View Full Version : Is everyone going up the creek???
12-04-2008, 09:21 PM
OK HERE IS THE DEAL,
The economy is falling apart, my friends and family are loosing everything, and i feel bad!!! i wish i could help them (hell i may even join them) but my question is !!! is anyone else starting to feel the hell we live every day just in hope for a better tomarrow???
12-04-2008, 09:47 PM
150 yrs. ago it was impossible to lay in a hospital bed for three or four days and spend all the money that working hard for a lifetime could accumulate.
In tough times in our country's history people would just pack it up and move west ,homestead 160 free acres or mine for gold, silver even lead..
Many of the survival tactics from the 1930's depression would see you quickly thrown in jail today, like my Great Uncle who supported himself for awhile by trapping...cats! (I don't know if he ate them or not) He sold the hides though, said they were some other animal.
This little village that I have lived in almost always has never had much going on here for employment or big paying jobs of any kind..but even meager financial pickings have dried up and vanished for many people here.
35 yrs. ago good jobs could be had if you wanted to drive 25 miles (one-way) to those jobs. Now almost all of those jobs are long gone.
I really don't know what most people do for an income around this county anymore?
12-04-2008, 09:58 PM
Very well said Jim, i believe this hole world is for SHIT!!! and i turn to my family and friends to make me understand why i am so happy to be alive!!!!!!!!!
Our community is doing very well right now. No major lay-offs, businesses and restaurants still popping up everywhere. Still have to wait an hour for a table at Applebee's on a Friday night.
Medical implants (Knees, Hips) are the main manufacturing businesses in town and are slower than last year but still doing well. Almost no businesses in our community are dependant on the automobile industry.
12-04-2008, 10:24 PM
I'm definitely having a tough time
Making ends meet and I'm a government employee!
12-05-2008, 02:02 AM
I'm not voting on the poll because I think it needs more choices... but if you are asking are we doing well or not doing well...
Our business is booming, we have more people calling us to build things than ever before, and for the most part I don't know many who aren't. The haunted house industry as booming, haunts have money and tons of it, I know most haunts I talked broke every record they ever recorded.
Halloween retail was up up up up... biggest year ever.
Amusement parks like Six Flags had one of their best years. The economy isn't effecting people from going to bowl, or taking their kids to see a movie, or well in October to a haunted house, buying a costume, or picking a pumpkin.
I think most people in the business of Halloween are going to be okay.
Once the Transworld show comes around I think you will see a lot of buyers with a lot of money to spend. Make sure you guys get up there and get you a booth!
I think the money will be flowing!
Lastly we are really a year out right now from another Halloween and tha is a lot of time for the economy to fix itself before we all open again. I'm not worried not one bit...
Lets face it the real problem here is the credit industry gave loans to people who couldn't afford them and people inflated home values so high it wasn't realistic.
I think this needed to happen and it will make the markets stronger in the end.
It will be okay!
12-05-2008, 07:53 AM
My friend! I refuse to come to this thread and brag or speak for anyone else. Some will do that I however WILL NOT. Why? like anything else we have to live one day at a time. I think people NO some people forget 9/11 we could have one today, tomorrow, the week before the TransWorld show, before Halloween!! We are loosing thousand of jobs a day its on every major station CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN you name it. I could come here and tell you I am making more money than ever before, I got more work that I can handle or whatever! but that would only swell my head and for no reason. Ever heard the old saying Jason ''here today gone tomorrow''? Live buy it my friend!
People if you would look at what Jason is pretty much asking. If I am correct what you think of the economey and the dollar is what hes getting at. Correct me if I am wrong. Hes not asking for you to brag on how much you have or don't have. And lets for once please leave a TransWorld ad out of this.
Bottom line Jason take each day at time. Don't forget yesterday and never count on tomorrow. Things change in the blink of an eye and bragging on anything can come back and bite you. The world is ever changing its not what it was 10, 20 50 years ago. And lets all be honest we don't know where its heading either. Jason money is a necessity that we all must have. However it does not promote happiness. Do what makes you happy my friend and let everything else good or bad fall into place! Shane and its just my thoughts Shane this time.
12-05-2008, 09:08 AM
The OP's question was basically "How is everyone doing in this economy"?
I think Larry answered that question... he is doing quite well weathering this storm.
I didn't take his response as bravado or rubbing anyone's face in it.
I too had a record season and the orders are still rolling in.
I feel the need to state this because I think people need to know that there IS hope in this economy and money can be made if you are in the right industries and play your cards right. And quite possibly the Halloween industry (or specifically the Haunted Attractions) will do well. It has been said before that people need an emotional outlet during hard times... we are an industry that provides that service.
Will the economy get worse? Surely! Yes, it will.
Should we start running around continually telling everyone how bad it is? I don't think so... it doesn't help the situation.
I donít watch the American news sources for just this reason.
"Irrational Exuberance" is what got the housing market into trouble (too much optimism and confidence). But it drove our economy to record highs. "Irrational Pessimism" and doom and gloom will drive our economy into record lows.
SoÖ If you did well this season or expect to do well next season donít be afraid to say so.
It just might to help lift someone elseís spirits and make them feel like forging ahead!
12-05-2008, 09:29 AM
Well said Doug,
It is very simple, don't live beyond your means.
Rent to own is not the way to live.
It doesn't seem to matter how much money you have, you seem to spend it anyway. So why worry about it. Just live and love the ones you are with.
Your loved ones are the most important thing anyway.
The only reason I can do the things I do is because I have unwavering support in everything I do.
12-05-2008, 09:43 AM
Your buddy Ken here....you know Azzhole?
My house has been for sale for almost 2 years.
I went from 2 incomes in my house down to 1......and more than 30% of that goes to my kids and x now.
I don't see an end anytime soon.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel.......it just got really dark in here.
Now on a business level?
Larry is kind of right.....we don't have more money than ever.....but we haven't really been hit by the crunch in THIS business
Seems people still want to suspend the real world and get the crap scared out of them.
12-05-2008, 09:52 AM
You skiped right over my point! I did not mention Larrys name or anyones and I did not see or read where Jason was asking about this Industry. I think he ment life in general or atleast thats how I took it. I think he was asking how people are surviving . I did not read where he said hows the vendors in this industry doing. So PLEASE don't pull that card to direct this thread in another direction OR assume I was doing it. When I said some people forget 9/11 I said some not one but some. My point there was its to dang early to tell whats going to happen to this industry if you want to take it that way or the world as how I took it. Shane
P.S. Doug if I took your answer directed towards me and it was not I apoligize. Thats just how I took it. Just like I did not direct my answer to Larry. I was pointing out how I took the thread.
12-05-2008, 10:10 AM
It was a headline a few days ago that we have been in a recession since December 2007. Really they could have asked me and everyone would have been informed sooner.
Somehow gas prices have gone way down, people still seem to be creating traffic, using cell phones, internet connections and going to restaurants. In 1929 those that hadn't already moved to the big city were living in tar paper shacks with no facilities what so ever for decades and dieing of the black death. There must have been a whole lot more cats before the invasion of all the Chinese restaurants. There was no TV to convince you that things were tough. Now I think it is all how the whining of the economy tries to get even more by saying okay now it is really bad, every one accumulate some money, then now it is okay go spend it. That way there is yearly cycle of money pumping where the old dudes said there was a 30 year business cycle or 7 years to get money out of a cow.
I have watched it go to a 20 year cycle then a 10 year cycle to various parts of the country having not reinvented themselves yet.
Our October was very slow, while a brand new haunted house that knows how to advertise did twice as many customers as ever expected for this area. Before that we had a bunch of time doing service work rather than real jobs that paid a proper rate. We kept going as long as we could to be available. Then November we had completely off. I have not had any time off at all since after 911.
A VERY nice haunted house person from a distant land has actually loaned us money to go do a commercial job over the winter that can not spend budgeted money until after January 1st or it would have all been over. Everyone that has a business has recieved 10 times as many calls from those seekng any kind of work.
I'll have to look a little closer but, I think in my 100 mile a day round trip I have only seen 2 cats. They were't real good looking cats either. I'm not sure what March will hold and a man has to plan ahead. What would you sell them as? Sexy massage mittens?
12-05-2008, 01:21 PM
Let me clear up my point... I know there are MANY industries where people are being layed off daily, and I realize there are other industries being effected. Yes its bad right now. But I assumed the question was geared towards the haunted house industry.
I believe our industry is recession proof I really do. Its a holiday that people can still afford and because it comes around once a year refuse to give up. No vendor in this industry should be afraid to make sales and no haunted house should be afraid to do good number next year.
Overall I think this was the HAUNTED HOUSE industries BEST season EVER!
Haunted house owners have money and lots of it to spend and I believe they will spend it. My comments to Jason and Screamline in specific is to get a booth at Transworld, do not be afraid to develop new product and I feel you will do well.
Screamline has some amazing talent over there no doubt about it... I look forward to seeing you all at Transworld.
In regards to my own personal business, my haunted houses set new records just like most everyone I talked to.
Secondly our business of building attractions is non-stop! The point here is all those regional amusement parks, amusement facilties are doing awesome in times like this because people are not doing as much travel by plane.
