Our owner-op has been at this for almost 20 years now... took over a haunt that was in a leased building (non-operating 750 room resort in the sticks - in 2002 it burnt down in the off-season), before that he leased buildings at our state fair grounds for a few years - (many many many additional costs were wrapped up in that - not worth it!), then most recently we had leased a 2-level (medieval-style) banquet/special event building at a local ski resort.
The common theme with all of these locations - short term leases... and all were no more than 3 months or so...
We'd load in tons and tons of crap, get the show built (not alot of time usually), and then tear it down and move it all out. The frustration is the cost of storage, moving and set up - we wnated to do more with our show and be more detailed but could never do it to the level we wanted because we had to move out again.
So after years and years of this we've been on haitus since 2004 - on a quest to find an affordable long-term/permanent home that has a decent location and most of all good atmosphere. It's like finding a needle in a haystack!
I guess I'd say if you're going to lease - consider a long term one - NOT for your first year, but when you get to a point where you know you can afford it... or find some property for purchase, and put up a pole barn/do a facade.
Either way it all takes lots of $$$$
Blood & Kisses,
Production Team Member
The White Star Farm
"Hey Baby, this blood's for you."