View Full Version : Need advice on teaming up with another haunt
Rocky Mountain Terror
06-21-2011, 05:01 PM
We just found our location for this year, and were entertaining the idea of having one of our friends haunts from another part of town share our space with us. We have 2,3000 sq/ft and will for sure not use even half of it this year. However, although we got a very fair and reasonable price, we will be paying for the entire space. Our friends who own the other haunt, have not found a location for this year, and last year we talked about setting up together (meaning we would set up our haunts side by side) in order to cut costs (split the marketing, rent, make-up area, having one ticket booth for both haunts, etc.).
I worked for their haunt the year before we opened Trick or Terror, so I know we work well together, and we're all good friends. On the other hand, I'm not sure how we could go about making sure we both get our fair share in the way of either customers or revenue.
I should also mention that this would be an area of town with no other haunts in the direct area (there are three others right outside our 5 mile radius, and we will be participating in our local group marketing guild with all three of them), and neither of us are established in this particular part of town. To that area, we would BOTH be new to our potential customer base.
I know there are a lot of potential ups and downs to this scenario, so I wanted to ask everyone for their thoughts, ideas and advice on this one. Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.
06-21-2011, 07:26 PM
Maybe make it a one price for both deal? Split the ticket cost? (ie. 20.00 for both- 10.00 each?)
Just a thought?
06-21-2011, 08:29 PM
Multi haunt parks are huge in TX- many with multiple owners. Do a combo ticket but make them go through the haunts in order. That way one haunt always has to be ready first and the other always has to be open a bit later. Have one box office and only offer a combo ticket. If you do it individually then you will get 70-30% split- not everyone bus both.
Agree to a name for the park, then each of you pay for your own marketing (otherwise it can get ugly) but only use the park name and logo. If you both buy the same radio then awesome more spots! Its nice to tell each other your strategy but not entirely necessary. Doing it this way prevents someone from misspending someone elses money. He builds your show, he builds his- you split parking and ticket office costs.
If you want to spend 20,000 on marketing and he only wanted to spend 8,000 no one is forced to spend more or in areas where they wouldnt have put money. You were going to spend your money anyway and its very hard to tell if your 20,000 was more effective than his 8,000.
Mad Wax Sculptor
06-22-2011, 12:12 AM
We have done this for several yrs with success. The concept works great we have 3 owners who split all expenses and labor equally.This type event actually gives you a competitive edge against other haunts in your market.The key is a combo only ticket to eliminate competition . Competition among haunts in an operation like this will tear it to pieces and destroy it for everyone. Agree to all terms up front and get a written agreement so everyone knows what to expect. this can keep costs very low and offer customers a better value.
06-22-2011, 12:21 AM
Put it all in writing and signed so no one "forgets" come November.
Rocky Mountain Terror
11-03-2011, 02:38 PM
I'd like to resurface this topic and continue to get more opinions. We didn't do this this year, but are considering doing it with another haunt in 2012.
Allen, as always, your expertise in this conversation is ALWAYS welcome, and everyone else who is already posted. We just want to really get a feel of what other people think regarding this topic. And want to start formulating some ideas so that we can see if it is feasible to really start planning for this.
Advice, ideas, warnings... All welcome!!!
11-03-2011, 10:02 PM
As I posted in another topic, we did something similar, but different.
3 events at 1 location, each with their own owners. 1 event was the landowner, who also owned the ticket booth and concessions. The other two haunts paid a part of their ticket price as "rent".
We offered individual tickets (10, 8, 8) with a $20 combo price. We expected most customers to buy combo tickets, but a large part of the audience only bought a single event.
11-04-2011, 02:32 PM
I wouldn't do the merger. Although you can split the costs of everything, the big thing is that you can't charge customers very much more for another haunt. We used to have one medium sized haunt that we charged $16 to go through. Then we doubled the size of our haunted house by building a whole new one. Now we have two haunted haunted houses (owned by only Fear Overload) and we charge $20. We can't charge double what we did with only one haunt though because the truth is, people aren't willing to pay $32 for an evening. $20 is truly the limit for a haunt unless you have a lot to offer like a theme park or something. Yes, there are haunts that charge a lot more than $20, but you can't really do that until you've been around for a long time and have a following of people.
So with the merger, you would have to split the ticket revenue, so you could only make $10 (half of $20) per ticket while without the merger you could make $16 per ticket. Just an example. Maybe in the short run you might profit a bit more with the merger because you could cut costs in half, but in the long run, you won't want to be splitting your revenues with another haunt.
I would recommend continuing to grow your own haunt a little by little each year. If you stay in the same location or general area and have smart marketing, then more and more customers will start coming to your haunted house allowing you to expand to the size you would be with the merger anyways...and you'll get to keep all the profit. Beat out the other haunt in your area by ruling the internet and soon their customers will become yours.
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