Things you can drive to THRIVE in times like these and places like Vegas are hurting way down. Vegas in specific is one of the hardest hit area's right now.
The MAIN POINT IS VENDORS will ENJOY A GREAT TRADESHOW I AM SURE OF IT!
12-05-2008, 01:45 PM
I'm going to respond and I hope it's not taken the wrong way. It's so easy for the intent and tone of a typed message to be misunderstood and I hope you all know me well enough by now to know I'm just trying to share my very encouraged outlook on the situation...
I believe there are many facing trying financial times and I believe there will be more to come. I also believe that these trying times are an opportunity for families to slow down while being tried by fire and have the gift of time which allows them to learn to pull together and stand by one another. The ones I feel for the most are those whose relationships fall apart because of the increased stress. For them I hope they have close family members to pull together with.
I don't think Larry is in any way bragging or stating what he did for any other reason than to give encouragement as well. I'm not saying anyone is implying anything otherwise either. ;)
I do believe that as families spend less time on more expensive entertainment and travel, they will look for closer and less expensive options. We as haunted attraction owners have an opportunity to provide just that! We are lookiing into toning down Raycliff Manor next year to appeal to a broader (family) audience and possibly offering a "family night". We're also looking into offering other events as well, which will also be more family friendly. Like Larry, I believe that our industry has a door opening before us and haunted attractions and haunted attraction vendors are well positioned for increasing success. :D I hope in the process we can help to raise the tide of the economy and bring as many boats up with us as possible!
12-05-2008, 09:52 PM
I believe i should step up and inform everyone why i posted this thread!!! Shane hit it right on the head!!!! IT ABOUT THE PEOPLE! REGULAR PEOPLE THAT WORK 9 TO 5, the casher that works at wal-mart, the bagger at your grocery store, the person that hates there job but does it just to pay the bills, As a vendor i realize if there home life is suffering!! than screamline may suffer!!! So my post was to get a feel for what position people are in , i already know most haunts did well!! but what about joe schmo!! the people that survive on red knunkles and alot of hope.. As a vendor i want to see were this industry is going and what screamline can do to make our products more affordable to a budget in these hard times!!!!! We deal with everyone from haunted houses , costume shops , mask makers, and my favorite backyard haunts...So with that said!!!! is everyone doing ok and what is your fears in the up and coming year,and were can we fill in the void???
P.S We love this indusrty and everyone in it!!!! or goal is to live it , die for it, and happy just to be part of it,,,,,,,,,,
12-05-2008, 10:56 PM
A really high percentage of haunts are not making their total yearly income from their haunt and do rely on day jobs to support their habit. I have had to sit here and plain ass wonder how or why am I helping a charity when I might need some help mysef and realy wouldn't expect any help? The bottom line is even the low producing money haunts do it because it is fun. This is the same reason the customers and actors show up. Certainly there is money required to put on an event but, it just might not be a ton spent as in years past.
On the other side, traditionally if you poll every haunt and what year they started, almost every success was begun in a year where the economy was horrible and the would be haunt owners needed to suppliment or come up with an income and putting on a show like another one they saw only better came to mind.
If you are in a market long enough eventually your customers show up. A cycle of new excited people rather than trying to offer cheaper things because the old dudes are holding back or going broke or fearful. Frankly never made it to the big leagues. As the new competition steps up the game the old ones will have to get with the program or get creative rather than going on the cheap.
Like in my day job business, we started in remodels when no one wanted to do them, worked up to luxury stuff and we are back to remodeling the luxury stuff because we have been in business for 15 years. It isn't the easy money because it is all work, just waiting for the customers to come around by being the new owner of that old home or deciding to pretty the place up to sell or firmly not moving and cleaning it all up again. Maintaining their investment at the very least.
Of course only you know your market better than anyone. Sometimes you just do lots of things at cost to keep in touch for the big economic rebound where you have been talking to someone for 4 years about spending $12,000 and it fnally happens.
12-07-2008, 12:58 AM
Quite a few local people have been inquiring about my business here at The Ravens Grin Inn?
No, I have not had much business at all these last ten days, three weeks, whatever, but then most people don't think about seeing a haunted house after Black Friday and during the Christmas shopping season when the snow is falling everyday and the temperatures are 3 degrees , just like EVERY OTHER YEAR!
12-07-2008, 05:33 AM
More and more haunted house owners are going solo, meaning leaving their jobs and running their haunts year around. I think the concern as a vendor should be dead square on how did haunted houses do in 2008? How their normal jobs are doing isn't as big a factor today as it was 10 years ago.
Did haunts make money, will they be spending money at Transworld.
I think haunted house owners did awesome, I think Halloween retailers did awesome, I think pumpkin catches and everyone else related made a killing.
I say have no fears about the upcoming tradeshow season!
12-07-2008, 02:16 PM
Last night I went through a drive through Christmas thing. First off, God I hate Christmas and it was about half an hour of torture I may not totally be over. There was a line of cars and one being released at $15 a car every two minutes. Even every single minute. The cars were all SUVs full of unknown types of people behind tinted windows.
Of course Haunted houses too give this impression of people standing in line and the money being collected for so many people but, All this miles of lights appears to have cost some bucks. They had a radio station that was somehow synced to what you were looking at. I'm not sure how they did that. The Charlie Brown music came on and there was CHarlie Brown at least 3 car lengths away, some of the light globes went with the music.
As cheesy as it all was it appeared to be getting the customers. Not as great as the one some 20 mile away on the Interstate. Yet, they are getting the customers. I spent all night calculating how they may actually be doing more money than a few of the haunted houses here and trying to figure out why. First off it only takes a minute to say tune your radio to this, give me some money, how did you hear about us, get your ass in gear. They may in appearences be making 4 times more due to traffic but it looks to me like the dispays to fill acres of trail non stop might have cost 10 times what an excellent haunt costs.
To make myself happy I will paint the following scenario. Each SUV is behind on payments and days from being repoed. The children inside have been eating nothing but macaroini and cheese for months and this $15 tour is all they are getting for Christmas. Daddy is having to travel 150 miles to work and this is the only stupid family time they get and they are all fighting with each other behind the tinted windows. Mom is pissed because she could have bought 3 bottles of wine for that $15. Here they are looking at tons of money spent and it's time for Grandma and Grandpa to loan us some money too! If they don't we may be all at the Salvation Army by Febuary, you damn kids are going to have to learn how to pray before every meal and not make us look like heathens.
The bottom line is perhaps that they did come up with $15 per car load and made an appearance despite all other things in their lives really being shit. Movies continue to have the biggest first weekends ever. Nothing says recession like paying $4 for a coke.
Somehow it bothers me how well insulated from the real world Larry is. I have no personal knowledge of who all of these people that recently have gotten big enough to have their sole income all of a sudden be from thier haunts. Out in the lower population areas it is a very slow transition and not over night magic. I would think by number there are more of those lower income haunts than ones in big cities raking in tons of money. In 2008 I haven't heard of one that has lost though.
I was once well insulated job wise from millions of people crying and screaming as they had to leave Pennsylvania. Every report about towns in trouble lists so many in Ohio right now. There are some large cities that have managed to go global over the past few decades or are centers of trade through out the country.
Alas maybe I don't fit in here at all. I use haunts to raise money for charities and don't bring it to Transworld to spend. I notice how a month ago the Goodwill actually laid off all their special needs workers because even the haves were no longer donating anything for them to process. I see the pictures on TV where the food banks have totally empty shelves and the fork trucks are sitting idle. I notice how the Salvation Army hosted an evening out in the cold to inform about 200 curious people what it is like to be homeless.
I notice how the fire halls have an annual school supply drive and this year they only got one box of pencils and it is going to suck for so many children. I remember being a kid and it seemed like every week some school supply that was mandatory or some homework project was going to cost a few dollars every week when my parents didn't have it. So I learned how to be really creative and made it look like I was the fool rather than my parents were strapped.
What ever made all these situations occur is real. Apparently I have helped too many people and it has dragged me down with it. I could have been like Larry and bitching about how instead of opening his haunt for other haunters he could have been making intrest on that $250,000 but, no, I already gave it all away over the years.
I actually turned my phones off the whole month of November because it was nothing but people pleading for $30 or $80 they have not earned and I did not have to spare. Or it was other charities asking my company to advertise on some stupid calendar. Some scam internet yellow pages confirming my mailing address. No one calling to say they would like to give ME money.
Maybe I can get a therapist to tell me it is okay to screw everyone else. It isn't my fault and I shouldn't care. Go to Transworld and get rich. It's alright.
Transworld will be a success but, that isn't what this thread was started out to be. While people are all moving into each others homes and moving away, you will have to keep slinging latex like it is all happy somewhere else in another market. You are going to have to be cold and buy the latex rather than help someone out of a bind. So many tradesmen do the same thing, makng something and taking it to market hundreds of miles away.
You are very lucky to have a product rather than a service these days. I have screwed up and everything, all the companies I do offer a service of some nature. That's a day by day thing. Even out Halloween things are only so many weeks out of the year, a continuation of how much we need to make for a days work.
I'm constantly sitting here ever day or every week calculating whether we made money each day or spent too much. I am starting to feel like I have done that too many years.
