View Full Version : Does this make sence?

Mr. Haunt
02-11-2007, 11:13 AM
Do you think, with a budget of $10,000.00, would it get you by for the first year of operation?

02-11-2007, 11:39 AM
Sure, but it all depends what kinda show you want to run. We have the largest, most detailed, (and best :wink: ) home haunt in the Sacramento area. And after adding up all our expenses for the season we spent around $10,000. So if that is the type of show you want, sure you can do it.

Click on our web site below to see what we came up with for ten G's.

If you are looking for something more, I think you will need a bit more. We are looking at 'going pro' and I have come up with a need for a $40/45,000 investment for this.

02-11-2007, 12:30 PM
I know home haunts, parties, and attractions are all different in some way. But they have one thing in common and thats money, cash,. I dont have a home haunt or attraction, but I can say that 10,000 was about what I spent for my first party and it was awesome. Now after 4 years and upgrading and adding stuff, my party now is worth $45,000. Last years party was an 8000SF room with a cemetary, moat, drawbridge, castle(12'H x 50'), library, dungeon, blacksmith, and food, plus DJ. So I guess in short, yes, 10,000 is enough if you make what you want work. Good Luck!

That was one opinion and now my next. Everyone is different, but with me and my party, its like a stepping stone to something more grander when Im ready to step up. You see to me 10,000 isnt a lot of money to get what you want out of it. Never mind details. Even with my party being at 45,000 I still feel Im not ready and need more, before I open to the world. I want everything to be perfect and look exactly the way I want it to. I already get praise and compliments on my party, but there people I know. Except for the DJ I only met him for the first time and he was blown away. Never seen a party of this magnitude he said. lol

I understand everyone is on some kind of budget, but my 1st party was definately blown away by my 4th party. Yes, I understand just like any haunt, the more seasons you do the better your attractions look will become.

Good Luck to you in the 2007 season

02-11-2007, 12:50 PM
I agree it depends how big the haunt is. Also it depends on how much detail you want in your room. Now if you only had about 10 rooms in your haunt with do it yourself detailing 10 thousand might cover it. Does the 10 thousand also cover running cost? Dont forget supplies, smoke, stobes, light effects, animatronics, also will your actors be paid or vollunteer? As you see there is alot of verables to it. What are your plans???

Greg Chrise
02-11-2007, 02:32 PM
Well, whip it out here. What are you going to spend $10,000 on? We can tell if it makes cents. It can be done. You will have to nail down some things, like size, style, where it willbe and how much that costs, how much it takes to move everything to there and back and so on.

02-11-2007, 03:41 PM
Correct me if I am wrong here, There is absolutely no way that Mr.Haunt is going to put up a commercial Haunt for a shoestring Budget of 10,000.
even if per chance someone gives him a building, fills it with props, after he pays for insurance, and all those nifty little Nuisances that local inspector is going to insist on him having,(Sprinkler system, emergency lighting, Fireproofing coating,and whatever else is on his list that day) How far is that 10,000 going to go, not far, which leaves no money for advertisement, which means very little attendance.

someone mentioned Partys here, and I have been the designer for a gentleman that budgets 10,000 for his 3 hour halloween party for the four years, He wants Pirates this year and it will not float for his budgeted 10,000. Mr. Haunt I wish you the very best of luck in your Haunt ventures, and this is was no way being a BadGuy by pointing this out.

Greg Chrise
02-11-2007, 05:40 PM
Yes, sponsor provided fair grounds, non paid labor for building how ever many new walls as you want for $30 each, volunteer decorating of scenes, some electricity and lights, used and cheap paint. Walls can also be used materials. I could make an entire attraction out of every used refrigerator for 200 miles and borrow them all.

Sponsor provided actors or charity provided actors or a troupe of actors that just want to act and have fun with make up.

Insurance costs how much? $1200? sponsor(s)
Advertising a little done by everyone involved. Sponsor(s)

Go to work. What's so tough about that?

I would imagine a $10,000 party for someone involves lots of compensated labor for building things. In one scenario of opening a haunt everyone either gets paid or does not in November depending wether it made anything above expenses and many events at just such a loss (no one gets paid) go the next year to try again all the time because it is fun. Eventually the build up over years is respectable and customers turn out. If you started with say $40,000 in equipment and props you might only still see 400 to 800 people no matter how well it was advertised. The 200 for a party is pretty good to me that means a few years of patronage. Maybe the actors only had fun and one sponsor provided meal a night?

You either want to do it or not. If you want to do it there is a way. It isn't going to be Universal Studios Tour displays right out of the box.

Give me this guy that is having the party's phone number (just kidding) I can put a 3000 SF fully tricked out haunt in his back yard for 10K with a pirate theme. I'll have to start painting real quick and will need a deposit for lots of styrofoam, a few $400 boats I see around here and a few months studio rent. It may take a week to set up and a week to tear down for that 3 hour party but, for 10K I can do it. After 3 hours I would be on ebay selling the props I made specifically for this event that can not be used elsewhere. Even being probably 1200 miles away I could probably do it based out of a $100/month storage garage.

