View Full Version : Building or land??

04-20-2011, 02:48 PM
If you had a choice do you buy a building with parking on the smaller size but at least you have utilities or 10+ acres of dry wooded land?? Any suggestions or thoughts… I have never done a complete outside haunt… I don’t think my equipment could handle the weather so I would have to re work the entire haunt design…


Peter T

Front Yard Fright
04-20-2011, 04:32 PM
I think ever haunters dream is to have a large indoor permanent location. However, with that location, if you are unable to expand, your haunt will only get so big. If you were out in the woods, you could make it as big as you wanted!

A haunt in my area used to be on several acres of woods... Now they are in a large warehouse. The amenities of being inside are obviously desirable, however they are stick with their haunt size. (Granted it's still fairly large!)

I think both have their pros and cons. If it were me, I would be in a building so I could build all year round!

04-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Each has it's pro's and con's. Depending on your location, outside is awful for some people, due to weather. But if October is reasonable wherever you are, than go for it!

I personally like outdoors because it's a lot less strict, the possibilities are bigger, you just need to be good with electrical stuff to handle power and lighting. You can have tents over some parts if that will be easier on your equipment, you can mix it, but if I had to choose, I'd snag a dozen acres of land, fence it, give an acre or two for parking, and go all out.

But hey, different strokes for different folks! lol

04-20-2011, 10:28 PM
we're in the same boat, and have decided to go indoors with leasing.... with the fear that it tends to rain alot around this part of town in October and don't want to lose any money with bad weather. Our plan is to expand and do an additional outdoor haunt once the indoor attraction becomes stable with profits. On the other hand, land around here is very hard to come by and is very expensive so in the desirable location we want... if this is your situation you may want to jump on the land. Our theory is people love outdoors (hayrides especially) and capacity /thoroughput can be much higher with outdoor haunts. Although, we can get an indoor haunt completed with less funds/and faster it seems (compared to hayride). So there's many pros and cons and that should be put onto paper so you can compare and contrast each. Now, if you can afford the land and afford to build 15-20 small sheds-building...etc or even 30x30 sized (remember firecodes to, if under 1k sqft most likely won't need sprinkler systems) then, me personally, I'd buy the land... hopefully it's flat and not hilly, around here nothing's flat everything's a giant hill...

04-21-2011, 09:22 AM
Thanks everyone.. Im going to take a look at the locations in two weeks.. Ill be making a decision in the next month.. Ill keep everyone posted. I may try for both…. start small with the building for the next year or two then expand onto the land because they are down the block from each other… again thanks for all the input.. have a nice holiday weekend!!

Peter T

PS. The locations are about 1.5 hours south of Chicago so our Octobers can suck something offal if it was outside..

Allen H
04-21-2011, 11:30 AM
I would go with the land. I have many reasons for saying that but the simple answer for me would be land.
Allen H

04-21-2011, 12:33 PM
I would also say land, more flex on what you can do now and in the future.

Allen H
04-21-2011, 12:55 PM
If its raining customers dont leave the house to do a haunted house as most cue lines are outside and very long. So being out doors does not mean less customers in the rain, it just means a few different challenges.
Allen H

Bradenton Haunted Trail
04-21-2011, 01:40 PM
I say Land because you can always put buildings on your land in the future and you have a nice out door haunt in the mean time. and you can always get rain protection if you are to worried about the rain.

But that is coming from someone who is doing a first year haunt outdoors...hehehe


04-21-2011, 09:07 PM
As everyone else has said, it depends on what you want to do and how long you plan on being in that location.

If you can be in that location as a permanent install, then I would say go with a large plot of land. You can always build a purpose built building on the land, rather than working the confines of an existing building. You can also run a hayride, which you certainly can't do in an indoor building (I'm dying to do a hayride, but it's never going to happen in our location). You can run huge amounts of throughput on a hayride... Of course, all of that being said, if you can't get power on your outdoor option, skip it. I couldn't possibly imagine having to deal with no power or, alternately, a generator. For the amount of power that is consumed (with our haunt at least, with everything running, plus compressors, I'm pulling +300A @ 240), it would require a pretty large genset. Last year when I did the calculations (we had an extended power outage in our area), I needed at minimum a 150kVa genset (I could have gone slightly smaller if we were 3ph, but we're not). At full load, that gen drinks 9gph of diesel. 9x$4.25/gal = $38.25/hr x ~6hours per night (actually longer, but not always at full capacity) = $230 in fuel alone, per night of operation. It would have been worth it instead of closing, but that's still a TON of money, certainly something to think about if you're going to have to go without utility power.

04-21-2011, 09:50 PM
I would say a building. October can be rainy depending where you are. Even a shower is enough to keep some people home.

RJ Productions
04-22-2011, 12:36 AM
IF the goal is to do an outdoor haunt that's one consideration. But if the goal is to put a building on the land, then it might be easiler to go with an existing building.

Building from scratch will require a TON of regulations. IT is much easier to remodel a building than build from scratch. That's why in certain areas if someone wants to build a new house they buy an existing house, tear everything down but ONE wall and incorporate it into the new structure. This way they are not building a new building, just remodeling an old one!!!

Most outdoor attractions end up putting some type of building anyway. But if the land is cheap enough???????

Wolf Creek Haunted Forest
04-22-2011, 09:18 AM
This is my 3rd season outdoors and it has its pros and cons. Sure i would love a dry building that i never had to take all my props down from, but adding buildings, structures, scenes, or whatever else i need is at ease. Outdoor restrictions in my county are slim to none.

The city we live in has strict fire codes, so going blind into an existing building could cost you your whole budget. Sprinklers, Fire Exits, Fire retardant, parking restrictions, and separate wiring from house lights to haunt lights is just the tip of the iceberg is just a few of the problems i came across when wanting to move to indoors. I have the opportunity to purchase the most idea 35k sq ft building in the heart of downtown that was built in the early 1900's, but the amount of work the fire marshal is requiring makes me just want to continue outdoors.

Also, weather is a factor, but if it rains on a night you are open, trust me it effects the biggest haunts in the area just the same.

I like the freedom of expanding with a quick trip to the saw mill, plus i get a nice tan in the summer lol

04-22-2011, 12:11 PM
Thanks everyone. I will be seeing the locations next weekend, ill see if there is electric near the land If not I will for sure go with the building only because I have my entire haunt pre built and all I need to do is put it inside the location. Yes I would be buying it not a lease so I have year long access and all my interactive rooms run off computers. If this season goes well Ill try picking up the land for future years.

Again Thanks everyone have a nice weekend!

Peter T