But of course, I'm completely insane and will tell anyone just how I'm doing or what I see out in the real world.
12-07-2008, 07:54 PM
Holly shit can you go off!!!
Larry thinks this post was about haunts???? As far as i am concerned larry can kiss the ass of all the people that may loose there homes, or the child that gets a gift for christmas (if there lucky)I posted on this forum because i thought i had friends here!! but if people want to have this big ego head and be oblivious to the times that are around us than shame on you!!!!!!!!! This world is much bigger than the haunt world and mark my words by next season everyone will be crying the blues, and then i will re-post this tread..........I am glad everyone did well this season, but i want to know about the person that may only have $20.00 dollars to spend and where we can help ! and as far as larry goes he can kiss off while he drinks his tea by the fireplace and forgets the world around him...
12-07-2008, 08:35 PM
In Larry's defense, you did post this question on a haunt forum.
12-07-2008, 09:56 PM
One product that is totally missing is cheap dummy bodies. I wouldn't care if they were blow mold or vaccuum formed or rigid foam sections of legs, torsos and arms that could be cut at the knees and elbows or come in pieces. Very low tech just to fill out a costume and mask to be seen at some distance.
All that is available costs $180 to $250 or more for some soft foam body or autopsy display. For some reason everyone that is being canniblized is only 5'5 inches tall. The bodys need to be 6 foot tall.
Way back I made a duct tape dummy of myself and that was great but then I filled it with a frame of PVC and rigid foam. I then cut the arms into sections so they could be posed and Something that cost about $50 in foam has entertained thousands as a very believable werewolf character. Under the clothes the legs are shaped properly with some human definition and the arms are as well. It looks enough like a person that people really check it out and when Henry the werewolf is here at the shop, they get a fright and think it is me with a werewolf mask on. Then I speak to them from behind.
I have scenes I would like to have hundreds out in the woods and this rigid foam does deteriorate but lasts fine since this would be on the cheap. The heads would be properly shaped featureless heads. Using production equipment, the cost per figure could be down to $20 maybe after the molds are worked out and sell for around $50 or $60 each.
They could be totally crude like plastic is put in the mold and even packaging foam kits used to fill the bag and this becomes a lower leg portion. The clothing is what actually holds the pieces together or outside out of view structures the haunter would make.
This way you can have 100 cheap helpers out there some move some do not. The finish on the body pats can be as ugly as ever as it is only the shape of being amatomically correct that will sell. For all the detail on a bucky and you used to be able to get them for $50 to $80, such another filled out body form could be offered that isn't high end mannequin nor stick figures made out of newspaper. Nore would the bodies be 5'6" latex blobs with no internal bones.
It would replace the use of floppy props representing characters indoors or out and can be embellished to any degree from a $12 mask and gloves to a $175 mask and $30 hands and some used shoes.
Coming around a corner and someone is standing there not knowing when they will move is very powerful. Of course it does look human and never moves so they just freaked themselves out. But not just one room like that where one of the 5 is real, the whole haunt or trail can be that way. Just like in real life, you drive by a road constuction site and there are 10 guys standing there and only two moving.
If it was plastic shells it would be cool that it has to be duct taped together by the customers to save weight and size on shipping.
I would like to have scenes where a hayride goes by and sees 50 monsters each detailed slightly different only because this product doesn't exist, I have seen it done with rebar and one cross bar like a scare crow in the wind and it still looked wild bit could have been so much more impressive if they looked real by having proper form.
The model should have some muscle definition, not just grab some little guy off the couch that has been out of work for two years and cast him. There will always be people trying to do magnificent scenes over a larger area and instead today's industry provides one $12,000 animatronic every 200 linear feet and that's it. Just like MY acting style, I want a dude every 12 feet and when you ad up all those it adds up over so many square feet.
Because of the cost haunts generally don't have great detail until they have been at it for a decade or two. Why not offer where any haunt could be stupendous right out of the box and this would speak well for all haunts to get patronage.
12-07-2008, 11:47 PM
12-08-2008, 12:12 AM
12-08-2008, 12:22 AM
Most female haunt customers wouldn't go for soft, flopping non-muscularly defined body parts on their Halloween trail.
We watched an on-line video last night of a rare worm with legs, maybe 100 legs and they all work from beig pumped up with liquid to make them move to effect walking. No leg bones, just sort of a thin sack acting as a leg, when pumped up.
12-08-2008, 12:31 AM
That is something I thought is needed. It makes no sense to spend $500 to $1000 attending Transworld for a $20 item. One $20 item is not going to change an entire haunt even if it is a DVD for $20 with a few ideas.
Some how the Christmas display I just had my people drive me through, has been able to put miles and miles of stupid lights on plastic frames out there to be worth $15 a car. Haunts need to be able to as inexpensively as possible be more spectacular and cover miles like a Christmas deal.
In the big picture, I'm tired of seeing haunts where you go down a 50 foot hall way with a room with one thing in it and then though another hall way. Or go through a trail or hayride with 500 feet between every supposedly scary scene. It needs to be wall to wall detail and lots of monsters.
How do you do that if everything costs $250 per piece? You don't and so haunters are left to their own devices in most locations and do without.
Forms can be made squirt squirt squirt with American technology and make available lots of creatures that are detailed per haunt. I'm tired of seeing stupid looking dummies. I'm sure the customers are too.
12-08-2008, 01:30 AM
Greg, Excellent idea. I agree, especially about the size. But I think this is a topic for another thread. If I came looking for this again, I would never look at this one based on the title.
12-08-2008, 02:32 AM
Jason has asked what can be done to make products more afordable, is every body okay and so forth.
I don't care where these ideas belong. My real fans can look up on all posts made by Greg Chrise. If haunts are hurting, or could potentially get hurt it is because they are still at keep your day job level and so, products to make it better?
Another point I would like to make is a lot of haunts are started by do it yourselfers that if they had the foundations to build on each haunt would begin to have a defined character. We have now seen so many videos and incase no one has noticed they all are begining to look like the show floor at transworld. It's like going to Mc Donalds and every other one has a fiberglass Ronald outside.
We are starting to see a few home haunt videos that per capita have more groovy things than many so called pro haunts because they made everything and went crazy with detail. There are bunches of pro haunts on here that don't own a video camera and have no Utoob account and can't justify showing thier stuff to anyone but customers. You can tell more about what is happening with the ommissions that no one talks about.
This whole community is actors depending on haunt owners and designers keeping the attention of ticket buying customers. When possible employing the use of vendors and independent artists. I have run into over the years a number of old pros that obviously never wrote a check out to anyone. Larry is obviously the big exception but, offers service outside the regular haunted house market.
Why is it so tough for some to make it? Where they indeed make a living or are being paid even at charity haunts? How fun is this long term for anyone if you give and give and never recieve. It is because there are some resources missing. Are these 14 year olds really going to get into transworld and directly buy an Impailer?
Every vendor tries to show off their best talents but there is a transition to buying that $2500 item that isn't properly being represented. No one is going to admit they are broke and have no money, whether it is now or years ago.
It isn't seminars and videos, it is having things that can easily be fashioned into unique items. Hands on materials. 95% of haunts are not keeping some vendor busy for 6 months at a time or every good haunted house would have a vendor directly sub contracted to them. There would be no need for a convention.
Reading beween the lines, amusement parks are spending money and haunts might be. No matter how much more money haunts made in 2008 unless everyone turns off their TV set and believes haunts are recession proof? Everyone click your heels together 3 times and repeat "Performance based marketing is recession proof and we are not observing the recession"
12-08-2008, 06:09 AM
Shane could you make cheap blow mold bodies to meet Gregs needs? Light hollow figures that would be cheaper than what is currently available?
12-08-2008, 09:22 AM
To answer your question yes I think I can. However honestly I don't think they would look good by themselves. If you add a mask, ect then no one would ever know the difference I don't think anyway. I have never thought about it till you brought it up.
Ben on a different note I talk with Paul at Atrox and a few other 'Southern" Haunts and sometime this winter we all need to meet up for a dinner or something. Think it would be great to get some of the southern haunts together after all were neighbors. And the bunch at Froggys Fog would come too!!!! What ya think? Shane and its Merry Christmas Shane this time!!!
12-08-2008, 09:50 AM
Each one would indeed require costuming, masks, hands and shoes that just get put over stumps. All of this can be outside in the weather whereas dummies filled out with foam rubber covered in tape over a frame need to be kept indoors and take hour upon hours to make.
These "accessories" are things from Goodwill or available from many vendors. Thus increasing the need for masks and hands in or economy. Or the do it your self crowd has a full body verson of a wig head to set their costume on, make a monster mud exterior and apply latex sculpt for heads.
12-08-2008, 09:54 AM
Why couldn't it be foam filled with a silicone skin? Silicone being naturally water proof would allow these to be used outdoors! This is one of the things we are working on, making body forms ourselves. We'll be taking lots of pics and will put them up once we start with them! -Tyler
12-08-2008, 11:00 AM
It could be foam filled with a silicone skin but, that sounds expensive. Every prop head like that retails for $30 to $45 or more each and so you are back to the $150 to $250 per dude scenario. A blow mold or vacuum form machine knocks one out every few minutes. Hard foam would be nice but tough to work with in small quanitities. Silicone and soft foam is two days per dude per mold and of course the crafts people would like to be compensated for their efforts.
