View Full Version : What to charge

08-22-2007, 03:11 PM
We are attempting our first annual spook maze, looks like about a 30 minute maze. what is the going rate in a college town? also looking to do a hay ride if the weather permits, any imput would be appreciated.

Jim Warfield
08-22-2007, 09:08 PM
What might look like a 30 minute maze might only be an 8 minute maze when people start running.
What seems to be only an 8 minute maze might be a 30 minute maze if you add some lights so they can read the graphettii on the walls.
No graphettii? Send $25.oo money order to :Mister Tuxedo Industries
411 N. Carroll Street
Mutt Careless, Illinoids
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08-22-2007, 11:03 PM
Most people charge about $15.00 these days, but most haunts are not less than $10.00. Many haunts are inching higher and higher upwards of $20.00

Somewhere between all of that I guess. LOL


08-22-2007, 11:41 PM
Here's our story:

2004 - Location ( Carport haunt) - Price (Donation)
2005 - Location (2,500 sq. ft outdoor haunt and trail) - Price ($8.00)
2006 - Location (2,500 sq. ft outdoor haunt and larger trail) - Price (10.00)
2007 - Location (10,000 sq ft indoor haunt) - Price ($13.00)

I've often thought that $13.00 isn't enough for California. But, then I remember if you start off low, you'll have someplace to go in price as your show grows and becomes better.

08-23-2007, 09:55 PM
I remember if you start off low, you'll have someplace to go in price as your show grows and becomes better.


08-24-2007, 09:21 AM
Don't forget to take into accout your expeses.

The price of a ticket can be quite an exact science. In fact, each year we take our ticket price and break it down into categories of expense. For EXAMPLE:

Insurance (per person): 1.00
Budiling Materials cost: 1.00
Property Rent: 2.00
Staff/Actor Costs: 2.00
Makeup/Costumes/Consumables: 1.00
Utilities: 1.00
Props/Lighting/Audio: 1.00

This is a generic list, but you can calculate these numbers at the end (or maybe even at the beginning of the season if you are good at estimating cost).

With the above list, it costs you $9.00 to put on the show for that single person. Margins in this industry should really be somewhere betwee 55% to 300%, depending on your market. Therefore, $14 - 27 would be your ballpark ticket price range.

Finally, take a look at your competition. If they are charging $15 and your show is just as good or slightly worse than thiers (be honest with yourself here, especially if it's your first year), then then lower $15 mark is what you should be charging.

If thier show is worse than yours, yours is 2x as long, with twice as many props and actors, and it's SUPER SCARY, go ahead and charge more than your compeition. After all, your show is better, so it SHOULD be more expensive.

You'll figure out real fast what the correct price is if you listen to your customers (they have no problem telling you that you charge too much).

Sometimes, though, you will find yourself in a market situation where it costs a lot to put on the show, but the market won't support $25 ticket prices. This is when you seriously look at adding a 2nd attraction at the same location. People will be more willing to pay more to see TWO haunted houses. Price it in such a way where there's a preceived discount (wow, buy the first one for $15 bucks and get the 2nd for just $5 more!). Even if only 1/2 your guests purchase the 2nd haunt, you've just raised your average price for the overall show to ~$18.

Just be careful not to screw your guests on the 2nd show. Make it worth thier while, make it completely different theme, make it roughly the same size as the first.

As you can see, what to charge is a very tricky question. If this is your first year, you might want to just charge exactly what your compeition is charging, and keep your expenses very tightly controlled. Next year, you will have a bit of data to work with (like actual attendance records, etc).

-- I

08-24-2007, 07:58 PM
$10.00 is the usually about right for a first year haunt.

08-24-2007, 08:04 PM
First year haunt with only one attraction.I would say keep it under the 15 mark.
Once you get some loyal customers increase.

08-24-2007, 08:12 PM
Look at what the other haunts in your market charge.

All ego aside... Critically look at what level of a show you are bringing to the table.

Charge accordingly.

If there is a great haunt that has been running for 5 years and they charge $12, and the "Stuff and Staff" you have is full of love, but still a first year offering, you might want to price down a bit...8...10?

There is another thought that some have that you need to price along with the biggest haunts in your market, so that you won't seem like less of a show, and there is merit in it, if you are in it for one year. But your guests know a good show when they see one, and they will happy to get good value.

If you are in it for the long haul give them a good show at a fair price and you should grow every year.

Overprice or underwhelm and you won't last long.



Haunted Illinois
08-24-2007, 09:57 PM

There really is no standard price that you can set. You must consider a number of factors when setting your admission price.

Two of the most important factors:

1) Where you are located. As the old saying goes.. everything is Location, Location, Location. Different areas of the country and different population densities, along with different haunted attraction concentrations mean different prices. Itís a matter of what the market will bear, so to speak. If you are in a big city you can charge more. In Illinois, I have seen Haunts charge anywhere from $6 to $30 and the price seems to be somewhat consistently related to population density of the area.

2) Keep in mind the total bang for the buck that your event offers. As Ben said, the quality of your show, compared to others in your area, should also be considered. If you merely price your event similar to other local attractions and over-hype your event beyond its ability to deliver (you donít have as much to offer as you suggest in your advertising), patrons may consider your event a rip off and not come back.

Location and relative value are two key elements you must consider when setting your admission price.

On a side note, Jim is completely correct. A 30 minute maze could be an 8 minute maze, depending on the customer. I once had a Haunt owner brag to me that his maze took customers on average 30-40 minutes to get through, yet I made it through in less than five. Another Haunt advertised a 60 minute experience, yet I was out in less than 20 minutes (I was behind another group of people, so I didnít set the pace). Just keep in mind that how long you think it may take patrons to get through may not match the actual results. You donít really know until you have real customers going through.

Jim Warfield
08-24-2007, 10:09 PM
Mr. Tuxedo's Pricing guide: A new Ferrarri= $250.000.oo
So each ticket will have to be ...$500.oo? $1,200.oo?
I'll have to ask the other haunt owners in the Haunt Owner's Ferrarri Club what they charge.
Of course it is real tricky when you don't have a haunt yet you STILL own a Ferrarri, right Adam?

I just had a tour in which a girl from Japan had a good time even though she speaks almost no English, then the phone rang and a second group of "Carnies" is due here late tonight (always alot of fun!) And many of them are from South Africa!
It's the Ravens Grin Unintentional International House of Pun-Cakes!