wipp has kidnapped Mr Tuxedo and is in Lousiana!!!!!
hi this was my first yr as a commercial haunt and honestly.we didnt come close to our goal of what we expected as far as attendence.we have a great show that everyone loved but still a poor turnout.we are also on a major hwy and used television commercials.i would really like to hear some experiences on yalls first few yrs experience as far as this goes.was your first yr similar to ours?did it take 5 yrs like everyone says?or was it a hit on opening year?
wipp has kidnapped Mr Tuxedo and is in Lousiana!!!!!
Hard to compare those rotten apples to fetid oranges but I worked on my house for many years , doing walk through informal tours, doing tours al year long.
Then I decided that I finally had "enough" to show people and I went for it, merely sending a letter to The Chicago Tribune, just in time for their haunted house section , mentioning all the Chicagoland haunts.
The Hollywood movie offers came next, the wild women harassing me night and day(the real reason most guys get into a haunt business!)
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
My location is extremely poor, hidden behind a block of storefronts in a small village in the middle of a cornfield. I have always realised that anyone finding this place, wishing to hand me some of their "Hard-Earned" should get the best possible time here that I can provide for them, to create a memorable experience, one so interesting that they would not be able to stop talking about it, even telling their friends and relatives, thereby perpetuating my business, hopefully.
20 years later, still doing it here.
By the way, that cat of yours looks ...familiar. Did you fall for Mr. Tuxedo's scam as a haunt business advisor?
I wondered where he has been lately?
Can you really afford his extremely expensive habit of needing that imported catnip?
It was my first year goin pro as well, the numbers were much lower than I had expected even though I had heavy advertising and the reviews of the show were awesome. Im hoping things change for next year.
All new businesses have to be able to hang in there for at least three years.
Good ads, good reviews just begin to get your potential clientel "thinking", maybe we should go there?
Ad to this the problem of the short season and the possibility of bad weather and the season gets even shorter.
I have often thought that the weatherman making a scary forecast destroys more business than the actual bad weather , if it really turns out to be as bad as the weatherman says it will be?
Being open year-round, I tell people to stay home when the weather is bad, especially in the winter when bad weather could really cause some dire predicaments for some people out on the open road.
The werewolves in this county do not ever go hungry!
2003 was our first year. We had a very good attendance for a first year haunt in a very competitive market. Very close to the average attendance of some other well established haunts in the area. We did a lot of advertising though. We also had great word of mouth. Second year was even better, having about 1500 more customers visit than in 03. 2005 our numbers slipped a little, down about 1000 from 04. We mainly think this was due to the economy and gas prices being nearly 3 bucks a gallon. This year with some bad weather and the Tigers in the playoffs for the first time in 19 years we were pleasantly surprised to have our second best year.
The most important thing you can have is good word of mouth. If people like the show they will come back every year and bring new friends with them. If they don't like the haunt it can put you out of business quickly.
We start redesigning the whole show again the first week in January. We will be working on the haunt all year once again. We are looking forward to our fifth anniversary. We think it will be our best year yet.
Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House
The second year we put in twice as much stuff and got twice as many people. Perhaps making this announcement ahead of time spread the word through all involved and got the word to the customers? We also became cross promotion buddies with any haunt in the area. The first year we got on TV the second year we only got about 15 seconds. Word of mouth is better than one TV spot among 150 channel.
I expect that now that we have built to a respectable base number of customers it will increase 25 to 30 percent per year. With low numbers locations that's just the way it is, you must earn it from nothing and put more into it than it will return for years.
It is called developing a market. At least I keep lieing to myself to continue. Every place has a potential but it must be developed.
And then there are upper limitations that may have caused low turn out in the beginning that might limit the growth as well.
Are there ample parking places that look inviting to pull into with a nice car? Being on a hiway are cars driving by too fast to notice?
Even with low turn out it might appear on crucial nights that the line is too long and can be seen from the highway maybe?
Would be customers might slow and then take off.
Rural customers might be willing to deal with unfinished parking but suburb and city car drivers will avoid such a situation.
Sometimes you can have the support of the community and still do poorly due to lack of proper facitlities.
We have increased through put to keep down lines, and make our good parking available to the next potential customer, TV either needs a story or they don't and I'm considering a hidden queue line in an adjoining section of the building to hide long lines indoors. We will be adding more to the size and content of the haunt and change the pattern and show every year.
Most of the overnight success big haunts have actually been in business from 10 to 25 years. But, in my mind this is how you develop a stable market. Years ago one might have been able to drop into any town and set up and do well. I think those days are over (competeing with other forms of entertainment) and those type of attractions seem to be bottom feeding on larger shows rather than developing their own market. They still do not do as well as they could have in the long run.
I can't remember the line exactly from the new Rocky movie but it goes something like this...
Rocky is talking to his son, who is very unhappy with Rocky, because his son feels like he's living in Rocky's shadow and as hard as he tries to make something work he can't get there...
Rocky says, what makes a man isn't how hard he can punch or how hard he tries, or pointing fingers at all the reasons why you failed, but what makes a man is how when you're knocked down how you find the inner strength, the desire and the will to get up and keep fighting, thats what makes a man.
What makes a haunter, is despite all your setbacks, your passion and desire keeps you going despite how hard it is to succeed. Being a haunter isn't easy, and its not the best way to make a living. Its a lot of hard work, dedication, passion and desire to succeed. I did nothing but fail for years, but I kept thinking it can only get better not worse, and that kept me going foward. It does pay off in the end, if you want it to it will.
Don't let your low turnout drag you down, trust me you're a better haunter and better buisness person for it trust me!
Man, our first year we had between 200-300 people total! We charged $5.00 a person and still no one would show up. I believe the reason was due to lack of advertising and just the fact that it was the first year and most people go to established haunts. Luckily it was a fundraiser so we were able to continue the following year. Our 2nd and 3rd attendance was much better but still not as good as I would like to see.Originally Posted by wipp
,,,...and then after you took in that first $100,000, you did what all good little haunters are supposed to do, you went to Transworld and spent it ALL!
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