In a month you can make a small army of forms, being cheap they will all sell as even pro haunters have costumes they would like to use as props and would save tons of money not having to create their own figure to put the costume on.
The quicker the better the lower the cost the better. There is certainly a place for the higher lines of figures as well but time is money whether you are starting from scratch on a display or fabricating a product. Slicone implies it might as well have a detailed skin that you would want to show. Or the screw ups could be sold for the purpose of filling prop figures?
Frankly most haunters don't have the budget of Macy's window displays or if they do have money could be spending it on far greater Square Footage or marketing really knocking the socks off of customers with the appearence of serious investment.
Once costuming is done you still might have $100 to $150 per dude but when every dude becomes a $450 end option there tend to be fewer made, purchased and so on. And I'm not talking about replacing actors, I'm saying it looks like there are 300 people working at even a small haunt.
12-08-2008, 11:23 AM
There would be quite a market for such a thing as even home haunters struggle with making dummies and end up with semi retarded offerings or they try to make a 4 foot blow mold skeleton look like something scary.
Even Shane could have an army of posable Santas helpers with the addition of steel frames and costumes. Think really big rod muppets that can be outdoors for months. Of course in a haunt they are crawling a wall, in a chair, climbing a tree, floating lke a vampire sitting up in a chair, on a table etc. Only a certain portion would require some kind of stand to be out in a field.
I have to go to work
12-08-2008, 12:29 PM
In Stirling Castle in Scotland and in the Old Town Jail, next door, the "static prop "dummys" were very realistic with painted clothing and they are made out of a concrete or concrete-like material.
See oldtownjail.com I have never been there by my Wife has...
"Go ahead drunky, punch my manniquin."
12-08-2008, 03:35 PM
Shane funny you say that... I spend part of Christmas, usually 4-5 days in Sheffield Alabama just 30 minutes from you I recently realized. I was going you contact you in a week or so when we firm up our plans. Contact me off line at email@example.com and we can get in contact.
I go through Birmingham up and back at Christmas, we could always meet the Atrox guys then.
12-08-2008, 11:07 PM
I droped you an email. Maybe we all can get together! Shane
12-09-2008, 05:35 AM
Calm the hell down, I like many others felt your post was about the haunt industry, and in specific how things would shake out with haunts spending money on new products. You must remember this is the haunted house industry, not the energy industry, car making industry, financial industry or any other....simply the haunted house industry.
If the economy is affecting your normal job, I'm very sorry to hear that but don't blow off the handle like someone around here is against you because we are not. I was merely offering my opinion on THIS INDUSTRY...
My dedication is to THIS INDUSTRY, however I hope the banking industry, GM, FORD, and all the rest turn things around...that is surely good for everyone.
But the HAUNT INDUSTRY is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT affected WHAT SO EVER by the current situation. Tourism to Vegas might be down, but those local Casinos are doing good. Disney might have seen a drop but all those local Six Flags had a banner year.
Jason, I'm not sure your position with Screamline Studios, but if you are a part owner and again forgive me because I don't know, but if you are why would you be sitting here basically encouraging people not to spend money and basically run for shelter? Is that the way you promote your business, is that how you encourage spending on your new products... HEY EVERYONE DONT BUY ANYTHING BECAUSE I PROMISE YOU NEXT YEAR YOU WILL BE SINGING THE BLUES!
Jason let me tell you something you are DEAD WRONG I can assure you of that...
Do you remember a little thing called September the 11th? When did that happen? Hmmm... just before every single haunted house in America opened. Did that leave haunts SINGING THE BLUES as you put it? NO IT DID NOT! In fact Americans found some escapism by doing things like carving their pumpkins, trick or treating and yes going to haunted houses.
Now fast forward to October 2008... when did the WHOLE ENTIRE ROOF cave in on this whole financial mess? Hmmm that would be around the same exact time as 9/11 just before every haunted house in America was set to open. The media covered this like butter on bread, leaving PR for our industry a bit thin, not to mention a little thing like Obama vs. McCain and that non-stop debate about the economy.
Haunts survived, haunts thrived, and vendors sold product like before, in fact every vendor I talked to said they were taking orders almost through Halloween. I read your doom and gloom, which you said wasn't about the haunt industry, but now you say you'll bring this subject back in next October and say 'see I told you so' that haunts will do bad. You are dead wrong!
If haunts invest in their business, if the don't freeze up as basically your doom and gloom suggests they will thrive again, and I actually feel will do better than this year because there won't be any elections, and the worst news of this financial mess will be over. The ecomony will still be trying to recover but it should stabalize soon.
As for this whole financial mess and how it started in the first place, it was started by idiots trying to make a buck, loaning money to people who couldn't afford it, or people paying more for a home than it was worth. That is the whole problem in a nutshelll... the housing market was over inflated, inflated 4 times over the rate of inflation, and people paid those prices, and now they are paying the price. Banks gave the money for these homes, real estate agents inflated prices, and homeowners bought it and now a bank has more money out on the home than what the home is worth...there you have the crisis.
There is NOTHING we can do about but let the system weed the whole thing out and in the end everyone will be better off than before... home owners will get out from underneath home loans, banks will be bailed out by us the tax payer, and hopefully Obamma will do what he said he will do which is invest in construction projects, the same thing the first BUSH SR did towards the end of his Presidency back in 1992. Put all those contruction workers to work building schools, bridges, roads, this is what people need not some $600.00 check that won't pay one house payment. If Obamma fast tracks billions and billions of dollars in contruction projects this will help the economy put millions of workers back to work.
You can't always look at things from the doom and gloom side of things because that doesn't make anything better. Lastly, I want to be clear with you, from the start I assumed you meant the haunted house industry, as others pointed out to you. I own my own business, and I don't go around telling them 'are you sure you want to buy this because you know later on the bottom might fall out so...'. Things will get better, and I hope the whole thing will stablize by summer. I'm sure it will get worse, but then it will stablize and then it will get better. I have had rough rough rough times myself many times, and I've borrowed to survive. When you believe in yourself, your business, your employees, your products, and you have customers who like what you offer, you can and you will survive but only if you yourself believe first and foremost.
Screamline Studios has a great reputation within this industry, and my only suggestion is to make some new and very cool products and bring them to market, and start promoting YOUR business to and industry flush with recent financial success! If you don't take advantage I can only promise you others will.
PS: How did this subject change from the economy to making molds. LOL
12-09-2008, 06:38 AM
Larry, very well said!
Greg, you are 100% correct people have been asking for cheap body forms for years and it is true that people have made some body forms, but someone needs to make these for less so that the average haunter can buy 10, 20 or more at a time to fill their haunts with costumed monsters! There is such a high demand for this product, keep them cheap but durable, posable would be good for simplicity for costuming and be able to crank them out quickly to fill demand....
12-09-2008, 08:45 AM
Back on topic
Just about every customer I have spoken to this last season said their numbers were up; some did record numbers this year. The haunts doing better in bad economy theory must be correct. I know many people that have pushed off their spending for big vacations and no doubt they are taking advantage of the local fun like going to a haunted house. Many friends that never have gone to a haunt before called me this year asking for recommending for haunts to go to and after they went they thought it was great and plan on going again.
I’m no economist, but I know consumer spending and their fears can add to the down swing. Remember the gas crisis where just the mention of a gas shortage cause 2 million people to go out and fill their tanks and that caused a real shortage. It sounds kind of stupid but every time I buy something now I feel I’m helping the economy move forward (at least that is what I tell my wife. lol).
As a vendor were are working hard right now to bring new and exciting props to help you all be successful and make it though these hard times. I’d like to see 2009 be another kickazz year for everybody!!!
Innovators in Haunt Technologies
See us in St. Louis at TransWorld’s National Haunt & Attractions
Show, booth 714, March 27th -29th 2009
Proud Member of the Halloween and Haunt Vendor Association
12-09-2008, 09:21 PM
I would guess around 70% of your hauntworld veiwers are haunt actors, home haunts,make-up artists, or halloween enthusiast!!! what do you think will happen, When the world comes down around them!! Have you ever drove downtown and went down a side street (most homes are for sale because of foreclosure) we are talking hundreds of homes in your one little town!!This world is in alot of hurt and as a company in this indusrty i am trying to help it, and find a way to accommodate our times and peoples budgets, I dont want to see anyones haunt fail!!! but i refuse to be oblivious to the world around me!!! AGAIN I AM NOT TRYING TO SPREAD NEGATIVITY TO OUR LOVE but embrace the fact there could be trouble ahead and have the foresite to look beyond this moment!!! and find the hindsight that may help anyone that enjoys what we do....
P.S Larry this is not a chop on you but my feelings!!!
12-09-2008, 09:24 PM
You like me sometimes wear your heart on your sleeve and that is okay because atleast everyone knows where you stand. But again I believe that haunt owners had more success this year than any year before, and I believe that the haunt industry thanks to the PR efforts, thanks to the improvement of websites, marketing, the attractions themselves and the vendors for making some really amazing products have all helped to ensure our industry is simply going UP!