You have to be creative. I have old tennis court nets that could become fishing nets, even a semi truck tarp for cotton that is another kind of fish net to be draped over a large area. You find big ropes make things out of styrofoam like big fish and sharks, you go hunting at thrift/antique shops for decor, even shark jaw skeletons. Make scenery and know it can be sold later. If you don't get to keep it, there is a price tag for your compensation.

The thing is, even if it took me 3 months to build the thing by myself or with some paid helpers, I would be keeping everything when it is made as my compensation and will have already covered expenses with the money. Right now I could sell a ship themed thing to a church that has a big youth group building/future attraction no problem. If they want one there are probably 3 more in the country that would also. if this party is something where people think they are taking the decorations as they go, it better be a $300 per plate dinner.

If you own a haunted house or just a big slew of props your only pay might in fact be the built up equity that only has value by knowing what to do with a bunch of rubber and plywood and broken lights.
But, if you don't have anything it may seem insurmountable. To get to the point of having something you have to work to get to the point of having anything to work from.

I have to go to Walmart my ride is here! Bye.

John Coen
02-11-2007, 05:50 PM
Yes. You start small and grow a little each year. The first year you invest a lot of your money into your walls and rely on good actors. Don't overcharge for your event so people will be happy for the show they got for the $$ they spent to enter.

Jim Warfield
02-11-2007, 06:14 PM
Everything takes time and effort to have a chance of success.
College, job training, establishing a customer base, I once heard that if you wanted to be a cartoonist in the newspaper that you had to have a years worth of cartoons drawn in advance before they would even consider you.
The only trully over-night successes are the lotto winners, everything else requires concentrated effort over a period of time.
Of course the down-side to everything is that after expending time and effort there are still no guarantees that whatever you have been working towards will find general favor with a supporting public.
My attitude when I began here was fueled by simmering anger of many know-it-alls who gave me zero chance of ever having anything like a success here. Couple this with being so low on the totem pole of life that I became my own best council as to what I wanted to try and make work.
I tried it "My Way" with nothing to lose since I was already abandoned along the highway! Being abandoned along the highway did not lend itself to "Middle-of-the-Road" thinking either!

Greg Chrise
02-11-2007, 08:48 PM
There are other off season things that can be done with detailed scenes like make them available for weird photo shoots, decorate a portion of a lazer tag or have a mini event at the local Family Entertainment Center (FEC) or skating rink. Pirate themed birthday parties or special events non halloween oriented but the same props non gored non the less.

The angle with the church is one I have been harboring for more than a year. Across the country mega churches are building mini attractions to have youths intrested big time in coming to church rather than just being dumped off by mommy. They do not want mega arts and crafts activities, they want to pay for turn key themed events and have money to budget.

In my town there is an FEC that is building a rail way on 18 acres and is intrested in having a seasonal series of Christmas displays. So what will likely happen is a few talents out of two haunts will combine and build these things. Most things like this do not pay until the customer gives someone the money but, it is worth doing even if you have to put up the whole front money and do it. If you already have things that are modular, it isn't that big of a deal.

If there is a trade days or flea market event in your area, a small fun house open top outside could be set up for kids to work out a little energy for $2 or $3 with say $1 going to charity.

None of this is a viable opportunity unless you have the stuff, the tools to go to work.

30 years ago when I was still smart, I used to read how to be an entrepenuer books. The two stories that come to mind are how one man was thought to be able to make a fortune from anything with only $100 dropped in any town, totally unfamiliar with the terrain because he had a certain mind set. It would detail that he spent so much for a room and a new suit of clothes and an office and here someone had a bunch of goods they had mis ordered. He would hit the streets and sell that order pay for it and make the arrangements and make a profit. Lather rinse repeat.

The other story would be from the late 1800's knowing the value of a dollar. This represented 7 farms in cooperation loading a rail road car with potatoes that had been frozen and could travel a distance and be fried on location. He created the coop, developed the freezing and frying machines and had to purchase the rail cars and provide the product all the way down the line on consignment. Each box car holds 80,000 pounds and the entire process profited one dollar upon only successful completion.

Another story from 1835 describes how the circus with a year round labor force of 700 people could come into town and totally unload dozens of 18,000 pound wagons and have the tents with 700 stakes and 35 poles completely set up and filled in an hour and a half and the kitchen wagons would only then begin to serve breakfast.

This last year, I had no problem firing everyone as they showed up and mulled around, had a seat in someone elses yard, started playing with their cell phones, having a cigarette, discussing last evenings activities and even taking a little nap until I would tell them what needed to be done. One day they didn't show up and the next the all showed up like nothing had happened.

When it is a seasonal deal you have to have all the wagons ready to unload and get after it to get results. The people have to not only know what to do but want to do it. You must be able to make something from nothing. This is also what is fun about it. Anything else is pretty much an excuse or being spoiled. You can always say you aren't going to do something because you aren't getting paid to do it but, then you never get back what you put out.