protection and more this it never ended. It was expensive. Not to mention the cost of getting into the business to begin with was astronomical.

    Did it get people talking yes it did but we didn't do any more attendance with it and some people came out just for it and others thought it was dumb. It was about 50/50.

    4) Does it belong? Another good question... its one of those things where does 3D haunted houses belong? Are they really scary are 3D haunted houses as scary as a dark haunt and the answer is no. But when you are a scream park all kinds of attractions fit and work. Hayrides seems to be the stable of any good scream park no matter the theme and they seem to bring crowds because its a ride. So yes they belong in the mix only... meaning they belong in the mix of things to consider just as you would consider all sorts of different attractions. Would I choose a zombie paint ball over a regular hayride and the answer is FLAT OUT NO! Does that mean I would not consider the paintball hayride no I wouldn't say that either.

    I think in the end yes its a FAD nothing more... there is nothing long term to the idea because after your customers understand its not that scary, its not even half as cool as playing paintball itself it will rub off. The expense of doing itself will force you to abandon ship eventually but the upside is real simple.

    It can give you a temporary boost for your marketing efforts and it could prove to be a boost to help your business in the short term but not by any means the long term.

    In short I would say its not for everyone but for some it could be just what the doctor ordered.

    I have bounced back and forth on do I do it again or not... I'm considering selling everything I'm considering doing it again I don't know. What I do know is this I won't do it again after this coming year if I even do it this year because of the following factors...

    1) It makes me nervous with paintballs flying all over the place
    2) It was brutal on the actors and if we do it again this year it will be with NO ACTORS AT ALL
    3) The cost is enormous to operate.
    4) Lastly yes its a gimmick and there is very little to no long term staying power to it... its much like 3D haunts in the early days everyone jumped on then jumped off. It wasn't until honestly I showed the industry that 3D can be a long term attraction if you put a lot of effort into it. I think the same for the hayride paintball concept... if you go all out with it and I mean balls to the wall maybe you can make something really special that holds up but just as with 3D most won't and it will lose its luster.

    I will only say this is a side attraction and probably best as an upcharged attraction so that the people who want to do it pay for it. Lastly its not really something you can run 50,000 people through without an ARMY of people... it will cripple your attraction unless you up sell so maybe only half of your crowd does the attraction.

    I hope this helps.

    Larry
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    501
    Larry, thanks for the input as well.

    My biggest question and/or comment is if it's such a great thing, why isn't everyone doing it? You see very sporadic placement, and very few posting about how amazing the results are. Maybe those who are having great results don't want the word to get out? Maybe it's that big of a cash cow that they don't want competition getting on board? Exclusivity? Who knows, I just know that many seem iffy on the subject, and that to me seems like it isn't worth it's weight in gold.
     

  7. Default  
    #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Traverse City, Michigan
    Posts
    319
    We have not done the paintball hayride here yet - we did consider it for down the road. Last year we did a "Zombie Paintball Booth" - We sold 10 shots for $5.00 and it went great.....well let me rephrase that - It went great when the people running it made it exciting and really were into it and sold it for the people watching.

    We used light armor for our actor - you don't need heavy bulky armor to stop the impact of a paintball, we used light plastic biking armor - it gives a hard surface for the paint to break on and isn't heavy or hot to wear. We didn't have any injuries at all during the whole month and the actor took a minimum of 700-1000 hits a night.

    The reaction we had was great people loved shooting the zombie. The reason I am hesitant to do the hayride is because I live in Northern Michigan, last year the temps dropped down to 33 degrees a few nights - anyone who has played paintball in cold weather knows it cause most paint to become brittle which in turn end up will a lot of paint breaking in the barrels. The paint needs to be cleaned from the barrel right away or you just end up with more and more paint breaking and an upset customer.

    I think the hayride is something you really need to sell to make work - Make it exciting, make it action filled, make it feel like a movie experience.
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    501
    Ever,

    A paint booth is a great idea to Segway between seasons of no hayride and hayride. Gauge interest by the response to a paint booth...!!!
     

  9. Default Zombie Paintball in the off season 
    #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    546
    Evernight have you thought of doing Zombie Paintball during the Cherry Festival, it may get a good draw that weekend with the tourist up there. I know down here they do paintball and laser tag birthday parties and they do well. Does anybody run part of their atraction in the off season for events, and is it worth opening.
    Phatman
     

  10. Default Cherry Festival :( 
    #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Traverse City, Michigan
    Posts
    319
    We have tried several times to get something into the Cherry Festival to help advertise our haunt - What a lot of people don't realize is unless you "fit" in the with the Cherry Festivals ideals of what the want then you have no chance at all of being included. We managed to get into the parade only 1 times....after that the "Committee" decided we weren't a good fit, mind you we had no gore, didn't scare people - we just had some costume actors walking in front of our hearse with a banner.

    The paintball booth is a way to gauge interest for sure....hell maybe even ask people that participate what they would think of a interactive hayride.

    One idea we are playing with is a paintball "Walkthrough" - Alot of people immediately see this as dangerous but let me explain why it would not be. Last year a new paintball was introduced, it was an new take on the old spring loaded paintball guns. The new "Splatmaster" series are all spring loaded and shoot a smaller caliber paintball that has a thinner shell. They offer shotguns that hold ten rounds, and they have hand guns with I believe 8 round clips.

    The spring loaded guns were created to bring younger children into the sport of paintball - They are accurate to about 20ft or so and do not hurt at all, I personally tested one at 3 feet away on bare skin - felt like someone flicked me - my daughter who is 13 took a shot from one at about 8 feet away with no pad and said it didn't hurt at all. I think these would be an awesome idea to do a "Zombie" live action walkthrough, you would need minimum padding and it creates a scenario that allows you to still scare the hell out of your customers in a "Haunt" setting and still let them take on the zombies.
     

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