Outside of a complete meltdown I don't see any doom or gloom for this industry in the near future. Larry
12-09-2008, 09:40 PM
I do not mean to come across as a negitive nelly but if the BANKS AND THE AUTO MAKERS NEED HELP!! (BIG PLAYERS IN BUISNESS MIND YOU) What about the normal dude !!! In my own little world i see a problem with this and could translate it into a problem with all us haunters!! WE ARE NOT recession proof, but a pawn with in it!!!
12-09-2008, 11:08 PM
I agree that perception becomes reality. With Obama being sworn in soon the media will begin reporting how he has fixed things and we are back on track. And guess what? People will believe it, and act like it.
What I have seen among my family and circle of friends and acquaintances is that everyone is worried and are cutting back. But the vast majority are still working and don't see that changing. So they are making the same amount of money every month, but have cut back on their spending. They are paying down their car loans and credit card bills, just in case; and are putting money away in a savings account, for the first time in their lives, just in case.
In other words, they are doing what financial planners have been telling them for decades. It just took a crisis for it to sink in. Most will probably revert back to their old ways when they receive the official word that things have turned around, but in the meantime they are going to be much better off.
And I have serious concerns about how much consumer spending really helps our own economy. I'm sure it helps China's oodles, but I don't think Black Friday and Christmas shopping really does as much as everyone thinks other than for millions of minimum wage store employees. We don't really make anything here anymore, and service jobs are the whole economy.
Does anyone know of any websites that list or have links to copmpanies/catalogs with products made in America? I think buying American (in the very few instances you can) is what will really help our economy. That is one of the reasons I think haunting is good for the country and its individual communities. Much of the stuff we use is made here. That might actually be a good selling point in your advertising. Remember 15 or 20 years ago when Wal-Mart had a little feature in every week's sales circular about how many American jobs it had saved by supporting a small U.S. manufacturer? That was back when there were still some things not made in China.
12-10-2008, 01:35 AM
Screw the auto industry if you ask me... they shouldn't have been making Hummers, and SUV's, instead of fuel economy cars. They went bigger and the Japaneese went smaller. The only people to blame is the people who run this companies, delving out to much money to workers, making cars no one wanted to buy. You talk about the economy, people were concerned with fuel economy cars and what did the BIG THREE MAKE... BIG TRUCKS, BIG SUVS and never came out with answers to those small Japan cars.
I think like many it would be better if they filed for bankruptcy and let them get out from under bad deals with the union, and let them start over with new leadership, and then an only then should the government bail them out.
Heck as a tax payer I'm miffed that we are giving money to wall street because they made bad investments, or banks who gave loans they shouldn't have...
Wouldn't you love to have the government come bail you out everytime your busness took a nose dive? Doesn't sound fair if you ask me.
12-10-2008, 06:17 AM
I think the main disagreement in this thread is based mainly on location and anecdotal evidence. Jason lives in Cleveland, an area that has been suffering a long time and is particularly hard hit. I grew up near there and I know what it is like to live in a dieing area. My hometown died a long time ago.
Larry however lives in St Louis, and area like Columbus where I am, that is more insulated from the economy. Like most disagreement, the real truth about what is going on lies somewhere in the middle.
It is tough out there. I lost my job, not really because of the economy, back in May. I took a severance package from my company and assumed that finding another position would not be that difficult. My goal was to change careers but now I don't think that will be possible. People I am talking to are getting 500+ applications for any position that opens up, from people with years more experience than I have. I have determined I will need to stay in my current field, and lower my expectations, if I am to find anything soon.
12-10-2008, 09:48 AM
I would have to agree with Barry, it's all location! This struggle is affecting only some parts of the country, where... here in Lexington, KY... it doesn't seem to be having ANY affect!
In fact, people are still buying and spending money like normal. I have a cousin that works at a local Sams Club and he said that sales were up $2M over last year at that ONE CLUB! So... idk, I think this is only affecting certain parts of the country!
As for autos, I buy Japan... There hasn't been an American worth buying in years! :( -Tyler
12-10-2008, 10:05 AM
Tyler, you are dead wrong! American cars are every bit as good or better than Japanese cars. Who do you think invented nearly everything first that you see in cars? Amercan companies, or European not Japanese. Toyotas are boring as hell, as are hondas. People always talk about they want a car that will sustain for 10-15+ years, or 300k miles I mean serously who wants a car that long these days anymore? People get a new car every couple of years now.
You are only hurting YOUR own country while making the Japanese richer. Hope seeing your fellow Americans in the unemployment line brings you some satisfaction Tyler!!!
12-10-2008, 10:15 AM
Helps Japan? It will only give them more money to loan BACK to us like they and China have for years now! Boring? So, I have the choice of buying a pontiac that will need to be fixed ALOT or left broken down... or buy a Toyota that gets better gas milage and is WAY more dependable than any American car? Hmmm.... Sorry, but autos is one thing I will continue to buy Jap. until I see a better trend come around in American autos...
... and who gives a shit of who invented it. It's like your saying the Wright Bros. airplane is better than modern day Boeings... wtf?
Oh, and there isn't a line at the unemployment office... drove by there the other day!
I'm going to leave this topic... another mindless discussion that gets no one nowhere, and quick! -Tyler
12-10-2008, 10:24 AM
Yes boring. Americans like all the bells and whistles, Toyotas are basic and boring. Everyone's worried about gas milage this and gas milage that So you think every Toyota gets better gas milage than all American cars? Look at the hideos Prius, have you seen the VOLT yet? Looks 10x's better and will outperform it any day when released.
Look at Chryslers cars the past few years. the 300C, Magnum, Challenger, Charger all will out perform ANY toyota, looks 10x's better. The world loves the American Muscle cars, have you EVER owned one? Ask your Grandfather if he'd ever buy a Japanese car by the way!
Sports cars are no contest American cars beat Japanese cars hands down.
Americans make the first pick up trucks, mini vans, shall I continue? You said you ONLY buy Japan so how do you know American cars are inferior by comparison? Have you driven a new Pontiac? It's not the 70's when our cars started to split, it's almost 2009. Get your head out of a hole in the ground and test drive some American cars, you might experience something really cool first before your BELOVED Japanese car makers rip it off next.
12-10-2008, 10:30 AM
OK, last post on this...
I never said I ONLY buy Japan... I own a 2008 Corvette convertible and recently just sold my '07 Solstice... My company truck is a 2009 Dodge Ram extended cab; needed it for the pulling power. BUT.. both burn way more money than my Camry! So, idk... think what you want! -Tyler
12-10-2008, 10:43 AM
It's def. NOT my main mode of transport! HAHAHHA! Mainly just to drive around town with the top down! ;)... Other than that I'm not one to go fast, race, etc. etc. etc... hahahaha.... My partner does though! Ed is freakin' crazy! -Tyler
12-10-2008, 11:23 AM
Back to the topic. I agree with whomever said once Obama gets in and the media puts a positive spin on the rebounding economy things will change. With today's 24 hour news channels and the need to create stories and features to keep people watching, it's the media that is fanning the flames. If all of a sudden they changed their tune and starting saying there is a sharp increase and improvement in the econmy, consumer spending for Christmas is starting to climb, etc people will feel less nervous and more willing to spend money. They keep feeding us with bad news after bad news people will not feel confident and hold onto their money and the economy will get much worse....
First off, most Japanese cars are made in America, so you are still supporting the US economy.
Second, its the unrealistic UAW demands that are hurting not so much the people running the company.
I work with many former automotive supervisors and the stories they tell are unreal.
People being jailed for stealing radios from the plant, but caught in a different city. So when released, they get their job back because it happened somewhere else, plus back pay for the year they missed of work with the estimated OT pay they would have received. No wonder it cost 30,000 for a basic car.
These workers are less trained than the people that work for me yet they are making 30-45 dollars per hour. Give me a break.
It urks me to no end that my tax dollars are being used to save the jobs of union workers that have morphed the intended use of the Union (protection against unsafe and unrealistic work/pay expectations) to a system set up to "get as much as we can while it lasts" and defend the worse worker, not the best.
12-10-2008, 11:36 AM
the UAW is hurting things I will agree 100% Boni.
12-10-2008, 11:59 AM
The biggest problem with American cars is that Americans on a DIME went from wanting big SUV's and TRUCKS and HUMMERS to NOT wanting them like OVER NIGHT! And guess what the Big 3 had NOTHING people wanted because they where not making the cars people would need in a gas crunch.
GM lets face it their cars are just ugly, I love the new vets, but other than that their cars are just UGLY!
Ford, they kept making TRUCKS and those massive SUV with the Mustang...hmmm don't see anything anyone wants there.
Now we have to bail them out because they screwed up... it has nothing to do with the economy it has to do with their stupidity.
We shouldn't bail out a company that just plain didn't make cars that people didn't want to buy.
I myself and for the record... BUY AMERICAN ALL THE WAY!
I own a Chysler 300 C SRT8, Dodge Truck, and nothing else buy Dodge or Chrysler. I would never by a car made outside of this country that is just me!
