View Full Version : The Season 2011 Wrap Up

11-15-2011, 01:53 PM

The $5 per ticket deal tripled our Friday nights. Saturday remained at $10. We cut out all Sundays except the last in October. In all we were open half the time and had more people than last year, about 10% more.

All our marketing was Social Media. We saved about $12,000 in advertising but also lost about that much in revenue so it was a wash. We plan on keeping our prices the lowest in the marketplace to keep traffic coming to our attraction. The days of the mega haunt are truly gone. Cedar Point has cornered the market and it's pointless to try and go up against that giant with a $30 ticket or even $20 or $15. The mentality of the customer is this; The Point has coasters, the best in the world and 8 haunts. Why pay $15 when less than double that price I can stay at the park all day long. That's the reality for us temporary haunts doing business within 2 or even 3 hours of Cedar Point.

I went there and it was packed, more than I have ever seen it and I must say it was a blast. They do a great job, it's not that scary and that's okay with me. I like the sets, the design and the setting.

Be prepared next year, this business is going to see a lot of attrition. Make no bones about it we are an industry in decline if we don't get the prices down somehow. Our price point worked like a charm and now that we have our social media structure down we have plans to make the haunt even less expensive. I'm talking FREE. It's already in the works. I know it's shocking, how can FREE work. Well it can and I'll share when the season gets closer next year.

The Haunting

Mike Goff
11-15-2011, 02:11 PM
I like your idea and I am glad that it is working for you. I disagree with a couple of things. I don't think that the industry is in decline, I just think that it is evolving. Most haunters that I have spoken to had an increase in ticket sales. I think that the model that was used a couple of years ago no longer applies, and anyone who is doing things the same way that they were doing them in the past probably will see a decline. Facebook has become the ultimate qualifier and has turbo charged word of mouth. Everything must be viewed under that light.
I agree that if you try to play Cedar Points game on thier terms, you will get your ass kicked, as would all of us. I would never attempt a family friendly multi event venue there. Some do, but they have been around for a long time. If I were in an amusement parks backyard I would offer everything that Cedar Point and other family friendly haunts do not. I bet that a haunt like the House of Shock and the Hoochie would do just fine in that market.

11-15-2011, 05:44 PM
I give you credit for playing the cards you were dealt instead of trying to fight it, definitely made the smart play. Would it work everywhere? Probably not, but I like what you're doing. I look forward to hearing about your plans for next year.

11-16-2011, 05:36 AM
All of the haunters I talked to in Philly were up, if even slightly. When during the roundtable, Ben asked the crowd for a show of hands of who was up or down, only a couple raised their hands for down. Larry has stated that his event or events were down as well. The events near the big amusement parks have to go after the market they want and not try to compete much like businesses that have walmart in their small towns.

The industry is not in decline, but the economy has affected all of us. If the economy was going strong, I think that haunts would have been up a bunch. We all have survived pretty well in the current unemployment, housing, and banking situations.

Our plan for next year is to improve the show offerings, add better concessions, que line crowd stuff, and mix the haunt up a bit. We will keep the budget at nearly the same level, which was pretty tight this year.

Jim Warfield
11-16-2011, 06:21 AM
About feeling ripped off (Again and again) by paying too much for the meager time/entertainment they received, and surprisingly(to me, at least) that same person will say they keep returning to that same haunt every year, "Hoping it will get better!"?
So, I guess the bottom line is...? Some people are just habitual in their spending patterns and can't stop no matter what is fed to them?
Oh. well?