View Full Version : Rate these potential properties/locations please

11-24-2008, 12:30 AM
*** UPDATED - I checked some of these out and modified the posting ***

Ok, please in the rank the following properties in order of their appeal as a site for a haunted attraction in the general area of a metropolitan area in Ohio with a population of about 2 million. For some properties building(s) will be needed and cost of these are not included:

a. Secluded 11 acre farm. Surrounded by other farms and a small river. 3 minutes from a large shopping area (16 screen multiplex, Target, Wal Mart, chain restaurants) and 4 mins from the interstate. Just about anyone in the metro area could get here in 20 to 30 mins as this is on the more rural side of the area. Easy access to interstate allows easy access to many parts of metro. 2 barns and a farmhouse on property. East side of metro. Price is X.

b. NIXED don't think its even under consideration at this point.

c. 5.4 acres in an area transitioning from rural/light industrial and now border growing retail areas. Surrounded by light industrial, and a church across street. 5 to 10 mins from larger shopping, Cinema, restaurants. Adjacent area has grown quickly with housing, and businesses such as Ikea in the past 5 years. Interstate access is fair to good. Small farmhouse on property. North side of metro area - may lose population areas from south due to drive. 20 mins drive for good portion. In 40mins, just about anyone could get there. Price is 1.3x ***would not fit into neighborhood aesthetic and topography of land is difficult as street level is 50 ft above most f the land ***

d. 6 acres in depressed center of Metro area surrounded by industrial buildings. No retail nearby to speak of but is centrally located to entire metro area and easy access to major interstate. No buildings on site. Center of Metro area. 20 mins drive for just about everyone. Price is 1.6x ***Lots of "Grunge" factor in this location - very convenient access to interstate (like 10 secs). Boxed in on one long side by train tracks and a lumber yard on right. Billowing smokestacks from properties to the rear. No local customers to speak of. Would expect all visitors to drive 15 to 20 mins to get here. ABSOLUTELY no reason any customer would ever end up here except for this attraction***


**** NEW *****

f. 3.4 acre, 26,000 sq ft former 84 lumber location. 3 mins to interstate. 5 to 10 mins from major residential areas and 30 to 40 mins would get everyone in city. Price is 4x

g. 37 acre land (no buildings). 5 mins from large growth area and 2 blocks from Ikea and surrounding retail areas. Back of property in on interstate so signage may be possibly. 5 to 10 mins from cinema, chain restaurants. Price 4x. (obviously way more land than needed)

**** End of Update ****

I can imagine a story, theme etc and possibilities for each of these. (though I have to admit the old nursing home really creates some images in my mind). Before you say, “well it depends on what you want to do for a haunt” – it’s a fresh start, haunt would be designed from ground up so it can be adapted for the locale. Ideally however, year 1 start out slow, then expand each year. Eventually make it as big as the community would support. Capital is not an issue but is restrained by common sense and risk management. I am interested in just about any kind of haunt from outdoor, indoor, or combination but this is the Midwest so majority should be indoors to avoid weather issues. A Christmas event would be a benefit as well thought not mandatory - will the families want to come to the 'old rundown' parts of town for Christmas cheer?

So what do you think?

11-24-2008, 04:47 AM
With some knowledge of the metro area you are speaking of I would probably rate them like this:

C with D a close second only because of the price difference

A and B are also a tossup. I would prefer being closer to the population but some haunts are very successful being out a little way.

E would be off my list. I wouldn't want to try and negotiate parking especially with a church.

11-24-2008, 07:02 AM
My top three picks would be:

I agree that negotiating parking with a church could be a rather sticky situation. And as cool as old medical facilities are, there are often a lot of health code issues to deal with (I've scouted out old hospitals that had aspestos, had wings that had to be sealed due to TB outbreaks over the years, etc).

Jim Warfield
11-24-2008, 09:19 AM
Having owned my property for 21 years I have enjoyed the property "working" for me as a partner, inspiring customers because of it's architecture and history and spooky location (to some)
As far as whether to actually own or not?
Paying property taxes and fixing everything as it breaks, wears out or rots away does take time and money away from doing those fun things, those more satisfying, creative things.
My dailey plans are usually decided by what needs to be done, we had our first snow="Jim go push snow off the outdoor maze path."
The toilet began leaking+"Jim rip up ther floor, fix the toilet."
The roof dribbles when it rains from one direction+"Jim spin the house around the other way so the roof doesn't dribble."
After re-doing every mechanical system in this house there are still many things requiring my attention+"No rest for the wicked?"
Do I own the house or does it own me?
Dam! There it happened again! Now I have to sweep the floor this year!

11-24-2008, 11:58 AM
I updated some of the info.

To be honest, Im in love with A. A farm seems to have a ton of possibilities - I could see it being kinda creepy to get to yet its only 3 mins from Wal-Mart and Target (you cannot see any of the shopping center btw from the property). With a farm I feel like I could start out smaller and build - it has 3 buildings on property already - I feel like I could throw up an Army tent (which would go with the story line well) and not have a ton invested up front giving me a chance to grow deliberately. A family fun activity could be done during the day and it would still have possibilities for Christmas activities. The land around would likely be available should I ever want to really expand.

Dropping 4x for f - 84 lumber is pretty hefty and not sure how the property would resell should I need to. 4x for g would be huge upfront investment and would really be close to an all in kinda bet when you consider the property cost alone. On the flip side, you would hope g would retain its value to increase should a sale be necessary cuz I couldn't make it work.

C is pretty much out due to the "olde" historical town (not really old just a bunch of cute gift shops claiming to be old) and the topography (hillside)

D would require a building. Now assuming I build it the right way, should I be forced to resell, someone would like a warehouse with that interstate access. However, I am confident I would not recoup all my costs. As a straight haunt I think it could work, but Christmas cheer this locale is not - it would be hard to pull the moms and dads in for Christmas and birthday parties since the surrounding area is very depressing. The surrounding area is also not the type of people to spend buck on this stuff.

Im certainly not done with my search. Im planning a 2010 opening unless I hit a streak of luck and piecescome together unnaturally well. I really would love to hear more comments on the thought process behind the locale.

Jim Warfield
11-24-2008, 08:17 PM
Is located in a small village of 1,800 retired farmers and young unemployed, in the middle of a county of only 15,000? people, 3 hrs. away from Chicago.
I have a very different style of entertainment here and I have a fan base of satisfied and amazed customers , many of which may moreso be called "patrons" of my strangeness.
Nothing much here is of the common type of October haunted house....
If they are making a special trip to get here, they had better be getting something special for their money.
Most tours require 90 minutes, they are in the house for 90 minutes.
If my goal was to take in $250,000 a year, I am a miserable failure.
In my goal of being my own man, doing things my original way and yet having a happy customer base who pays for their tickets without carping and still frequents my business enough to financially support me, then I am a success.
If anyone wants to do all the work themselves, put in long hours , remain open for business year-round and be different enough to earn alot of national and local free publicity, then following my example you too can make almost any situation "work", forget the $250,000 a year though.