12-10-2008, 12:32 PM
For the past ten years the big 3 have been making unreal profits with Trucks and SUV's and look at GM they made those gas guzzler Hummers. Now they are stopping producting on the Hummer, SUV's are being cut down and truck sales are down like 30%.
None of these three companies focused on anything really but TRUCKS and SUVS now no one wants them...they are left high and dry. This is thier fault and on one elses fault. Period!
Japan made good looking cars that are good to drive while getting 35 miles to the gallon. This is why people are buying those cars.
GM's cars in my opinion are JUST UGLY as sin... Chrysler's cars are cool looking but they to put to much stock in big cars. Now America has to pay for thier mistakes.
I just don't want to hear about how the economy has killed their business no no no its their bad planning, not knowing what their customers want to buy.
That is the problem, Japan doesn't seem to have this problem. Toyota is now the number one car company in the WORLD... I wonder why?
Still I will only buy American because I will ONLY support those hard working American auto workers with my money! But most people don't see it that way so hence the problem. I hope they fix it.
12-10-2008, 12:39 PM
You are right but before gas shot up a lot of people WANTED those Hummers right!
I'm still looking for a good looking car made in Japan. So far no luck....
12-10-2008, 01:56 PM
Around my parts the economy is hurting. One papermill in town that has been around forever closed down totally putting about 200 out of work. Another one has cut way back and laid off a bunch more. The humane society has stories in the paper saying they are full cause people cant afford to keep their pets. I vol this year for the free thanksgiving dinner and we served 4000 people, an all time record.
I am keeping my head above water, but barely. The haunt this year did good and I ended up making more than ever before and have more money in the bank than ever. This came as a surprize to the wife who thought for sure we were gonna be way down. My retail store is WAY down in sales. Not surprising when you realize I sell magic tricks and costumes, both most likely are one of the 1st items people stop buying. "hmmm feed the kids, or buy a magic trick" As far as my performances, again, I am holding on, but it is tough man. Today I had a call from a mom that wanted a birthday party for their kid, but could not afford my rate, a rate I never had selling before all of this so I am thinking I might have to look at lowering my rate. On the other had I just got back from a trade show and had no problem booking myself for good pay in Iowa in July. I will be at county fairs all over Iowa weekends in July.
As was said, EVERYTIME a new president comes into office there is a big jump in confidence etc. Obama, even though I am a republican and voted for Mac, seems to have his shit in order and wants to hit the ground running. Just really hope he has his mojo working cause the economy is hurting and it will continue to trickle down and soon all of us, including the haunts will feel it especially the haunts that are charging over $10. Sure you can have the most kick ass haunt, but if people WANT to attend a haunt, and you are charging $25, but there is a so so haunt charging $8-$10, will people choose the budget haunt??
Fasten your seatbelts gentlemen and ladies. It will be a VERY scary and interesting 2009!
12-10-2008, 02:58 PM
Thought I'd chime in...
I'm in Northwestern PA and around here for years (before all this recession stuff) people have been leaving town ever since Cytemp (formerly Cyclops) Steel mill shut down. I work in a lumber mill and it's been touch and go for 2 years now...from unlimited overtime to approved overtime to NO overtime! The housing market has been kicked in the nuts for all this time and once it decides to turn around it will still be 10-12 months before our company does.
Hardwood mills are dropping like flies and the only reason we're afloat is because we have our yard where I work and on the other side of town the mill that does the finishing work. We are able to stay in business (we're the only one making any money in the U.S. at this point for our company) because of the synergy between the two plants.
Am I worried...you bet. Rumors fly around daily at work and outside of work about us being sold/shut down. And since my wife and I had our 1st child 2 1/2 years ago she's a stay-at-home mom so we went from two incomes unlimited overtime to one income unlimited overtime to one income NO overtime (plus raises are frozen!)...it's been tough but we manage.
As far as the haunt side...our haunt did record numbers (not too hard changing locations and more advertising) plus we raised admission and still people came in droves! Now we have to drive 1/2 hour to get there but it's worth it!
But yeah, daily job and life...it's tough! I feel for everyone else out there! I've seen this past year probably over 6 or 7 people lose their jobs where I work that had been there longer than me-because of 'downsizing'...
Just my story,
12-10-2008, 03:45 PM
One thing to mention which someone else touched on is this... and it is a fact. At the end of Clintons run we had an economic problem, end of the first Bush, end of Carters, and well now the end of the new Bushs. It could be all fixed once the new President takes office and people settle back in.
I think a big thing that disrupted the markets was Obama talking about all these taxes raises he was going to dole out... now he's back tracking all of that which is a good thing.
12-10-2008, 08:59 PM
When the hell did this become a what kind of car do i drive post ?????
12-12-2008, 03:15 PM
I don't know I didn't ask you...
But people should buy American Cars always that is my view!
I'm so freakin happy that the Senate squashed the auto bail out... due to the union refusal to lower their wages down to the level of Japan. Larry
12-29-2008, 11:33 PM
Are you talking some kind of bullshit to me larry???
12-29-2008, 11:39 PM
And its good to see you changed my post heading, thanks larry good job!!!
12-29-2008, 11:44 PM
Hey Jason, is your site down? Tried going there but came back as I cant....
12-30-2008, 12:05 AM
I do not have a clue what is up with the site XXX??? but i already called steve to look into it( he handles that end and much more) and to be honest its a slap in my face when we spend money on a site that is down! for what ever the reason is ????
12-30-2008, 08:47 AM
This has been a wide discussion, so here goes.
Larry, most of what you have written I agree with. However, the 2001 season was a disaster unlike any we have seen in all my years of haunting. (22yrs) Nearly every haunt reported being down 50% in all areas of the country. Ours was right in line with that. It took until 2003 to recover for most haunts. Your case in St Louis may have defied the trend with your haunts emerging in the market at that time. Why was 2001 down? Because the mood of the country was down and no one was interested in entertainment, they were still in shock of the attack on America. Larry, Thanks for buying American, also.
For the people that have attitudes about buying Japanese only, you need to think about your own market. Do you support the idea of your customers going to the next town for their haunt entertainment, or do you want their dollars spent at your haunt and your city? Call you local chamber of commerce and tourism office and find out their stats on this. Everyone should try to buy local (national) if they can. Now before you get in to the outdated thinking about poor quality, models, and warranty, you need to go to Consumer Reports and JD Power to find that the big three ARE making decent vehicles that are competitive with the foreign makers these days. And the fuel economy is up there as well.
The big three have been working on other models, but the market demanded big SUV's and there was big profit in it. So, do you try to down sell YOUR customers??? Toyota has a new truck just as big as the Dodge, Ford, or GM's. The MPG on the new Toyota is 2 miles per gallon less than Chevy Silverado and it costs $ 3000 more. They have an SUV just as big as the big three's. Why, because that is where the profits were.
The bridge loans the big three need are to get through until the customers can get loans again and their confidence returns back to the eceonomy. Hopefully that will start soon.
The industry was selling 17 million vehicles (all brands) per year for about the last ten years. When the banking fiasco hit, and they stopped, yes stopped, loaning money for cars and houses, virtually stopping the economy, auto sales stopped. $ 4 per gallon gas caused by speculators hurt, too. The last two months , the auto industry trend shows about 10.5 million vehicles per year outlook. What would happen to your business if it suddenly took a 40 % hit on income??
Until that happened, GM had already stockpiled about 25 billion dollars to get through 2009. That is when the effects of the new UAW contract would help their bottom line. The new contract will reduce that $ 71 per hour cost down to $ 53 per hour. The transplant (Toyota, Honda, Nissan) costs are at $ 49 per hour. So the "LAZY, FAT, OVERPAID" autoworker that makes up a lot of the middle class has already taken a hit with this last contract. The Senators from the "right to work for LESS" states put their ideals against reality with the auto company bridge loans. They didn't badger the bankers for the free money they gave them. By the way, those Senators' states worker income is about $ 100 per week less than the rest. That is money that could bring those rtw workers into the middle class, the group of people with disposable income to come to your haunt!!!!
The abrupt stopping of the market put them into a cash burning mode that has endangered the companies.
They have been under budget cutting mode for the last couple of years. I know, my income at GM was down 40 % this year. I am in maintenence and all our overtime was stopped. That saved money for now, but the maintenence is NOT getting done since weekends and offshift are the only time to work on lines. As the Fram Oil Filter commercial guy always said, "you can pay me now or pay me later" referring to changing oil or an engine. It will hurt our output over time when maintenence and preventive maintnence is ignored.
My plant builds Chevy and GMC pickups. In November and December, production worked 9.5 hours per shift (2 shifts) and two Saturdays per month building trucks. Why? One: we were building ordered trucks that would put cash into the company accounts and not add inventory to the lots. Two: our plant is the most efficient truck plant GM has. All the other plants have reduced shifts or slowed output. How effiicent is our plant? We build trucks in about 20.3 hours. Not bad for lazy UAW workers. The TOYOTA plant in the Princeon, Indiana at the other end of our state were making Tundras in 29.5 hours per truck.
Do the math. I don't agree with the $ 71 per hour but I will use that number anyway. Our plant cost is 20.3 hours times $ 71 equals $ 1441.30. Toyota Princeton cost is 29.5 hours times $ 49 hour equals $ 1445.50. Even at the higher hourly cost, we do it better at our plant.
