View Full Version : a great problem to have but still a problem. suggestions

10-27-2010, 09:28 AM
What do you do when you can't put any more people through your haunted house. This year my Fridays and Saturdays have been selling out by 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm. I can honestly not put more than 2100 people through in an evening.

What can I do? We have been discussing adding another house in our facility or a wagon ride (over 300 acres and 3 actual grave yards).

The problem with both are combination tickets. I have to be closed at 10:00pm (actors leaving) and last groups go in no later than 9:30 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. 12:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. If we sell combo tickets it really means I have to close tickets sales even earlier (the time it takes to go through the haunted house + wagon ride/other haunt).

Any suggestions/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Allen H
10-27-2010, 09:54 AM
Attendace is monitored by ticket price. Charge more and scare off a few customers, if you go up by a dollar or two you will not scare off more than you need to make the same or more money at the increased price.
It sounds to me like the design of your house needs to be tweaked to accomodate faster flow. I know some shows have all their lighting on two or three dimmers that way when they need to up the guest speed they increase the lights a bit.
You will always have quality/quantity issues and you need to find the balance for you.

Mr. Haunt
10-27-2010, 08:20 PM
Interesting??? Why do you close so early???

Mr. Haunt

Greg Chrise
10-27-2010, 08:47 PM
At least during the hours you are open, you have processed 2 to three times more people, not that the same people do this then this then this other thing. Rather than 2100 people a night in one hard to process line, your closing hours break that down to 700 per event in a strict time segment. For the most part, 9:30 is half an hour past when those of nights see a stop in big traffic anyhow. Yes, were closed sorry, here are some coupons and the times are here.

Encourage early attendance with some "happening" only between the early two hours, a band, a celebrity, a bonus for showing up early, a costume competition. Don't stand in line if you have a combo ticket, hit one of the other attractions that has a lower line in the FaQ section of your web page and perhaps post these entertainment tips on all the ticket counters.

I have seen the mistake so many times that I do not understand. There are 3 haunts or thousands upon thousands of square feet and you are supposed to begin here then go into here rather than exit the building to get in another line and another open door.

You end up increasing even more customers as they are not put off by a line that may take hours to process. If you have a fast pass system, you intentionally hold entry back so there is a line even when there doesn't need to be one. If people didn't make it through all three attractions when the last hour is run at top speed, they should come back another night and buy more tickets to see what they missed. If they came earlier they would have seen this and this and the other thing. Come early!

People have already been trained to get in the line that has the fewest already in line by grocery stores. All you can do is talk up what fun things happen around 8 o'clock, they should have been here. You don't have to discuss it is past people's bed time or the state says they all have to be back in lock up by a certain time or what ever negative crap.

I have been through some amazing haunts that if you time the really checking out the detail and enjoying what is around the next corner is 20 minutes that feels like an hour but just walking through at a regular pace not paying any particular attention only really takes 2.5 minutes. This 2.5 minutes times three with a little walking in between only takes half an hour to hustle people through and there might not be as much of a show with all 100 actors. Too bad. A great majority 95% will have been impressed enough to have increases in attendance every year.

Greg Chrise
10-27-2010, 09:00 PM
A lot of places are missing the whole concept that there is an opportunity to have a great facade for each of the two or three haunts. Lots of places the whole facade is a plastic banner or a ticket booth then you interior to the building or trail get to part two and part three.

If there are really 3 exciting facades the customers will know to get a second wind from working all day and get their butt in the car so they have time to see everything or perhaps not buy the combo ticket and come 3 seperate nights. Same if not more income if they can be excited about getting out and getting everyone to move now.

Not, there is going to be a big line, we should wait until late when it dies down because I'm tired, I worked all day. Or we can go to the restaurant first. No! Get your butt in the car now or you won't see it this year and will have to wait until next year and it will be totally different! There are 3 totally seperate things to see! They all look like they must be something from the outside! We have to go and be there early to see all three!

Greg Chrise
10-27-2010, 09:15 PM
The really hard core customers do haunt drive bys during the year to see what is that! They see or don't see a facade or multiple facades and can be inspired or not inspired by giving passengers the general low down tour of this is where the porta potties were at.

In the early years I would drive by a skull on a building and have to do a U turn to get a closer look, what's that!? Who is that!? When is is open?

Yes! it is still there and there seems to be something different! cool! I must tell everyone I know even though they could care less!

10-28-2010, 11:23 AM
You have an opportunity for something many of us yearn for. Change your event to timed ticketing with advance purchase for regular price. Double the walk up price and shut off ticket sales whenever you want with a maximum that can be sold so you don't oversell the place. It will take the customers a little while to learn this but they will do it. The Headless Horseman in NY has always been set up for advance timed tickets with a long wait for walk up customers.

Price you low attendance nights sheaper to drive customers that way as well. You probably can raise the busy night price and keep the price the same for the low attendance nights. We sell lots of Fastpasses on busy nights proving that people will pay more not to stand in line.

More events are also something you should try to consider.

11-14-2010, 11:42 PM
thank you for your opinions. I'll mull it over. I really don't think I have the resources (people) to open another haunted at my location. I have the buildings, the money, just not the people (at least quality people).

attached is a rough map of the buildings. 11 total with 300 acres of land...

Just can't believe it fell in my lap like it did...

11-17-2010, 12:18 PM
You may want to consider selling on-line tickets. They will cost you $2 a ticket, but you can have that added to the price as a service fee. When you only sell tickets at the gate, but you turn people away when you reach a certain amount, that means some people drive all the way out there only to turn back around and leave. That would be a bummer.

I know Ticketleap allows you to set a certain number of sales on any given night. Then you could post on your site: "If you're driving a distance and want to guarantee admission, you can order on-line tickets here" (and insert the link). Then you can check your online sales as you're open and know how much space to reserve.

11-17-2010, 02:12 PM
that is part of the problem. My gate sales smash my online ticket sales. How do you reserve someone a spot when there are 1500 people in line to buy a ticket at the gate?