we had someone move into our backyard (that i so graciously assisted when he was 45 miles away...lesson learned) and he is claiming to be the largest now in the area. the bulding he leases has a larger sq ft, but the attraction inside occupies less than 1/2 that amount...unless you include waiting area, bathrooms, makeup, costumes, ticket sales, concessions etc. he claims 'x' amount of "total terror". problem is the media doesn't know the difference and will print or say whatever he [pays] for. why can't people just be honest?
But you gave me a laugh. My first year operating a corn maze another maze opened 15 miles away. They ran a charity event...and it got promoted as nations largest corn maze on radio, newspaper etc. I think I covered double the acerage they did. And owner was mortified that I dare try to get charity to rescind the lie.
Once I find a location, my plan is to say what my haunt square footage actually is. Not the entire building because that's misleading. As a Weights & Measures inspector and instructor for the past 22 years, we look at the "Net" quantity, not the gross. That's the most honest way to do it and required by law in the Weights & Measures universe.
If I end up in a 25,000 sq. ft. building, I'll need a certain amount of space for wardrobe, makeup, dressing rooms, break room, security, box office, etc. There will be other unusable space such as sprinkler control room or whatever other mechanicals are in the building. If my actual haunt area ends up being 15,000 sq. ft, I'll list it as "15,000 sq. ft. of terror" or whatever. The extra visible square footage will lead customers to believe it's bigger than what was advertised but there would be no deception on my part. It's up to them to make that determination.
Bottom line: Stating that something is bigger than it's actual size is flat out deception. I can say my haunt is "in a 25,000 sq. ft. building" which is totally true. But I would opt to state the actual haunt size and nothing extra. It's just good business. And if you package and sell things like marshmellows for bonfires, they are not sold by the "bag". Anything you package must be sold the same way they are sold in grocery stores. Weight, volume or count depending on what it is. Right, Mr. Flemming? Just because it's a temporary event doesn't exempt us from any rules or regulations beyond haunting or the haunting facility.