WHAT ? The non-union Prinecton workers weren't better? You @*&#^$&*@* right they weren't! They also made nearly the same wages as well. The difference in cost per hour is in the "legacy" costs, which the big three are shedding by paying the union to take them and manage them. So much for the media induced bias on the workers, huh? The media also has put a bias in many of your minds on quality and models of vehicles.
The problem with GM, and probably Chrysler and Ford, is MANAGEMENT. GM has one manager for every two workers. In 1994 they had one to five workers. The workers have become more efficient while management has gone the other way. GM has 13 levels of management, yes 13. I have researched this. (Boni, I am sure I know the managers that have told their side of the story, and when we get together soon, I could probably shed some light as to why they left GM. And give you a different perspective on those stories you heard, because I am sure they are talking about my plant.) Toyota has one manager to sixteen workers from what I have been able to find out. The highest paid Toyota manager made $ 700,000 last year. The big three have many managers making that. The CEO's all have made multi millions of dollars for many years. Almost all of them drive company cars. Ross Perot was dead on years ago, but they paid him 800 million to go away. We need new streamlined management to get in line with how the transplants are managing their companies.
What will happen to the haunts in 2009? My opinion is it will be better than 2008. Consumer confidence in big ticket items and travel will still lag behind local events. People stuck close to home this year. That was great for us in the local haunting business. I read many items on IAAPA's daily news line this year about the big parks cutting prices and giving deals all summer long as gas was at $ 4 per gallon. They were hurt in 2008 but will rebound because gas is low and people will day trip it.
Happy New Year!!
12-30-2008, 10:26 AM
I'll go away for 800 million.
12-30-2008, 07:11 PM
The problem with the car industry is management, and part of that was letting these unions run costs up on the operation. Unions in my opinion where good when management ran all over workers and made them work for nothing while they become richer than anyone could imagine but now Unions are BAD NEWS!
Unions have run more business out of country than anything... in the 50's or 20's or whatever it wasn't an option to ship all of your manufactoring overseas to nations we where at war with or not kind to such as China, Korea, all through the asian areas. Things are different now, owners of industriest can just close shop and ship jobs elsewhere, while Unions all through the 80's and 90's balked for more money, more benefits, more more more...and we watched more and more jobs go overseas.
Too bad huh... I blame unions for this and well our whole government. On one hand you want things like free trade, but that also means shipping jobs to countries where workers make $1.00 per day. Sad really.
USA has NO textile industry anymore. If workers would accept that some jobs will simply pay $8.00 or $12.00 and thats it then we would have a textile industry. I also blame WALMART because they demand supplies deliver products so cheap companies are forced to lower costs...the biggest cost? LABOR!
When labor won't work cheaper the jobs go away.
We now import almost everything, and our nations number one employer is WALMART. See people swapped one job that had better benefits for one that doesn't working at a register at walmart.
Walmart also doesn't play fair... grocery stores around here have Unions and they strike the stores if they don't renew contracts, while walmart opens up grocery stores everywhere and not one store has the same pay scales, insurance nothing. Unions punish one group of stores and do nothing about the other.
Two sets of rules but still selling the same products...this is why one will go under and the other will thrive.
As for the AUTO industry... I know people who work there and some come in sweep a floor go home and come back 6 hours later and finish but still get paid. Workers laid off get 95% of their pay... I wonder how long it will be before every single auto industry job is moved out of this nation.
Unions better get a reality check and make things fair with the Japanees or face the reality that one day all the jobs will be gone! That is reality.
No different than one day this Earth will have no atmophere if you keep ruining it... at those auto plants they need to change everything top to bottom and the workers must agree to cut back, management must cut back, and you need to make cars that people want to buy!
Otherwise every care in this nation will be built by people outside of this country...then where will you be?
12-31-2008, 08:53 AM
Without collective bargaining, the workers would ALL be in the walmart way. Becoming complacent was bad on BOTH sides of the fence during the era of prosperity. If unions would go away as many SHORT sighted people advocate, everyone would be in the walmart mode, without benefits, decent pay, and DISPOSABLE income to come to your event.
Now, in 2007, the UAW agreed to entry level pay cut of 50 % with benefit cuts as well including no company paid retirement health benefit and no retirement at all for those workers.
The unions are what keep many companies paying decent wages to others. Again, the "right to work for LESS" states workers with less unions also have an average of $ 100 per week LESS income.
The competition playing field is not level. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act of 1973 and the Safety regulations American companies have to contend with have made America uncompetitive. Americans could work for free and still not be "competitive". If the "world" wants to trade with us the rules should be universal. You posted about vendors needing safety added to their props. You are advocating ADDITIONAL COST!!!!!
Now, let's suppose you get your wish and unions are gone. Are YOU ready for a 50 % cut in pay!!!! Without disposable income of the middle class, the workers that are left are using every penny they earn to feed, clothe, and shelter their families! No money left for haunts, 3d Golf, amusement parks, or anything you make or sell. Get ready to take orders for a living.
I don't condone the sweeper who is skipping out of work, but our company outsourced them at 1/3 the pay (without benefits) on July 1. None of your employees have ever scammed you, huh? last night I wacthed a news show that talked of the bad governors, bankers, and public officials. They showed the head of the West Virginia Supreme court in the Mediteranian on a luxury boat with a coal company CEO whose court case regarding a multi million dollar appeal, partying it up with their girlfriends. That crap happens at all levels in all companies.
The 95 % pay is a negotiated benefit instead of other pay. Also, the jobs banks that has come under fire with GM alone having 3500 people collecting pay from a closed plant was a program management wanted in the mid 80's so they could call trained workers back but the downslide has continued since then. By the way, Toyota recently was paying 4000 workers not to build vehicles, but the media never mentioned it.
If walmart succeeds in taking over more business, your taxes will continue to subsidise them through helath benefits. In many states, the workers and their families are using state underinsurance plans that cost each state millions of dollars. If America doesn't want universal health care, than they need to make companies pay for their own employees!
DON'T advocate the downward spiral of people, it will cost us all in the end. America needs the middle class to make this economy as we know it.
12-31-2008, 09:17 AM
I have one question. If speculators are to blame for $4 per gallon gas, can I also blame them for $1.60 gas now? Speculators play the market both ways... LOL
12-31-2008, 11:19 AM
Some how over the last 30 years steel went to Japan, the coal mining for that comes from Austrailia, supposedly the last strong holds of our economomy are what inventions are coming from Silicon valley and even those are expected to flat line due to technology limits over the next several years.
I'm sorry but the Union arguement has been way over. It is obvious when a spokesman gets on the TV and says they won't make concessions And the other 95% of te population is already working for $10 per hour. No one thinks anyone else should be more special somehow.
Companies moved South because of the Union dealings and that it is simply less expensive to air condition a factory than it is to heat one. Sorry, this all began before many of you were born. All the southern towns are 75% former Northerners and we have towns with 6 lane wide loops and no ghettos even though there is a high population of minorities. Thhe buildings are large and are not 250 years old. There is no State Income tax so, you an work far less hours because you don't have to make another $15,000 per year on a midle income simply to pay your income tax, occupation tax, higher unemployment compensation rates and so on.
Instead of looking for a job at Walmart, people open their own small sevice businesses and develop specialized skills, get equipment to charge $30 and up instead of worrying about what minimum wage is. You can live like a king on what is thought to be below the poverty level as determined by high populations and higher costs of Northern economies.
This is just one more adjustment and if you even compare how we live and get opportunities to what must be sacrificed in europe, you have no idea. The way we volunteer for years to learn about having a successful hauntedhouse is how you must approach even feeding your family as opposed to a luxury second endevour. Yes, the vehicles coming from foreign countries had so many years o totally volunteer labor and that's why they were and are a major market share in the world. They were not slaves, they built an economy and mlitary forces to protect their investments. All these other countres earned our second rate technologies and now we have to come up with new ones.
Americans brains have to be better than being able to install four rivets per minute like a robot and making sure you packed a lunch. People that do for themselves and help others to progress ar not likely to be placed in the siituation of having to take orders from anyone. Or if they do need to transitionally get a job it won't be for long before the next vision is realized.
The world still needs so many things like proper medical advancements, increased use of what is now waste and I'm not even a tree hugger but, this has become reality. Nope the poor CEOs are never going to make that much money again. Venture capitalists are going to have to spend smaller sums in so many more places instead of one big crude system. What a shame that everyone is going to have to be devoted and intellegent and actually work like everyone else.
The American way has been a little nuts. People spend thousands of dollars on having fancy living room furniture and nick nacks for a front room that they will ever use. Even the marketing of how things are sold has been catered to what little luxury do the people need to fill up their little barbie house in their pink gated community. The decisions have been what color should the tile be on the swimming pool, the automatic garage door is acting up and the guy never showed me how to operate and program the sprinkler system.
And, these swimming pools are actually back yard hippo pools, people have gotten fatter and fatter and can't even go outside unless there is a provided habitat.
I'm finding young people on the internet that have figured out the difference in lifestyles of the globe and the exchange rates. They will take the crap that is considered industrial waste in Chicago and drop it off in Africa and winter on the beaches of Australia which means their money has multiplied due to the exchange rate. If you are living in the town you grew up in, this is all a humongous mystery.
