View Full Version : Screaming at the Growth!

07-04-2010, 06:39 AM
Hi Haunters,

The title of this thread is the same as an article I wrote coming out in your next issue of HauntWorld Magazine. I wanted to do something really big for our 25th anniversary of Spookywoods, I believe we have come up with something never done in haunting before.

I will not ruin the article by posting all the details here, but I wanted to tease all you non subscribers a bit with the first paragraph, maybe this will get you to sign up for a subscription when you realize your missing out on ideas that can change your business with one article!

If you’ve been haunting for a good amount of time there will come a point when you realize your attraction’s attendance will plateau simply due to throughput capacity. Sure, you can be creative with ticket options and side attractions but when you have a line 2 hours long just waiting to buy tickets, you begin to look for ways to keep your business growing. It was our desire to increase attendance and to do so without a major overhaul. In 1999 we started by expanding into daytime events with a corn maze, pumpkin patch and various small “up charge” activities such as kid’s rides and then again in 2008 with our day/night Christmas event. That was just the beginning! After years of research we have now added a 1.5 mile long zip line adventure across 15 sky towers throughout our farm. During the haunt season our guests will fly through special effect laser lighting above the haunted woods and over our corn maze.

Imagine flying over our ghost town and through the woods with the screaming of the haunt customers going through our haunt 50 feet below you as you zip overhead.

Read the complete article along with some graphics from our engineered CAD drawings in the next issue of HauntWorld.

I hope you are inspired by our new attraction to push your event to the next level to think WAY outside the box and promote to your existing customer base your next fresh idea.

You can see our new website at www.kerseyvalleyzipline.com (http://www.kerseyvalleyzipline.com/)

Come fly with us this Halloween!

Jim Warfield
07-04-2010, 09:07 AM
With our second haunted house, located next to a 90 foot deep river canyon ("Mount" Carroll)
I knew where we could have gotten the cable , it would have been located right next to our house entrace.
Tough to do such things on a $1.98 budget.
My idea was to have a set of swinging doors the cable car would burst through to begin the ride, sort of a built in startle as the ground would fall away (and away) beneath them.
Twinkling little lights below would give an ever better sense of being way up high.
The dummy of Clint Eastwood riding on top dressed like a Nazi was optional (Anyone remember "Where Eagles Dare"?)

Raycliff Manor
07-07-2010, 06:04 PM
Tony... that is FREAKIN AWESOME! Man I so want to get my butt there to check this out! It's incredible enough that you push the haunted attraction boundaries my friend, but what is even greater than that is that you consistently share your ideas and your insights to help benefit the rest of us! You are definitely one of the industry's stand up leaders and we should all buy you beer at the next convention! Are you going to TW 2011 Tony? I want to buy you the first!


07-07-2010, 07:29 PM
We have been trying to get the owners of the ranch that my haunted house is on to put in a zip line to help them out for the last 4 years and they finally want one now that there only competition with pumpkin path and corn maze put one in last year. I opened the haunted house last year on Sat. and Sun. in the daytime to catch the pumpkin patch and corn maze customers and it worked out well. Cant wait to read the article. Thanks

07-07-2010, 08:15 PM
When it comes to sponsors, the Zip Line Towers offer an incredible space for sponsors signage. Check out the PDF concept we have on the site. I ended up with 33 spots for a 2ft x 8 ft sign, if I sell all the locations my towers are well on their way to being paid for!


Imagine your business message in direct view of the zip line customer as they approach for a landing!

Kelly: Thanks for the beer, but I don't drink or smoke, just a good ol country boy trying to live right. :-)

Ken: You should make a trip down to see me this fall, trust me it would be well worth the trip.

It's nice to know someone is reading my posts!

07-08-2010, 06:44 AM
This is awesome Tony, looks great. You're always ahead of the curve on new opportunities!


07-09-2010, 01:00 AM
Yes this will be a new article featured in the magazine. We also plan to upload this article to HalloweenAttractions.com here within a few days.

Tony I have to hand it to you... you keep coming up with awesome idea's to expand your business and not be tied into just a haunt.

Great job!


07-29-2010, 08:30 PM
Hi Haunters,

If you ever thought opening a haunted house was tough, try a zip line tour where a kid died this year in my state! Of course every death I could research was from human error, not equipment.

My county has put me through the biggest challenge in running my events ever. I have become so familiar with every department head at my county I feel like I work down town. I'm the first zip line my county has ever seen, they first said I could build without permits due to I'm using a temporary event permit. Then they changed their minds a week later after I had ordered $70,000 in materials. After proving how safe my tour was going to be with certifications of the staff and course yearly and the use of OSHA approved equipment, a lighting protection plan and more than standard 1/2" cabling they started to ease up a little.

