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Thread: Are haunts priced to high these days?

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  1. Default Are haunts priced to high these days? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    391
    I hear it all the time that haunted attractions are pricing themselves way too high. I think average ticket price 10 years ago was probably $10-$15 now they are $20-$40 bucks! Are we doing more harm
    Than good or are haunts worth that price now?

    Looking to hear your thoughts.

    Jake
     

  2. Default The Market 
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    33
    As with anything else, the market will even things out.

    Haunts should charge what the market will bear, and the market differs from location to location.

    I don't run a professional haunt, yet, but I've seen the prices associated with doing so. It's not cheap.

    If your haunt is worth $20 or $30 to the patrons that go through it, then that's what you should charge.

    There's a sweet spot that each haunt needs to find: a balance between what people are willing to pay and what will allow you to afford to continue running and improving the haunt.
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Prattville Alabama
    Posts
    133
    Really depends on the attraction. I would say some with multiple haunts and plenty of extras for people to do may be worth the money, but any small hometown haunts shouldn't be more than $15 unless they have a lot to offer.
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,583
    I think they are getting out of hand a bit. I go to haunts from NC to PA and sometimes further out. Now I'd pay 40+ for haunt like Pennhurst or even haunted hoochie and the $30 for field of screams and Bennett's curse that they charge and spookywoods and woods of terror are at a fair price too. I think more local haunts like Darkwood Manor and wicked woods are great values and very fairly priced, most haunts in Virginia are actually. What I don't like is when an unproven new haunt comes in and tries to charge as much or more than the established haunt for complete garbage and saying how great they are already.For example there has been two haunts in DC the past couple years i visited both called Warehouse 3.1 and this year Gravensteen curse of Frau miller and both were pretty bad, low budget and bad actors and costumes but they charged $32 and $25 respectively. I think this hurts the industry when someone tries to come in and charge premium prices for a haunt not worth more than $15 especially since you can go through them in under 15 minutes like the ones mentioned above were.
    I go to smaller haunts that are priced well and they last 30 minutes or more but you end up enjoying them more because you don't feel ripped off.

    I think new haunts should stop trying to come out and think they are worth what the primary haunt in the market is and keep their price point at a fair price the big guys worked a long time to get to that price than to have a Johnny come lately come in and charge just as much.

    I spent over $600 or haunt tickets this year for just my tickets. I'd like to see prices back to around $20 but I don't that happening. If its cool and unique its worth it to spend more but when its the same ol same ol it gets annoying.

    DA
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    East Haven, Connecticut, United States
    Posts
    1,193
    One major thing people overlook is that a haunt is NOT a solo venture for your clients. They bring their significant other or friends. If I wanna take my girlfriend out to a haunt, $50 is high for 10-20 minutes, especially after dinner. But if you're $20 or less I don't mind spending the $40....

    What I'm trying to say is....people don't go to haunts alone. They go to haunts in groups. Use your marketing to encourage people to bring fellow victims and they will, especially if it's affordable. You want higher attendance? You want higher sales? Make your admission price reasonable, and your market will support you by being able to either being more friends or encourage more friends it's worth the price.

    The customer isn't responsibility for your mismanagement and lack of proper budget. This is seasonal. Buy used and refurbish in house. Create a scale to follow, start small and grow, keep a $10-20 ticket price and stick with it. Don't use one time tickets, get tickets you can reuse, we have poker chips, I got 800 for $300, and cashed them in when I ran low, then restocked the ticket booth. Don't spend frivolously. The customer doesn't care about a $10,000 animatronic when a $100 air cannon makes them scream. Eye candy is secondary, invest in good actors, invest in good scenery, and add to that scenery with time, if you do it all at once, you lose. Spend too much and you'll fall right on your ass. Spend too little and you're haunt looks pathetic. Do something decent and use time to build and get better and grow with your market, don't just try to explode or spend $100,000 remodeling each year, that's insane! Keep a low price, and more people will come, then you have even more people saying "yeah that was totally awesome" to even more people. Sure the price per person isn't huge, but you'll have more people, more positive remarks and will be able to expand significantly from year to year without needing to charge an arm and a leg for attendance.

    Just me two cents. I have three haunts...this works for me.
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    1,482
    Much of this is true I think prices are getting a bit extreme shall we say. We are the top haunt in the Baltimore/DC market, but we are kind of middle of the pack with our prices. There are first year haunts like DA mentioned that come out the gate with a high price but also charity haunts that charge even more. Many boast having multiple elements but each one may take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes to go through. I guess if you can get it go for it, but I do think its damaging to the market. People can only afford to go to at most a couple a season. If they spent $25 each on a 10 minute haunt would that customer still want to visit other haunts for fear of feeling ripped off? Maybe, maybe not, but I do agree that the top haunts usually have the highest price because they put the work in to set the standard and condition the guests by building on their show year after year and mastering their craft. It takes years to get the public to trust that you will make big improvements year after year and deliver a high impact haunt until you have a loyal following. I think now people come in and try to compete with the top haunts and they think they can trick the public by charging a premium price but ultimately the people will go with the names they can trust.

    I do not see prices going down anytime soon. But I do suspect they will level off for a while.

    This is a good thread hope it stays that way. Also I hope you all had a great season!

    Allan
    Last edited by MDKing; 11-06-2013 at 11:11 PM.
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    546
    I hate to say it Dark but I agree with you on this one, doesn't happen often. If a customer goes to a $25 haunt and has a bad experience then they assume all $25 haunts are the same. This means that the more reasonable priced haunt do even get looked at. I am going to Legendary Haunt tour tomorrow and that will be my 87th and 88th haunt of 2013, I have found that most of them I went to were price just about right. A few exceptions though, Hundred Acres Manor for $18 is a great low price for a great show and Clio Manor was this biggest ripoff for $18. I am not one to criticize someone else work but I had to on this one. We were told about this new haunt by another haunt close by, so we went to see it, it was so bad that we had to go back to the owner of the previous haunt and tell him to stop sending people over there till he had made a trip personally. I am sorry but a bedroom set is not a bed in a white room with nothing else and that was one of the better rooms in this haunt. People need to charge a price that they can make a profit and still deliver a good show, if you deliver a outstanding show then you deserve a outstanding price too. Just charge appropriately for your haunt and don't go around thinking you can charge $30 just because the other guy does, he may be bigger or better.
    Phatman
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    There are a lot of good points being made. The only one I see being missed is Haunts that use ticket price to control their attendance. I want 10,000 customers or less at my show. I use my ticket price to control that. When I get to 8,0000 one year at $5.00 admission, I raise the price to $7.00. Im at $10.00 now and I hope I can stay here a bit- but as soon as I hit 8,500 customers I need to raise it again.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    546
    Good point Allen. Keeps you from having to try and get 20,000 people to make a buck, when that would be $300,000 at $15 or you could do 15,000 at $20 and have more time to give them a good show.
    Phatman
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    546
    Allen I wouldn't pay $10 for your show. Oops I already did and loved it, I love old school shows. You know me pretty good and I love the high tech stuff but I am serious about good acting too. By the way I think you will have to be at $13 to $15 next year to stay at 10,000, your show is too good.
    Phatman
     

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