What is causing a bad season for some?
I have read several posts from haunts that have just had a rotten season and yet some have done great. Even some established haunts had really low numbers this year. Anyone have any ideas on what is causing this? Could it be that it is an election year and people are just cutting back on spending? Even though the younger end of our demographic really don't care about the election they still get their money from their parents. The odd thing is everyones market will be different but there still seems to be a trend industry wide. Look forward to hearing everyones thoughts on the matter.
Potential causes for a bad season this year
I wonít speculate why some haunts are up and many are down, but there are some issues that have made this season more challenging:
- The political scene in some states (Ohio is a battleground state) has made it very difficult or expensive to purchase electronic media. Itís unfair that politicians can lock up so much air time causing prices to soar and limiting the availability of commercials to the private business sector.
- The economy is still very challenging. Unemployment is still high and many people who have jobs are underemployed.
- The cost of living is up; food and gasoline are at all time highs; limiting the amount of disposable income available to spend on entertainment. The entertainment industry (movies) has had a tough time this fall too.
- The weather has sucked. In our state (Ohio); it has rained 21 of 30 days this month.
- Hurricane Sandy has impacted 13 states leading up to the past weekend, which normally the weekend before Halloween was our best weekend for attendance. Please keep our friends who are suffering in these areas in your thoughts and prayers.
- There were only four weekends in October this year.
All that being said, I thought we were doing pretty good as we were up about 20% going into this past weekend. The cold/wind/rain started last Friday and hasnít stopped since and so we were down about 40% this past weekend. Weíre open this coming weekend and hopefully we can recover some lost sales.
I hope this provides some thought starters for discuss in the group.
Ask this question., of your people.(employees)
How many of them can afford to see say 3 haunts if they have a family/friends and admission is $20-$25 or more?
Add gasoline expenses....
I also wonder if when a haunt gets up to this price range if customers just assume that all the haunts in a given area are all going to be that expensive? (I know "Duh!?" Customers )
Some parents will indulge their kids but not always paying for the more expensive haunt, toy, whatitz.
"But we wanted to go to The Fingernail Of Gruesome Death haunted house, not Rickies Merry-G0-Round of Limburger Cheese..again."
"Just forget it, we took you to A haunted house,the season and the discussion are over!"
Most teens go to movies to do something to be with their friends. If too many friends "Bail" (money coming up short?) then the whole safari might derail.
I work on this house everyday for these last 25years. This place has many items displayed here. I don't do or say the same things for each tour (I don't want to get bored, either!)
Do some people have every inch of my house memorized? Doubtful.
"NEW" things await them, just turn your head and look the other way this time!"
This business has always been tricky to anticipate, although years ago I was more psychic and I was predicting very accurately how many would be here, sometimes I even could guess "Who"!
Yes I did.