Unfortunately the new inventors can only come up with 4,000 new inventions to make getting your toilet paper fun. People are going to have to get smarter, faster with a bigger field of intrest that really benefits the world.
All that happened is the stuff created after World War 2 by that generation has been pocketed and turned into self serving pleasure by the following generations and their party is over. Big deal. Some of us never got any favor or the fat off the land or the deeds from past generations. That's who your competitors are and they have had a head start.
And now minorities who have never had anything are getting inspired to get off the front porch too. Everyone is going to have to come up with scenarios that really benefit huge numbers of people.
Haunted houses as an industry is one of those things that can. Already things are being fashioned for other countries and people are making their independent wage by going to other countries. Everyone is going to have to pick a speciality and get real good at something to become a resource that is available. And here as a community we have been talking to each other volunteering ourselves for more than a decade. Just like they do for food in Norway. So we are competitive.
Things like vendors getting behind or becomeing insolvent are just growing pains of not enough money floating around yet. Products have not evolved yet into something that is a must have as the market isn't big enough yet. There has been no quick buck and there may never be. It all has to be stable and ever developing.
If you develop a community that really has an end purpose and that purpose comes to be a reality, then things happen.
As far as the economy goes, everyone has been floating on credit for the past 20 years and the balloon payments just came up to show there is really nothing here. Still a whole lot of people got living room nicknacks of of other peoples money. Those nich nacks really aren't helping the world.
When I was a kid, my mother would try to get me to eat brussel sprouts and that's all there was to eat. It was something to gag over and my mother would tell me there were little kids in India that didn't even have that. I told her I wasn't going to eat at all then and she could put that crap in a box and mail it to India.
What happens when people stand enmass and say we aren't doing something unless they continue to get $71 is someone else will do it. That's the market. It has always been the market. Middle managers are going to totally hide the fact that the workers are anything but the best in the world until the jig is up. They did the jobs they were told to do very well. Only ow with the Internet, the whole world talks about how it could be.
01-01-2009, 10:35 AM
Yes, the speculators abandoned their oil hopes and the price crashed, Then the economy nearly stopped and lack of demand kicked in to bring the prices down the rest of the way. We need to free ourselves of the oil dependence. If you give a drunk more booze, you still have a drunk. Solar and wind power is what we need. Warfield will describe this as hot air ( like many of these threads), but it needs to be kept seperate. lol
Wow, I didn't realize Heavan was just on the southern edge of this great country. And many think you only need a fence on the southern Texas border. lol
01-01-2009, 11:02 AM
Keep making those great American cars, they are all I have ever bought!
Good luck as well,
01-01-2009, 02:09 PM
I think the problem is people are trying to change the way our economy works. Since the beginning of the US, our economy has been based on people wasting their money. Now, all the sudden, gas companies feel that price gouging is going to make them more money. Well, people started freaking out and decided to start saving money. The problem is, while more people are saving money, less people are wasting money. I think that is one problem bringing about the "fall".
Another thing, we have became too dependant on China. Every freakin' thing in stores is 'Made in China' or 'Produced by China'. We are importing a heck of a lot more than we are exporting, making the "fall" occur faster.
But, at the same time, it's natural for the economy to rise and fall. It always has, and will, jump around. You could almost call economics the roller coaster ride from Hell. :)
But so far, due to me not having too much money in my possession right now, it hasn't hit me. In fact, I'm gaining more money than I ever have (but that doesn't say too much :D)!
If you work for a company, are you at odds with your company or are you working with them to make them better.
This goes both ways. If management gives back and the workers don't as for unrealistic things, then it can work. A union creates this us vs. them attitude in the company instead of GM vs. Ford, Toyota, Nissan, its GM workers vs. GM mgmt.
In my company, we work together, there is no union, but mgmt is very good to us. When we make extra profit, our bonus goes up, they upgrade the lunch room with better food, TV's, a fitness center. So the company reinvests. Its not alway directly to my wage, its often the fringe stuff, but I still see it as a positive.
I guess that is my biggest beef, mgmt, work with your people, people, work with your mgmt, and then US products will continue to thrive.
01-01-2009, 03:31 PM
I'm with the republicans on this one... UAW needs to lower wages, cut benefits and end expensive programs that keep US car makers from being as competitive as the Japanees or Korea or China or whomever wants make cars. I also FIRMLY believe that if you cut labor costs you can get them to secure more jobs and stop all the jobs going to mexico.
More plants will close my friend, and eventually there will be no industry what so ever. Look at all the industries that are no longer, and a lot of that has to do with Unions. Some industries must simply accept what the job is worth to keep that industry here in the US and if that isn't good enough for you move on to something else.
Unions need to wake up quick because before its all over they will all be busted by sending more jobs overseas.
What makes me sick is to see just all the industries we've lost, and how do all of these companies think if you ship all the jobs out of the country how in the WORLD do you think there will be people here who can afford to buy anything. YOU CANT SEND EVERY JOB OUT OF THE COUNTRY thinking you are saving money, you are hurting the whole nation and eventually no one here will have jobs so no one can buy anything.
One day soon this will NOT be the #1 consumer market because there won't be any jobs... not everyone can be the President or a billionaire investor, it just doesn't work like that.
Unions need to realize what is going on and give back a lot back and ask for more job security and promises to open back up more plants! Lets not pay the few workers they have left more money, lets double the amount of workers that sounds better to me.
01-01-2009, 06:10 PM
We will have to agree to disagree on this. There has been much changed in labor/management in recent years, but the realization of many is yet to follow.
I have been on both sides of this fence, at the same time by being an employee and owning several businesses, too. I wouldn't run my business the way GM does, but I try to do my job as a trainer (primary for the last ten years) and electrician (secondary) the best that I can.
Now, can you imagine putting your idea to use here. Playing devils advocate here: Since you feel some working people make too much money and need to be competitive; Cut your announced TW tour prices for March in half.
Curious as to how that idea sits with you.
01-01-2009, 06:20 PM
The cost of our tour has nothing to do with an entire industry going down the drain and affecting millions of working people around the country does it? Hey I respect your opinion but I don't agree... UAW and many other unions need to start thinking about life after the industry they represent because its happening all over the place. The auto industry is about to lose one of the three companies and with it tens of thousands of jobs.
Which is better bring the wages down to meet the costs of Japan or put everyone out the door? If you don't think its enough pay find a new job, find a new line or work, its America. Anyone can leave any job they don't like and let people who do want those jobs which would still be on the HIGH side of pay and benefits take them.
I'm in your corner believe it or not I do not want to see the whole industry move to another country, or simply go under. UAW will have no choice but to cut wages the government will demand it otherwise they'll pull their loans and well they will go bankrupt. NO BANKS, NO INVESTORS will invest in these companies... Icanh just sold every share he has in Ford, everyone is jumping ship. Pretty soon it will boil down to sell your cars or lose your jobs no one left to bail out the industry.
I BUY AMERICAN ALWAYS!
I ALWAYS look for MADE IN AMERICA labels and I will pay more to get an American car... too bad not everyone feels that way. Blame Walmart! I think maybe you don't understand my point, because my point is unless UAW agrees to lower wages Japan cars will put you out of business. Consumers assume they make better cars, cars that get better fuel milage, and well they offer more options and are cheaper cars. It boils down to what it costs to make the cars. Management needs to cut costs, starting with themselves, UAW needs to lower wages, and last but not least they need to make cars people WANT not what they don't want.
Personally I think most of every car GM makes is just bone ugly, I would not buy one of their cars. Ford cars outside of their trucks, Mustangs, and high end SUV are BONE UGLY! Problem is no one wants trucks, or SUV and high fuel consumption Mustangs... this is why Toyata, Honda and all these guys are selling more cars. I don't blame UAW for this I blame management for being asleep at the wheel but still Japan, Korea they sell good cars, they look nice and they cost less! What can you do? You have to rethink he whole thing!
I will still always BUY AMERICAN! I don't want to see the industry leave, and leave more cities left for dead like most of Detroit, I want to see this industry stronger and employ more people not less. To make that happen you have to make tough choices...something you are faced with if you work within that industry.
01-01-2009, 06:31 PM
On another note doesn't it PISS YOU OFF TO NO END to call AMEX customer service or just about any company these days and be transfered to freakin India? Can't Americans do those jobs? I can't even understand a damn thing they are saying and they are somehow going to help me.
Big companies with their pursuit of making stock holders more money have shipped more jobs overseas than anyone can even stomach! Tell your government officials to support anything that STOP companies from farming out jobs Americans can do!
01-02-2009, 08:42 AM
I agree. The funny thing is they actually teach these Indians how to speak in American slang. I was trouble shooting my computer, they had me talk to someone in India and while we were waiting he hit me up with ALL the slang talk! It was funny, sad, and awkward at the same time.
Larry not all GM cars are ugly, have you seen the new Camaro? Not ugly!!
01-02-2009, 03:32 PM
Not sure how soon things will swing into the "things are good" side of the world with recommendations like this coming out of Washington. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090102/ap_on_go_ot/gas_tax
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