I finally got my "Green Light" today from the county and we are full steam ahead on building the 15 Sky Towers. Although I'm a month behind production now I hope to get it ready by September 4th as we hired more help to get it done faster. All of this and building Spookywoods with another crew and opening our Maize Adventure corn maze has put more gray on my head than I would have liked. But, like Cyndey Neil said it makes me look distinguished. LOL

Word to all aspiring entrepreneurs, NEVER GIVE UP on your dream! Anything worth doing takes dedication and patience, knowing who to call was key in this most stressful project of my life.

We are selling sponsorships like crazy for the zip line towers. I wish selling the haunt was as easy. I got my first Life Time sponsor, A&M Crane and Rigging. I have use of a 180ft 70 ton crane for all the lifting anytime I need it. The initial crane time for installation was valued at over $15,000. That sure saved the bottom line on the start up costs.

I'm now up for a public hearing to rezone my farm and after this passes I can open year round. The next project will be a new concessions and permanent bathrooms and a 300 seat special event center!

I will be the gold standard for safety for zip line tours, which turned out to be my marketing focus!

Check out the progress photos at the tour information link on http://www.kerseyvalleyzipline.com

07-29-2010, 08:51 PM
Tony, I've been following the zipline progress since you started talking about it on the Facebook Spookywoods group - it's an amazing idea, and I love what you mentioned doing with it during the haunt season earlier in the thread! I've yet to make it to Spookywoods (I plan on it this year, though...it's one of the haunts in NC I've always wanted to see, on the top of my list), but I could just imagine flying above it, peeking down with a bird's-eye view of all the mayhem. Exhilarating! :D

Sorry to see that you've had some trouble with it from the Guilford high-ups. That's NC for you, though...*sigh*. Glad it's all on it's way to a resolution, and customers will be able to swoop like bats from another great Kersey Valley attraction! All the best, and I'm looking forward to finally seeing Spookywoods this season.

07-29-2010, 09:34 PM
This is a great idea, and its nice to see you continuing to think "out of the box" to further your arleady incredible attraction. You were a great inspiration to Stewart and I when you took us behind the scenes last year, and I love to follow any posts that you put up because I know that it will be useful information for other haunters.
I am sorry to hear that you are going through the problems that you are, but after going through the issues we have this year with the state fire marshal, I can sympathize with you. However, we haven't gone through anything like what you have....I can't even imagine! I wish you well, and I hope you keep one thing in mind. When you live your life right, and do right by others, good things will happen to you. From what I know of you, and from what I hear from others, you are that type of person, so i am sure that everything will work out for you. Like you said, don't give up, and I am sure your endeavor will be a success!

Take care and good luck!

07-30-2010, 06:52 AM
Here is the first Sky Tower we just completed. This is a 65ft pole 8.5ft in the ground with the flight deck at 46ft off the ground. The corn maze below will grow to 13ft allowing the zip rider to fly into the corn and back out to a 32ft landing deck.

Thanks for all the nice words, it's not easy being self employed. But, worth all the stress!


08-09-2010, 08:18 PM
The build process is now in high gear with crews working all over the farm. The tallest Sky Tower was placed today next the the Spookywoods Castle. This will be an awesome cross promotion at night as zip guests fly to above the main entrance to the haunt.


Pumpkin King
08-09-2010, 08:51 PM
AWESOME! This is the final straw, I'm coming to Spookywoods within the next five years! Such an ass-kicking idea!

08-10-2010, 08:51 PM
The start and ending tower of Kersey Valley Zip Line was placed today in the Spookywoods Midway. Can't miss this monster of a Flight Deck! We are going to offer a combo ticket for the 3 hour Zip Line tour over Spookywoods at night during the haunt and a VIP ticket to Spookywoods for $99.00.

Here is a link to FOX 8 News that broke the story of the new attraction today. http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-kersey-valley-zip-line-100810,0,2642342.story



08-11-2010, 05:41 AM
Tony, I'd like to come up from Charlotte and check this out. Any way I can get a behind the scenes look before the season starts?

08-11-2010, 11:31 AM
Your more than welcome to come up in our off season, but I'm so slammed with all our projects already for this season. I would not be doing you justice by not being able to spend time with you. Hit me up in Feb or March before the build season starts.

I hope you understand, I have so many projects going on at the same time I don't even have time for my family right now.