View Full Version : Business Prospect. Need opinions and advice!

08-06-2009, 01:24 PM
I am contemplating opening a haunt attraction. It would be located in the middle of a heavily populated part of a highway corridor. The Northwest city where it will be located is within a 75 mile radius of some 3.16 million people. It is also about halfway between two large metro areas. All possible locations are located closely to the freeway, the principal interstate running north to south along the West Coast (traveling through British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California). The potential attraction buildings range in size from 11,000 sq ft to 18,000 sq ft, and are listed between $460k and $580k. Would a location and building like this work? What could I expect to make each season? Please feel free to guesstimate if you have prior experience. Thanks to any advice/estimates you can provide.

08-06-2009, 01:54 PM
This is a hard question to answer.

Read this article.

The location sounds good with a good number of people in the area but how many do you think will come to a haunted house? Is the building up to code? Are the funds there for starting the haunt, company, .com, marketing, props, actors, insurance, everything else?

Talk with other local haunts for their numbers.

Marketing will make or break your haunt.

When are you looking to start this haunt?

The best advice I can say is talk with everyone on here. Read all the articles you can find. Buy the magazines. Watch most of the dvds how-tos. work @ a haunt. Know what the customer wants in a haunt, not what you want, I need to remember that one.

I hope this helped.

Peter T
Fables Studios

08-06-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks, great advice. I just was posting some examples of possible locations. It’s all in the very early stages though. Probably wouldn't be able to actually start building until 2011. I just love Halloween and haunted houses and amusement parks, have a great imagination, am a good salesmen, and I am artistic. I also have the friends with the right skills (mechanical engineer, interior designer, movie prop grip, etc) to make this work. Plus there's nothing that great around here... there's Scream at the Beach... but I want to bring a whole new level of haunting to the Northwest.

Jim Warfield
08-06-2009, 07:24 PM
About a fancy 1880-style mansion, built brand new maybe in 1980? And run as a restaurant, it went under, sat empty on a small hill overlooking a video arcade and a very busy multi-lane highway in a southwestern town of good size.
funny thing, all I needed was alot of $$$$?!!

08-06-2009, 08:07 PM
Hi Jim,

I'm confused, you are saying you needed money to buy it or money to save it?

08-06-2009, 09:03 PM
Start with a good business plan.

That sounds good you will have a team/family backing you. I am trying something new in the haunt industry as well. If you have any questions this is def the place to get them answered.

Look into the HHA (haunted House Association as well)

They will help haunt owners with any problem you will run into. Insurance, Marketing,ect..
Plus the association comes with different magazine subscriptions. Very helpful!!


Peter T
Fables Studios LLC

08-07-2009, 12:13 AM
are listed between $460k and $580k.

Plus the cost of building all the props, advertsing, promotion, insurance, employees, etc. So basically you need a million dollars-plus?

Don't buy a building before you even have a clue as to whether a haunt will be successful in your area.

08-07-2009, 11:40 AM
Anyone have a clue as to how much large sheds/warehouses cost to build? Because maybe it'd be cheaper to buy land (if any is undeveloped) and start from scratch? Sorry I'm just brainstorming on here...

08-10-2009, 07:55 AM
Check ebay for quick pricing.

Put in "metal building" in the search and you will get tons of options.

Peter T

09-23-2009, 02:58 PM
I would love to help you out with questions you may have.

Just off the bat I would say find out if there are any quality competitors significantly closer to your large metros or citys. a 15 minute drive advantage can be huge as well as access to public transportation.

Also my first thought was in this market, that is too much money for too little building. I would find the best located piece of land and plan for at least 40,000 sq feet or get creative and have a indoor/outdoor haunt with multiple smaller units on the property to wind in and out of. Also you can have them designed to support multiple theming style facades, and fire codes easier than remodelling.

Remember to plan for heavy power needs throughout, and possibly a built in pressurized air delivery system, and sound as well.

I am located in Oregon, and have worked with many of the major haunts in my area, as well as with one in Denver, and Southern California.

Matt "PappaSmurf"